Monday, September 19, 2011

Max Boot cries wolf, Taiwan edition

Max Boot:

The Osama bin Laden raid notwithstanding, the Obama administration continues to project an air of weakness and irresolution on national security that will come back to haunt us. The latest example is its refusal to sell F-16s to our democratic ally Taiwan.

Taiwan is facing a growing imbalance of cross-Straits power as China continues to increase its defense budget by double-digit figures every year. This buildup is tilting the odds against the U.S. Navy in the western Pacific and making it increasingly likely Taiwan would be on its own in any crisis. That makes it all the more imperative Taiwan have the ability to defend itself.

Say, here is the challenge the U.S. Navy faces:

The Chinese navy's first aircraft carrier has begun its sea trials, the state-run Xinhua news agency has said.

The BBC's Michael Bristow in Beijing says China is years away from being able to deploy this carrier as a potent military tool. Even so, the country's neighbours will be worried.

I'd say the United States Navy is still in good shape. Despite the fact that we spend as much on our military as the rest of the world combined, Max Boot would have you believe were always on the verge of losing our ability to dominate ... other continents that aren't our own.

As far as the F-16s go, NYT points out that the Bush Administration wouldn't sell them either:

“The notion that is being bandied about that this a capitulation to China, given the unprecedented magnitude of sales in the first two and a half years of the administration, and that F-16’s were never authorized by the Bush administration, suggests that these attacks are partisan rather than security-based,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution.


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