The U.S. wants to sell Taiwan the wrong weapons

By Enea Gjoza

In addition to making these weapons available for sale, Washington should push Taiwan to shift away from flashy but limited value weapons, and instead develop a native defensive capability that is both practical and robust. While it might seem strange for the United States to dictate a foreign nation’s military acquisitions, our current policy commits American lives and assets to Taiwan’s defense. As long as that persists, it is the responsibility of U.S. policymakers to ensure Taiwan provides the most favorable operational environment possible.

For every big-ticket weapons sale to Taiwan, the United States bears a political cost with China. The weapons transferred must therefore contribute to a sound defensive strategy and deter rather than invite armed conflict. By empowering Taiwan to properly defend itself, the U.S. can dodge the politically treacherous question of just how far it is willing to go in Taiwan’s defense, and incentivize China to seek a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question.

This piece was originally published by Defense One on June 13, 2019. Read more HERE.