American presidents like to announce major arms sales to Taiwan when they are leaving office. George Herbert Walker Bush announced the sale of nearly $8 billion in hardware, including 150 F-16 fighters and Patriot-derived air defense units, in 1992; Bill Clinton parceled out about $2 billion in defense equipment during his final year in office, 2000; and George W. Bush notified Congress of his intent to sell more than $6.4 billion in defense equipment in 2008. Barack Obama broke this trend by announcing more than $12 billion in arms sales to Taiwan during the in-between years of his first term, in 2010 and 2011. Now approaching its final year in office, the Obama administration has announced its first arms sale to Taiwan in more than four years. And compared with its initial sales, it is uncommonly modest and inherently defensive.
Read the full article on The National Interest.
More from CNAS
How Ukraine Can Help Itself
The challenge is not how to innovate but how to scale up production, given skilled labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, corruption, and Russian attacks....
By Franz-Stefan Gady
Evolution Not Revolution
This report concludes that drones have transformed the battlefield in the war in Ukraine, but in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary fashion. While tactical innovation a...
By Stacie Pettyjohn
Foreword By Richard Fontaine Rapid technological change touches virtually every aspect of life today. This includes defense and national security, and for good reason: To main...
By Douglas A. Beck
Military Artificial Intelligence, the People’s Liberation Army, and U.S.-China Strategic Competition
China sees AI playing a central role in advancing its military power. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping has set ambitious goals for the PLA to “basica...
By Jacob Stokes