Sure, we will sell tanks and fighters to Egypt, run by the Muslim Brotherhood, but Taiwan? A free republic? Naw
Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which faces no existential threat, our Asian ally faces an increasingly belligerent and well-armed China. Yet only one gets the latest weaponry and the question is why.
On Jan. 30, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer in the East China Sea near the disputed Senkaku Islands just north of Taiwan was “painted” by fire control-radar from two People’s Liberation Army warships, believed to be the Chinese frigates Linyungang and Wenzhou.
This was just the latest provocation by a China flexing its deep water naval muscle as it asserts itself in the East and South China Seas and pursues long-held territorial ambitions. One of those ambitions is the absorption into the People’s Republic of its alleged long-lost province of Taiwan.
China continues to add missiles targeted on Taiwan, adds naval capability including an aircraft carrier, expands its amphibious capabilities, as well as developing its own stealth fighter said to be roughly equivalent to our now-canceled F-22 Raptor.
In this context, Taiwan has sought to improve its defenses with the acquisition of 66 F-16C and F-16F fighter aircraft, also known as Block 52 planes.
These are not stripped down versions that are sometimes sold overseas, but state-of-the-art aircraft with the latest bells and whistles, one of the most capable fighter aircraft in the world.
While Taiwan languishes in military limbo, Egypt, under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, has received the first of 20 such aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2013, 16 single-seat F-16Cs and four double-seat F-16Ds.
Egypt’s new F-16s will raise its inventory of the Lockheed Martin jets to 240. But unlike Taiwan’s request, they have an offensive mission — they’re targeted mainly against the Islamists’ enemy, Israel. That’s our ally.
The administration insists Egypt’s F-16s merely constitute an honoring of a $1.3 billion a year U.S. military aid program signed by the regime of Morsi’s predecessor, President Hosni Mubarak.
Yet it balks at fulfilling Taiwan’s request for defensive F-16s, a sale mandated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.
Here you have it. Increasingly I am thinking this administration will be remembered as the WTF? Administration. And again, the question is posed, is Team Obama really this naive? Or is this deliberate?