Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Heritage analyst urges US sale of F-16C/D jets

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

A new study by Heritage Foundation analyst Michaela Dodge urges the US Congress to support the sale of F-16C/D jets to Taiwan and to assist it with the acquisition of eight submarines.

“Taiwan needs to modernize its increasingly obsolescent fighter fleet,” says the study released this week.

“Such modernization would contribute to maintaining a credible defense vis-a-vis China and advance Taiwanese-US relations,” it says.

Dodge argues in her Top 10 To-Do List for the National Defense Authorization Act that Taiwan needs a modern and capable submarine force.

“For 20 years, gridlock in the bureaucracies and politics of both nations have prevented Taiwan from acquiring submarines,” Dodge says.

“Congress should take the lead in finally making it happen,” she says.

The federal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is passed annually to specify the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense.

“As Congress prepares to craft this legislation, it should seriously consider policy issues that can improve US security and advance international partnerships,” Dodge says.

The sale of F-16C/Ds and submarines to Taiwan are second on her list of 10 recommendations. Maintaining a permanent US military presence in Europe is first on the list.

Third is a proposal to continue the Pentagon’s annual report on the strength of the Chinese military and to restrict military-to-military contacts with China to prevent “inappropriate exposure to information concerning the US military.”

Dodge also wants to impose conditions on US military-to-military engagement with Myanmar, prohibit the US Navy from spending resources on biofuels and advance a comprehensive, layered missile defense system.

“A good NDAA should advance policies that keep the nation safe, secure, and prosperous in the years ahead,” she says.

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