US said to be blocking sale of subs
AT ODDS: Recent reports in defense publications say the US Navy, State Department and National Security Council are helping to stall the sale
By Mac William Bishop
Monday, Feb 20, 2006,Page 1
Elements within the US government are actively trying to undermine aspects of an arms procurement deal with Taiwan, sources said, while a US congressman will arrive in Taipei today in an effort to move the issue forward.
The most contentious part of the blocked special arms procurement budget bill, which would have allowed for the purchase of three major weapons systems from the US, is the eight diesel-electric submarines that were approved for sale by the Bush administration in early 2001.
Reports in Jane's Defence Weekly and the Defense News recently said that officials in the US Navy, National Security Council (NSC) and State Department were effectively conspiring to prevent Taiwan from acquiring the submarines, while keeping the issue politically in play.
"The United States has no intention of making good on President George W. Bush's 2001 promise to sell eight advanced diesel submarines to the self-governing island," the Defense News wrote in an editorial on Feb. 13.
"US submarine officers privately fear that if an American shipyard did begin building conventionally powered boats, the production of more-capable nuclear boats would come to a halt once Congress saw a diesel sub's cheaper price tag," it wrote. "So the US Navy is taking pains to ensure that any proposed deal that might fulfill Bush's eight-sub promise will be unaffordable or unacceptable to Taipei."
A US government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, directly charged the Bush administration with undermining Taiwan's security to avoid difficult political issues.
He said that "the Bush administration has deceived Taiwan for a couple of reasons."
"For NSC staff and [the] State [Department], it has been to keep Taiwan internally paralyzed, and use [President] Chen Shui-bian [陳水扁] as a whipping boy," the source said. "They can now deny anything and everything that Taiwan asks for because `Taiwan doesn't take its defense seriously.'"
"The idea is to keep it [the arms procurement deal] on the table, or keep the `political football' in play, to use the words of the Defense Conference last September," the source said.
Meanwhile, US Representative Rob Simmons, a Connecticut Republican, will arrive in Taiwan today to "urge Taiwan[ese] legislators to pass a defense supplemental that would be used to purchase eight new diesel submarines," according to a press release issued by Simmons' office.
Simmons, a former CIA officer who speaks fluent Mandarin and was stationed in Taiwan in the 1970s, has longstanding ties with many government and military officials here.
Simmons' district is home to General Dynamics' Electric Boat Corp, a shipbuilding firm that focuses primarily on submarines. The press release issued by the congressman's office focused on the benefits that a sub deal with Taiwan might bring the company.
"[Simmons] will leave for Taipei, Taiwan Saturday night on a five-day trip designed to bring much-needed work to Electric Boat [EB] ... The push is part of a multi-pronged plan to avoid large-scale layoffs at EB," the statement said.
Am I the only one who suspects that the State Department is the left's permanent seat in the Executive branch? They're forever doing crap like working for "even-handedness" in America's dealings with Israeli bus riders and suicide bombers, queering deals with democratic allies to curry favor with commies or fascists, unilaterally announcing lame wimpy policies that have to be undone, trying to torpedo people like Bolton, et c. et c.
It seems that the career diplomatic service has a leftist agenda that it pursues as vigorously as it can without regard to what the White House wants.
The Taiwanese need those 8 subs to combat China.
We should not be stopping them with stupid politics.