US has altered its Taiwan arms sales policy: Military analyst

RAND Corporation analyst says US wants to turn Taiwan into 'indestructible fortress'

  15368
Taiwanese tanks in Pingtung County during the 36th annual Han Kuang military exercise. 

Taiwanese tanks in Pingtung County during the 36th annual Han Kuang military exercise.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based think tank RAND Corporation, believes the U.S. has significantly changed its policy on arms sales to Taiwan.

Grossman stated that the U.S. has sold many types of weapons, including "iconic” weapons systems such as F-16 fighters, to Taiwan in the past to enhance the island country's asymmetric defense capabilities. However, he noted that the U.S. has clearly adjusted its approach, Deutsche Welle reported.

Grossman believes the U.S. hopes Taiwan can become powerful enough militarily to counter China. The Pentagon’s goal, he stated, is to make Taiwan an "indestructible fortress," helping it establish an effective enough defense to prevent China from conducting an amphibious landing during a potential war.

The Trump administration recently notified Congress of five potential weapons sales to Taiwan, including MQ-9 drones, land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), the Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), and external sensor pods for Taiwan's fleet of F-16s.