Thursday, October 06, 2011

Retired USAF officials back F-16 sale

Officials in and out of government continue to put pressure on the Obama administration to release the F-16C/Ds for Taiwan

Seven senior retired US Air Force (USAF) officials on Tuesday sent a letter to US senators John Cornyn and Robert Menendez in support of a bill to upgrade Taiwan’s airpower and in favor of selling Taiwan the 66 F-16C/D aircraft it has been requesting since 2006.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Taipei Times, the signatories expressed “strong support” for bill S. 1539, Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011, introduced by the senators on Sept. 12.

The letter, signed by Lieutenant General David Deptula, Lieutenant General Michael Dunn, General John Loh, General William Looney III, General Lester Lyles, General Lloyd Newton and former secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, was issued to coincide with the “Why Taiwan Matters” hearings at the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs the same day.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.


Michael Fagan said...

"It took nearly two years for the USAF to realize its mistake."

I wonder whether you might be itching to comment/speculate further on that?

J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 said...

@Mike: Not really. We and all the other media reported on this back in 2008. Wynne and USAF chief of staff General Michael Moseley were fired over this incident as well as the discovery that a B-52 bomber had been mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The pilot and crew were unaware that they were carrying nuclear weapons. Wynne was fired because someone had to take responsibility for the lack of professionalism within the USAF that led to those incidents. This doesn’t mean he had anything to do with the fuses being shipped to Taiwan, or the fact that this went undiscovered for nearly two years. I wouldn’t want to read too much into this.

Anonymous said...

One of the utilities that subservient (a.k.a. allied) countries has to the U.S. is to serve as some sort of the armory.

Btw, do the cited American officials back the selling of F-35 F-22 jets too?

Or this so divulged friendship/alliance between the U.S. and Taiwan is not strong enough for the U.S. to feel confident in order to sell them?

You know...a poor and defenseless ally at the mercy of a big bad wolf.