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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

U.S. pressures Taiwan to focus on defense policy

HONOLULU -- U.S. officials have been warning Taiwan that it must do more to prepare its own defense against a potential attack from China rather than rely largely on the United States -- and that if it doesn't, the United States may feel less obligated to come to its rescue.

Publicly, that warning has been delivered by officials of the American Institute in Taiwan, the quasi-official embassy in Taipei that functions in the absence of normal diplomatic relations, and two prominent Washington think tanks with ties to the Bush administration -- the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Privately, U.S. officials said, that advice had been delivered by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by way of retired senior U.S. military officers visiting Taiwan and by active-duty U.S. colonels who visit Taiwan to confer with Taiwanese officers. "Some of the investments that Taiwan would like to make are not optimized for the defense of Taiwan," said one senior officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The U.S. pressure on Taiwan appears to be bipartisan and long in the making. Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, a Republican who served under President Clinton, told an audience in Taiwan: "You cannot expect the American people to burden ourselves the way we are to carry out responsibilities for other countries if there is no corresponding effort being made for self-defense." FULL STORY. Registration required.


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