What a Real US Pivot to Taiwan Would Look Like

President Biden has claimed that the pullout from Afghanistan is part of a pivot to China. China has been increasing its threats of an invasion of Taiwan.

In July 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete “reunification” with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to “smash” any attempts at formal independence.

Taiwan could have a $17.7 billion per year military budget for 2022.

The US spent over $20-50 billion per year in Afghanistan.

In 2019, the US finally authorized letting Taiwan buy 66 updated F-16s. This procurement was not authorized during the Obama-Biden administration.

Taiwan has a $700 billion per year GDP economy.

The US gives about $3.8 billion per year in military assistance to Israel.

The sixty-six F-16s were an $8 billion sale. In March, 2021, more than 22 modernized F-16Vs have been delivered to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Chiayi Air Force Base in southwest Taiwan.

$24 billion in US aid to Taiwan would be two hundred F-16s per year. Taiwan could easily afford to pay half of the cost. The US could provide direct aid for the rest. A one hundred billion F-16 program would have Taiwan with eight hundred F-16s. This would deter invasion from China. If Taiwan paid half then the US cost would be $50 billion. This would be one year of support in Afghanistan.

This would take the question of China invasion off the table. Especially if combined with some missile and submarine build-up in Taiwan.

Unlike Afghanistan, Taiwan clearly is a democracy and a modern developed country. Taiwan has critical semiconductor technology that is needed for the US and global economy.

The USAF operates 1,245 F-16s with 701 with active forces, 490 with Air National Guard and 54 with Reserve. The US wants to upgrade all of the F-16s.

Selling old but upgradable F-16s would remove the question of would the US commit 20-40% of its Air Force to defend Taiwan. Supply Taiwan now means that Taiwan controls its own deterrence. There is no ambiguity. China can stop thinking that it might be able to get away with invading Taiwan because of weak resolve in Taiwan or the USA.

The US would get more arms sales that can offset the cost of modernization of its air force.

Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

33 thoughts on “What a Real US Pivot to Taiwan Would Look Like”

  1. Your'e not really naive enough to think this? Putting that much money toward war equipment will only increase China's spending on taking Taiwan and make actually invasion much more likely. There is no Taiwan could therefore defend itself business here.

  2. It would be really funny if they did and then the two Chinas got into a hot war. I would love to see the faces of the Indians as they realize why that was a tragically imbecilic mistake, shortly before Xi's flowers starts blooming over their cities.

  3. Chris says: "Whole point of military buildup here is to prevent war"
    No you are not trying to prevent war. You are interfering with other country civil war. You are making peaceful settlement more difficult. You are creating more destruction and chaos. You are part of the problem.

  4. Taiwan is part of China. It is none of US or anyone's business to interfere into their civil wars. Imagine if China starts funding BLM, or MAGA, or selling arms to Hawaii/Texas independence movements, or send warships to help Scotland break off from UK, … Is this the world you want to live in?

  5. Flaming?

    Hey, I'm gay, so I should be allowed to tell this joke… but here goes.

    Q: What do you call a bouncer in a gay bar?

    A: A flamethrower.

  6. Not worth your 50 cents. I give that 3 out of 50 cents.

    Also you might want to look up "flaming" in an English urban dictionary.

  7. China aided Pakistan with its nuclear program.
    It would be fitting if India helped Taiwan acquire nuclear weapons.

  8. Given Biden's entanglements through his son, when he said "pivot to China", I severely doubt he meant "pivot to defending Taiwan".

  9. I want Taiwan to be armed and capable of deterring an attack. Same with S.K. and Japan.

    But in all honesty, we were in Afghanistan and Iraq for a reason: To protect the world from Russia or China or crazed extremists taking over 80% of the world's petroleum production. (2001 conditions, not todays). Anyone tells you we were in the Middle East for 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' is not a clear thinker. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates are nervous about our exit. Not that I care how happy they are, but I don't think having Russia or China controlling the Middle East is in anyone's best interest.

    Now, with directional drilling and fracking (thanks George Mitchell), we are not so dependent upon Middle Eastern petroleum. (Or at least we weren't. Never trust Dementia Joe. He can F*** things up faster than even I expected. $5.40/MMBtu for natural gas? Are you kidding me? No wonder Europe is furious.)

    Petroleum still runs the world. It won't in the future, but that future is still at least 10 years out. Be careful overlooking the obvious…

  10. Whole point of military buildup here is to prevent war. When one side thinks it can win at a low cost, war is almost inevitable. China straight up says they want to annex Taiwan. Wanting peace at the cost of never waging war guarantees someone is going to get invaded.

  11. You are neglecting to take into account human nature. The future isn't going to look like what you fantasize here.

  12. All right and true! But why are all these expensive weapons needed? Last time I checked it was to keep the something smarter, better, peaceful, happier, enlightened safe to work at this aforementioned development from the more monkey brains that very regrettably still continue to exist.

  13. It’s a much easier sell to the US Congress for Taiwan to pay for the F-16’s without billions in subsidies. It’s true the US has been wasting much more in Afghanistan but that’s not the most convincing angle.

    The idea that just agreement to start up production of a new generation of F-16s both for the US and Taiwan and that hundreds of them would pretty much put this issue to bed makes sense. The US could sell a lot of older F-16s up front to act quickly and replace them with new models as produced. Given the glacial speed of the defense industry being able to something dramatic right now matters a lot.

  14. Yeah, that's what I was thinking the whole time. All the money spent on military aid to Afghanistan or Iraq would have made an absolutely indestructible fortress Europe/Taiwan/SK/Japan. Just imagine how much hardware could be bought for it and be operated by people that will actually use it instead of throwing it away at the first opportunity. They could defend themselves with so much hardware perhaps with very little US support.
    But the money was basically thrown away instead.

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