Congress Wants Taiwan at RIMPAC

Plus, ASEAN is building a domestic arms industry. Defense and security links.

Congress Wants Taiwan at RIMPAC
Credit: flickr/ U.S. Pacific Fleet

Some early week defense links:

Last week, Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, lead a trip through Asia which included stops in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. While in Taiwan, Rep. McKeon said that the U.S. Congress would like to see Taiwan’s military participate in RIMPAC next time it is held in 2016. A report in Taiwan Focus quoted McKeon as saying: “We have some influence and we will push to see that they (Taiwan’s armed forces) are invited next time.” Talk about stealing the PLA’s thunder.

Reuters reports that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are building up their own defense industries. “A domestic defense industry is a long-term economic as well as security goal of varying degree for the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), spending more on modernizing ageing equipment partly to retain the region’s military balance,” the report stated.

On Tuesday the U.S. and Australia will sign a 25-year deal to allow 25,000 U.S. Marines to rotate through Darwin.

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Speaking of Australia, The Strategist has been hosting a fascinating ongoing debate between Hugh White and Peter Jennings about the long-term sustainability of Asia’s status quo. Here’s Hugh White’s latest salvo.

And no discussion of Australia would be complete without at least one reference to the Lowy Institute. Fortunately, the Lowy Interpreter is currently hosting an excellent discussion on whether sea-based nuclear deterrence will contribute to strategic stability or not. I may have to weigh in on this further over at the Pacific Realist.

Oh, and the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance is failing to implement the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia, according to the State Department’s Inspector General. Probably too busy arming the Kurds in Iraq and the Sunni rebels in Syria.