Taiwan could get $10 billion in foreign military finance grant aid or $2 billion annually through fiscal 2027. This is more than the initial amendment by Sen. Menendez and Sen. Risch. The amendment was one of 75 changes made to the policy bill this week. Law lets the U.S. give Taiwan up to $1 billion worth of military supplies and equipment. It also provides the president with the power to create a “regional contingency stockpile” of weapons for Taiwan.
The State Department must also list the most important weapons, tools, and technologies already approved for sale to Taiwan. The House and Senate have approved the defense budget for fiscal years 2023 and 2024. An amendment to the bill lets the Pentagon change contracts to give companies a “fair price adjustment”. The amendment doesn’t say that the Pentagon must review any agreements, but it could signify to contracting officials.
In September, Menendez, Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch, who is in charge of foreign policy, and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The proposal was one of 75 changes made to the policy bill this week. The Senate plans to talk about the account after the election on November 8.
Under the new proposal, the State Department can give Taiwan up to $10 billion in foreign military finance grant aid, or $2 billion each year through fiscal 2027. This is more than the initial amendment by Menendez and Risch, which called for a total of $6.5 billion in military aid during the same time frame.
If the funds are approved, they would be added to the $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan approved by the Biden administration in September. Some of these sales were Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets. But the administration has also pushed Taiwan to spend less on expensive products and more on weaponry that, in the U.S. opinion, will help Taiwan defend itself against Beijing.
The defense bill still needs to be passed by the Senate in the coming weeks, and they must negotiate a compromise with the House that can pass both chambers and win President Joe Biden’s approval. If the necessary Taiwan provisions are kept in the final package, lawmakers will also have to agree on a way to pay for the legal military aid.
More and more people are worried that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next few years. This has led to more military help and cooperation with the island nation. The Biden administration has urged Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to take a more aggressive approach against China.
Risch was happy that foreign military financing—money given to friends so they could buy American weapons—was added to the Taiwan Deterrence Act, the defense bill he worked on with Menendez and on his own.
Risch told POLITICO, “We need to be ready for a possible crisis and give Xi Jinping reasons to think twice about invading or pressuring Taiwan.” This is a very important reason to push for more training for the FMF and the Taiwanese military before any possible war.
The law does not specify which specific weapons systems could be purchased. Still, it does call for a joint Pentagon-State Department assessment of Taiwan’s progress toward a military posture that will deter China. This includes plans to get and use certain kinds of weapons, like long-range precision weapons, integrated air and missile defence systems, coastal defence systems, and tools for keeping an eye on things.
Even though Menendez’s bill had support from both parties, the White House was worried that it might confuse American policy in the Taiwan Strait, which was a dangerous place at the time. White House officials have said that the U.S. still follows its long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity.” Still, Biden has said many times that the U.S. would use military force to protect Taiwan if Beijing attacked.
Some parts of Chinese law that could cause diplomatic problems were left out of the defense policy law. For example, the Taiwanese flag or the emblems and logos of the military could not be shown in an official way.
Reed told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that the measures are “compatible with the Taiwan Relations Act,” which has governed U.S. relations with the island for more than 40 years. He also said that Taiwan would get military aid as part of the package.
The updated defense bill also lets the U.S. give Taiwan up to $1 billion worth of military supplies and equipment. The Russian invasion has been stopped by giving Ukraine equipment and weapons worth billions of dollars through the presidential drawdown authority.
The State Department also wants to speed up military supplies to Taiwan until it can say that the threat to the island “has greatly subsided.” The organization would also have to list the most important weapons, tools, and technologies already approved for sale to Taiwan.
The law also gives the president the power to create a “regional contingency stockpile” of weapons and other supplies for Taiwan, adding up to $500 million in new collections each year until 2025.
In the eighth month of the conflict, Ukraine is still taking back land that Russia took, and senators have added new rules to help arm the country.
Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Reed proposed giving the Pentagon more freedom to quickly sign contracts to stockpile essential munitions and send weapons to Kyiv and other countries that are helping the Ukrainians.
The Defense Department can sign contracts in these two languages to buy more than a dozen weapons systems and ammunition in fiscal years 2023 and 2024. 7,000 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 6,000 Army Tactical Missile Systems, 20,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and 25,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles are among the weapons on the list.
Senate leaders also used Sen. Kevin Cramer’s (R-North Dakota) idea to deal with the effects of high inflation on the Pentagon’s supply chain.
The clause says that, within a month of the bill’s becoming law, procurement authorities must follow instructions on how to implement it. It also lets the Pentagon change contracts to give companies a “fair price adjustment.”
The military industry, especially the Aerospace Industries Association, helped spread the idea of how to deal with costs that keep going up. The amendment doesn’t say that the Pentagon must review any contracts. Still, it could signal to contracting officials in Congress and businesses that they must take action.
Senate leaders changed the original wording of Cramer’s proposal by saying that Congress would have to pay for contract changes.
This summer, the Armed Services Committee quickly approved raising the bill’s price tag by $45 billion, or $847 billion, over what Biden had proposed. Half of that money was used to help the Pentagon and the military deal with the effects of inflation.
Usually, legislation that could not otherwise pass is attached to the defence policy bill.
Legislators have added important bills from other committees, such as those affecting the Coast Guard, State Department, and intelligence community, to the existing laws.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network