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Obama’s Taiwanese AF F-16 Debacle

Friends and Enemies

9:00 AM, Jul 7, 2011 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
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This is a politically charged message—more than “just symbolic” say Taiwanese and U.S. defense analysts familiar with the history of the Chinese carrier program. “This is beyond the usual ‘Taiwan shuyu Zhongguo’ (Taiwan belongs to China) rhetoric," one told me. "It is Beijng telegraphing that ‘sooner or later we are going to take back our island whether you like it or not.’”

Back in March, Obama defended the U.S. role in the current Libyan crisis, saying “to brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and—more profoundly—our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.” It’s a pity he does not feel the same generous impulses to provide military assistance to one of our closest and most loyal allies.

Reuben F. Johnson is an aerospace and defense writer based in Kiev

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