Sunday, October 27, 2013

A World Full of Subs But None to Buy

Taiwan still wants submarines (as they should want them). But we don't build non-nuclear subs.

The only country willing to resist Chinese pressure to sell arms to Taiwan doesn't have a submarine that can be sold to Taiwan. So I'm not sure whether this is just for show or serious:

President Ma Ying-jeou has reiterated Taiwan's desire to purchase submarines from the United States in an interview with an American paper earlier this week.

"Some weapons are high on the list of items that we hope to procure, but we currently have no way to purchase them. Submarines, for instance, are one of those items," Ma told the Washington Post in Taipei Thursday.

Apparently, Taiwan has given up the idea of building their own subs. I don't know why, since other countries no more advanced than Taiwan have done this. Do the Taiwanese think they are better off spending the last 12 years trying to buy them through us rather than starting a program 12 years ago to design and build their own?

I still think that Russia should sell Taiwan conventional subs. Russia pointed China away from their Far East for a long time by selling China weapons useful for fighting at sea. Finally tired of China's theft of Russia's technology, Russia finally throttled back that open spigot of arms sales.

But if Russia still wants to keep China's resources focused on the southern rather than northern front, the Russians will need to bolster potential foes like Taiwan to keep China busy.

Unless we decide to supplement our nuclear subs with conventional boats, too, we just aren't likely to convince an ally (under pressure from China not to do that) who does build conventional subs to sell Taiwan the blue prints and allow us to build them for Taiwan.