Tag Archive: ndaa

Taiwan Initiative in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2017

Update:

On Friday, December 23, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 2017 NDAA (which cleared the Senate in a 92-7 vote on Dec. 8 after approval in the House of Representatives by a vote of 375-34 on Dec. 2). That means these Military Exchanges with Taiwan are now part of U.S. Public Law No: 114-328.

Original:
On December 8, 2016 the U.S. Senate passed a conference report for its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, which provides funding for the U.S. military) for fiscal year 2017. The House of Representatives had passed its version of the conference report on December 1, 2016. The bill originally contained several measures on Taiwan, but only one – a requirement for military exchanges – made it into the final conference report/version.

S.2943

SH. Rept. 114-840

Sec. 1284. Sense of Congress on military exchanges between the United States and Taiwan.

(a) Military Exchanges Between Senior Officers and Officials of the United States and Taiwan.
–The Secretary of Defense should carry out a program of exchanges of senior military officers and senior officials between the United States and Taiwan designed to improve military to military relations between the United States and Taiwan.

(b) Exchanges Described.
–For the purposes of this section, an exchange is an activity, exercise, event, or observation opportunity between members of the Armed Forces and officials of the Department of Defense, on the one hand, and armed forces personnel and officials of Taiwan, on the other hand.

(c) Focus of Exchanges.
–The exchanges under the program described in subsection (a) should include exchanges focused on the following:
(1) Threat analysis.
(2) Military doctrine.
(3) Force planning.
(4) Logistical support.
(5) Intelligence collection and analysis.
(6) Operational tactics, techniques, and procedures.
(7) Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

(d) Civil-Military Affairs.
–The exchanges under the program described in subsection (a) should include activities and exercises focused on civil-military relations, including parliamentary relations.

(e) Location of Exchanges.
–The exchanges under the program described in subsection (a) should be conducted in both the United States and Taiwan.

(f) Definitions.
–In this section: (1) The term “senior military officer”, with respect to the Armed Forces, means a general or flag officer of the Armed Forces on active duty. (2) The term “senior official”, with respect to the Department of Defense, means a civilian official of the Department of Defense at the level of Assistant Secretary of Defense or above.

If signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, Pentagon officials higher than the level of assistant defense secretary would be permitted to visit Taiwan.

Source:
H. Rept. 114-840 – NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017

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Proposed Taiwan Initiatives in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2016

Update: November 16, 2015

The original version of the NDAA 2016 bill vas vetoed by the president in October of 2015. On November 10, 2015, the Senate passed the “Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S. 1356” – sending a new version of the bill (which the House had already passed on November 5, 2015) to the President for signature.

In that House version of the bill, Taiwan is listed as a potential recipient of funds to participate in the new South China Sea Initiative (page 883).

However, during its deliberations on November 5, the House removed all the other Taiwan amendments from both the House and Senate versions of the original bill. During this process, the House also made a statement regarding its views on Taiwan, which was entered into the congressional record. The text of the relevant sections:

 

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1257) requiring the Secretary of Defense to invite the military forces of Taiwan to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise if the Secretary has invited the military forces of the People’s Republic of China to participate in such maritime exercise.
The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.
The House recedes.
We note the matters addressed in the House provision are addressed elsewhere in the agreement.

 

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1263) that would express the sense of the Senate on Taiwan’s asymmetric military capabilities and bilateral training activities.
The House bill did not contain a similar provision.
The Senate recedes.

 

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1264) that would encourage the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program of exchanges of senior military officers and senior officials between the United States and Taiwan to improve military to military relations between the United States and Taiwan. The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1257) that would require the Secretary of Defense to invite the military forces of Taiwan to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise if the Secretary has invited the military forces of the People’s Republic of China. The Senate amendment also contained a provision (sec. 1263) that would express the sense of the Senate on Taiwan’s asymmetric military capabilities and bilateral training activities.

We believe that the United States, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8), should continue to make available to Taiwan such defense articles and services as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense. The United States should continue to support the efforts of Taiwan to integrate innovative and asymmetric capabilities to balance the growing military capabilities of the People’s Republic of China, including fast-attack craft, coastal-defense cruise missiles, rapid-runway repair systems, offensive mines, and submarines optimized for defense of the Taiwan straits. With regards to training, we believe the military forces of Taiwan should be permitted to participate in bilateral training activities hosted by the United States that increase credible deterrent capabilities of Taiwan, particularly those that emphasize the defense of Taiwan Island from missile attack, maritime blockade, and amphibious invasion by the People’s Republic of China. Toward this end, we believe that Taiwan should be encouraged to participate in exercises that include realistic air-to-air combat training, including the exercise conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, commonly referred to as “Red Flag.”

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense carry out a program of exchanges of military officers between the United States and Taiwan designed to improve military-to-military relations between the United States and Taiwan. The officer exchanges should include field-grade officers, particularly officers with combat and specialized experience, and general officers, who can provide support to Taiwan to develop and improve its joint warfighting capabilities.

We also note that section 1259A of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 113-291) includes the recommendation on inviting Taiwan to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief portions of multilateral exercises.

 

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1264) authorizing the Department of Defense to conduct exchanges between senior military officers and senior officials focused on a variety of subjects between the United States and Taiwan designed to improve military-to-military relations between those two countries.
The House bill contained no similar provision.
The Senate recedes.
We note the matters addressed in the House provision are addressed elsewhere in the agreement.

 
Sources:
The November 5 reconciliations to the bill, along with the statement on Taiwan, start on page H8010 of the congressional record:
https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2015/11/05/house-section/article/H7747-5

Text of the final House version, with which the Senate concurred on November 10:
http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20151102/s1356_sus_xml.pdf


 

On May 15, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, which provides funding for the U.S. military) for fiscal year 2016. An amendment (#69, included as Section 1257) to the House NDAA bill (H.R. 1735) expressed support for Taiwan participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) – a large international naval exercise, held every two years off the coast of Hawaii – if China is also invited to participate.

 

Section 1257 of H.R. 1735

SEC. 1257. REQUIREMENT TO INVITE THE MILITARY FORCES OF TAIWAN TO PARTICIPATE IN RIMPAC EXERCISES.

(a) In General.–The Secretary of Defense shall invite the military forces of Taiwan to participate in any maritime exercise known as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise if the Secretary has invited the military forces of the People’s Republic of China to participate in such maritime exercise.
(b) Effective Date.–This section takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and applies with respect to any maritime exercise described in subsection (a) that begins on or after such date of enactment.

Source: Congress.gov

 


 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is deliberating its version of the NDAA, which as of May 26, 2015 includes two Taiwan-related initiatives. One is language that would give the Pentagon authority to train and equip “a variety of South China Sea states” for maritime security, and to provide funding to do so. Taiwan is one of several singled out for participation.

In addition, one section of the S. 1376 bill expresses the Senate’s support for “Taiwan Asymmetric Military Capabilities and Bilateral Training Activities

 

Section 1263 of S. 1376

SEC. 1263. SENSE OF SENATE ON TAIWAN ASYMMETRIC MILITARY CAPABILITIES AND BILATERAL TRAINING ACTIVITIES.

It is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) the United States, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96–8), should continue to make available to Taiwan such defense articles and services as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense;

(2) the United States should continue to support the efforts of Taiwan to integrate innovative and asymmetric measures to balance the growing military capabilities of the People’s Republic of China, including fast-attack craft, coastal-defense cruise missiles, rapid-runway repair systems, offensive mines, and submarines optimized for defense of the Taiwan straits;

(3) the military forces of Taiwan should be permitted to participate in bilateral training activities hosted by the United States that increase credible deterrent capabilities of Taiwan, particularly those that emphasize the defense of Taiwan Island from missile attack, maritime blockade, and amphibious invasion by the People’s Republic of China;

(4) toward that goal, Taiwan should be encouraged to participate in exercises that include realistic air-to-air combat training, including the exercise conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, commonly referred to as “Red Flag”; and

(5) Taiwan should also be encouraged to participate in advanced bilateral training for its ground forces, Apache attack helicopters, and P–3C surveillance aircraft in island-defense scenarios.

Source: Congress.gov

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US-Taiwan Business Council Lauds House Approval of Granger Amendment to the NDAA, Mandating Selling F-16C/Ds to Taiwan

The US–Taiwan Business Council today welcomed the vote in the House of Representatives approving Rep. Kay Granger’s amendment mandating selling no fewer than 66 F-16C/D multirole fighter aircraft to Taiwan. The Granger amendment was attached to H.R.4310, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013, and was included in a collection of non-controversial amendments that were packaged together and voted upon as a group.

“The bipartisan vote approving this amendment speaks to the tremendous support this sale enjoys in the House,” said Rupert Hammond-Chambers, President of the US-Taiwan Business Council. “The Taiwan Air Force is nearing an operational crisis point. Within five years more than half of Taiwan’s current fighter fleet will be retired, leaving fewer than 200 aircraft to defend the island. New F-16C/Ds would provide Taiwan – a strong and democratic ally – with the airframes they need to provide a credible deterrent to Chinese adventurism,” he said.

The House action comes on the heels of a White House letter to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), which recognized the urgency and severity of the burgeoning fighter gap between China and Taiwan. The letter stated that the Obama Administration is working on a near-term course of action to address the fighter shortfall, “including through the sale to Taiwan of an undetermined number of new U.S.-made fighter aircraft.” The Administration has resisted the sale of new fighter aircraft to Taiwan, driven by unsupported concerns over retaliatory responses by China.

Hammond-Chambers commented that “The recent acknowledgement by the White House that Taiwan needs new fighters is a welcome and positive development. The threat from China is real, and we have seen report after report describing Beijing’s massive military buildup across the Taiwan Strait. New aircraft will add to Taiwan’s sense of security, and will allow Taipei to negotiate with China from a position of strength. The next phase of cross-Strait dynamics will require sophisticated, flexible, focused, and determined U.S. engagement and support for Taiwan, and it is absolutely essential that the Administration take the necessary steps to notify the sale of new F-16C/Ds to Congress. It is time to approve this sale and move forward.”

The total U.S. economic impact associated with the F-16 sale is estimated to be just over $17 billion. At a time when America needs every job it can generate, selling new F-16C/Ds to Taiwan would be protecting more than 87,000 person-years of work. “That’s a real shot-in-the-arm to a critical part of our defense base,” Hammond-Chambers said. “In addition, it would serve to protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which is a core strategic interest of the United States. This is a ‘win-win’ for both Taiwan and the U.S.,” he added.

The NDAA has yet to be taken up by the United States Senate.

 

Press Note: US-Taiwan Business Council Lauds House Approval of Granger Amendment to the NDAA, Mandating Selling F-16C/Ds to Taiwan (PDF file)

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