Well into his second term, Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continues to face a number of challenges in ensuring Taiwan’s defense and national security. With less than three years remaining in his term, President Chen is seeking to consolidate control over the country’s national security and defense establishment, and implement an ambitious force modernization and defense reform program.
However, a number of obstacles stand in the way of the Chen Shui-bian Administration’s successful pursuit of its defense and national security agenda. Perhaps the most significant is the DPP’s inability to ensure passage of an extra-budgetary funding request for weapon systems that are considered central to Taiwan’s force modernization program.
This quarter’s defense and national security analysis examines the special budget issue in detail, including how the special budget issue has evolved, and the domestic political and economic environment that has for so long been preventing its passage.