During the past quarter, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s ability to take the initiative in the legislative and policy arenas has been undermined by growing political turmoil. While Taiwan’s defense establishment has tried to retain a policy-oriented focus, the national security community has also been visibly impacted by fallout from a number of alleged political scandals.
Meanwhile, continued gridlock in the Legislative Yuan has exacerbated U.S. misgivings about Taiwan’s willingness to tangibly contribute to its own national security. These developments have the potential to derail progress in U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation, a relationship that has taken decades to cultivate.
This quarter’s defense and national security analysis examines the political dynamics that seem to define the limits of current prospects for several of Taiwan’s key defense efforts. This report will also discuss defense policy issues and defense budget and procurement developments, and will offer a review of current U.S.-Taiwan defense relations.