The Rationale Behind US Military Aid for Taiwan

I was disturbed by the Opinion page article "Sale of Fighter Jets Harms US Credibility," Oct. 20. Contrary to the article, I strongly believe that United States credibility is not harmed or weakened by this sale but rather strengthened in view of the present situation in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a young and vital democracy in Asia - perhaps the strongest in the region. The sale of 150 F-16 fighter jets by the US will only bolster Taiwan's defense system, protecting it from the communist threat and helping to uphold the freedom of its people. Despite Taiwan's depot of arms, Chinese communists are still adding to their arsenal by purchasing 24 advanced SU-27 fighters from Russia. Furthermore, they have consistently denied Taiwan's request to renounce the use of force against it.

Under these circumstances the US, in fulfilling its duty and obligation to provide appropriate defensive weapons to Taiwan as stated in the Taiwan Relations Act, has no choice but to make sales to Taiwan for defense purposes. The balance of arms must be equalized across the Taiwan Strait. In turn, the show of strong support for a free people on Taiwan will increase US credibility as we once again commit ourselves to freedom around the world. Stephen Rabasco, Boston

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