Hence, the danger of the current political moment: America’s partisan enmity has become so intense that any result in November will be contested; a country embroiled in a succession crisis is much less likely to intervene in a high-end great-power conflict. There may never be a better moment for China to strike than the week of Nov. 3.
Little can be done to reduce tempers in the current presidential race. But the U.S. possesses the ability to act and diminish the chance of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait — and appears ready to do so. On Wednesday, U.S. media began reporting that the United States will announce the sale of $7 billion worth of cruise missiles, mines and MQ-9 Reaper drones to Taiwan, exactly the weapons needed to help deter a Chinese blockade or invasion. This is wise policy aimed at discouraging China’s growing regional aggression, for which the administration deserves credit.
Seth Cropsey is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of its Center for American Seapower. He served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. Harry Halem, a research assistant at Hudson Institute, contributed to this column.