The United States military is planning to send more troops to Taiwan amid concerns that China is planning an invasion of the country they have long asserted ownership over.
As the Russian war with Ukraine continues amid talks of a possible arms deal between Moscow and Beijing, some reports have claimed that China is hoping to move on Taiwan soon. This could explain why U.S. officials are looking into sending more troops abroad.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The U.S. plans to deploy between 100 and 200 troops to the island in the coming months, up from roughly 30 there a year ago, according to U.S. officials. The larger force will expand a training program the Pentagon has taken pains not to publicize as the U.S. works to provide Taipei with the capabilities it needs to defend itself without provoking Beijing.
The number of American troops, which has included special-operations forces and U.S. Marines, has fluctuated by a handful during the past few years, according to Defense Department data. The planned increase would be the largest deployment of forces in decades by the U.S. on Taiwan, as the two draw closer to counter China’s growing military power.
Beyond training on Taiwan, the Michigan National Guard is also training a contingent of the Taiwanese military, including during annual exercises with multiple countries at Camp Grayling in northern Michigan, according to people familiar with the training.
RedState reported that U.S. officials have anticipated the need to send more American troops to Taiwan for months, even before tensions brewed after an alleged spy balloon was seen flying through U.S. airspace.
According to some U.S. representatives, these actions seen by the government are too little and too late.
Rep. Gallagher: "I just got back from a four day trip to Taiwan. And I can tell you that the time to arm Taiwan to the teeth was yesterday." pic.twitter.com/UJzAxB6j9b
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) February 22, 2023
Some have expressed worries over what appears to be an increased level of disrespect towards the U.S. by Chinese officials. Former acting Trump National Security Advisor Keith Kellogg weighed in on the topic earlier this month, pointing to reports that the Chinese minister of defense intentionally ignored a call from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pertaining to the spy balloon fiasco.
As RedState noted, the incoming troops will be required to train Taiwan’s military on how to use various American weapons systems and tactical maneuvers. Such a mission plan suggests that U.S. intelligence believes a Chinese invasion of the country may be imminent.