Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, Christopher Maier, if confirmed is sure to get the attention of Beijing given his words this week to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Taiwan. The man who is also head of the Department of Defense’s Defeat-ISIS Task Force urged Congressional leaders in a Thursday briefing to establish a program for US special forces to train local troops in Taiwan toward deterring a possible “Chinese invasion”.
As the official tapped to oversee all US special forces he’s pushing an irregular warfare Vietnam-style preparedness scenario in Taiwan, which China claims as its own. “I do think that is something that we should be considering strongly as we think about competition across the span of different capabilities we can apply, [special operations forces] being a key contributor to that,” Maier told Senators.
He described that Taiwanese forces must be prepared to defend against an “amphibious landing” by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“I think [we could build] on some of the areas that they may not be thinking of … If there is a Chinese military advance, there could be some opportunities for resistance networks or other capabilities that we would leave behind against a potential enemy amphibious landing,” he said.
According to a summary of his remarks by Military.com, he described further:
Maier said that special operators could help Taiwanese troops hone their skills, and mentioned resistance networks and counteracting potential enemy amphibious landings as examples.
Information operations is a key area where special operators can help conventional forces deter Chinese aggression, he said. Improving how U.S. special forces conduct information operations will be one of his top priorities, he added.
But there’s no doubt that any significant US special forces presence on Taiwan would itself be a severe enough red line to trigger war with China, thus the very action that Maier’s proposal is aimed to deter would likely fast become reality for any such training program could get off the ground.
Days ago Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu in a PBS Newshour interview warned that China is “preparing for war” against Taiwan, and further affirmed that the increasing PLA war drills will soon slide into a real conflict situation
“I think Beijing has been preparing for war against Taiwan, and that is what we have been seeing. They are preparing for it,” Wu said. “If you look at the number of sorties, it’s around 2,900 times last year. So, the threat has been increasing. And when we examine in a closer way, the Chinese sometimes even cross the middle line of the Taiwan Strait.”