- A US official confirmed Thursday that the nation is preparing to send 100-200 troops to Taiwan to expand an existing training program that has used members of the National Guard, Special Operations Units, and Marines.
- The deployed troops, increasing from 30 who were reportedly stationed in Taiwan a year ago, are expected to train the Taiwanese military to defend itself using both US weapons systems and combat tactics.
- As American soldiers head to Taiwan, the island nation will also reportedly be sending its troops to the Michigan National Guard training facility, known as Camp Grayling, to be included in annual exercises with multiple other countries.
- This comes amid growing tensions with Beijing, which maintains that Taiwan is Chinese territory. While Washington diplomatically acknowledges China's position, it remains strategically ambiguous on whether it would defend the island in the case of an invasion.
- According to officials, the increased troop numbers in Taiwan were planned before the US detected and shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this month. However, both that incident and the troop deployments are expected to further ratchet up tensions between Beijing and Washington.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Bloomberg. The time to increase support for Taiwan was yesterday. China's increasingly aggressive posturing and lack of communication with US military officials are concerning, and Washington — seeking to maintain peace in the Taiwan strait — is right to stand up to Beijing's hegemony.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by AntiWar. Every economic, political, and military move the US makes in the Asia-Pacific region is calculated toward the goal of dominating China and the world. The Pentagon doesn't deploy troops and establish military bases to "defend democracy" but rather to scare China into submission. By antagonizing the superpower of the East, the US is asking to go to war over nothing but greed.