United States Bolsters Training of Taiwanese Military By Using National Guard 

According to a report published by Nikkei Asia on January 19, 2023, the United States expanded its training programs with the Taiwanese military. This includes a program that involves the US National Guard.

One source informed Nikkei that the training commenced prior to spring 2022.

Back in May 2022, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced Taiwan’s plans to cooperate with the National Guard while hosting Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth in Taipei.

“The US Department of Defense is now proactively planning cooperation between the US National Guard and Taiwan’s defense forces,” Tsai announced. “We look forward to closer and deeper Taiwan-US cooperation on matters of regional security.”

The report noted that the training started prior to Tsai’s announcement during Duckworth’s visit. Since the training was kicked off, the National Guard trained Taiwanese military units in both Taiwan and inside the US.

Dave DeCamp of Antiwar.com noted that “National Guard training overseas typically involves a unit from a single state, but the report said the training in Taiwan involves units from multiple US states, including Hawaii.”  The US and Taiwan generally keep their military cooperation under wraps due to the sensitive status of Taiwan’s sovereignty, which the mainland Chinese government considers to be a rogue breakaway province.  A Pentagon spokesman did not offer to comment on the training of the National Guard.

“We don’t have a comment on specific operations, engagements or training, but I would highlight that our support for, and defense relationship with, Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” the Pentagon said to Nikkei.

This National Guard program is just the latest in the US’s efforts to tighten military cooperation with Taiwan. DeCamp noted that back in October 2021, a US special operations unit and group of Marines were in Taiwan and had been training Taiwan’s military for at least a year. Later on, Tsai later confirmed this development. This would be the first time a Taiwanese leader publicly announced a US military presence in Taiwan since the US broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 in order to comply with the “one China” policy. 

China is growing increasingly infuriated with the US’s pro-Taiwanese policies, which views it as an attack on the one-China policy. The recently passed 2023 National Defense Authorization Act features measures to boost US and Taiwanese military cooperation even further. 

Although the US and its partners in the Collective West are bogged down with their proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, the national security state’s next big target is China. Once the “pivot to Asia” is fully realized, a US vs. China confrontation is inevitable. 

In an ideal world, Taiwan would function as a sovereign jurisdiction. However, we live in the cold world of geopolitical realism. As China grows stronger economically and militarily, it will try to assert itself in its traditional sphere of influence, which includes Taiwan. 

Indeed, the US should restrict immigration from China and decouple trade with it. However, pursuing a military conflict with it is a bridge too far. The America First approach of restricting mass migration and bringing back manufacturing to the US will be the best way to tackle the pressing China problem.

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