During the Cold War, the CIA helped coordinate a series of clandestine stay-behind forces in Western European countries rooted in officers of the former fascist governments who would wage irregular warfare if the Soviet Union invaded or a communist movement came to power. Now, a top Pentagon nominee has suggested a similar program for Taiwan.
A nominee to the Pentagon has proposed in his confirmation hearing that the US should train Taiwanese troops on guerrilla fighting in case Chinese forces invade the autonomous island.
Christopher Maier, who was nominated by US President Joe Biden to be the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the Pentagon “should strongly consider” helping Taiwanese troops improve their ability to conduct irregular warfare.
Irregular warfare, or guerrilla war, can include anything from ambush tactics to terrorism and assassinations by soldiers able to blend into the civilian population. Maier suggesting employing the strategy in Taiwan seems to be a concession that China would readily destroy the Taiwanese government, since irregular war is nearly always waged by non-state actors against state militaries, and that the struggle would become one for the hearts and minds of the people of Taiwan.
Maier was very concerned about the possibility of a Chinese amphibious invasion. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has considerably expanded its…