Green Berets “permanently” stationed in Taiwan near China’s mainland coast

Taiwan Strait map
Green Berets are now permanently stationed on Quemoy, within sight of the Chinese mainland coast..

By Chris Fry

On May 6, 2016, the New York Times published an obituary for Donald W. Duncan, a former Green Beret master sergeant and later an outspoken critic of the U.S. war against Vietnam. Duncan wrote articles and a memoir, and spoke at many anti-war rallies.

The Green Berets, a “special operation” military unit, was first sent into Vietnam in 1957, not long after Ho Chi Minh and the liberation forces drove the French colonial forces out of Indochina. They were tasked with training soldiers for the newly formed U.S.-created “South” Vietnam puppet regime.

Duncan told the radical journal Ramparts about his special forces training, which “…included ‘methods of torture to extract information,’ including ‘the delicate operation of lowering a man’s testicles into a jeweler’s vise.’ He said he later witnessed the use of such techniques in Vietnam.”

Mr. Duncan also testified that year [1967] at an unofficial “war crimes tribunal” organized by the philosopher Bertrand Russell in Denmark, and at a South Carolina court-martial, where he spoke in defense of Capt. Howard R. Levy, a Green Beret who had also turned against the war. Captain Levy was convicted of disobeying orders and attempting to incite disloyalty, and eventually served 26 months in prison.

Duncan testimony about the military and the war industry is just as true now as it was then:

 I also know that we have allowed the creation of a military monster that will lie to our elected officials, and that both of them will lie to the American people.

After the U.S. was driven out of Vietnam in 1973, the Green Berets were sent by president Ronald Reagan to guide the secret illegal war to support the “Contras” in Nicaragua and their murderous campaign against the Sandinista government. The contras were responsible for killing thousands of civilians, including many members of the clergy.

In 2001, the Green Berets were the first shock troops sent into Afghanistan when the U.S. began its 20-year occupation of that country, and in 2003 they were then sent into Iraq to overturn the government there, resulting in the deaths of more than 300,000 people, mostly civilians.

Biden sends Green Berets to Taiwan to set up “live fire” exercises.

On March 20, Newsweek reported that:

“Taiwan has confirmed there are U.S. troops stationed on its islands in the Taiwan Strait on a permanent basis, including an island just over a mile off China’s southeast coast.

“The [U.S.] National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2023 paved the way for their arrival to conduct training programs for troops on Taiwan’s front line.”

The Green Berets are now permanently stationed on Quemoy, also called Kinmen, within sight of the Chinese mainland coast, as well as Penghu, some 70 miles away.


Of course, “training” is actually down the list of duties for these soldiers. More importantly, they act as a “tripwire” for U.S. imperialism as it attempts to provoke China into open war.

The South China Morning Post reported that Taiwan’s quasi regime will conduct 20 days of “live fire drills” on Quemoy, which the Pentagon says the Green Berets will participate in:

A military source said various guns and cannons, including M60A3 main battle tanks, 20mm cannons, 120mm mortars, and high-explosive 155mm and 105mm Howitzers, will be used during the exercises that will simulate defending against attacks from the People’s Liberation Army.

On March 7, the Eurasian Times website reported that Taiwan and the U.S. will test the Israeli-made Spyder air defense missile system as it makes its debut during these “fire drills.”

An opinion piece by Alex Lo in the South China Morning Post on March 19 puts this all into perspective:

Now imagine how Washington would react if China had permanently stationed some of its most elite troops a couple of kilometers from Hawaii, Guam or worse, the continental United States. The Pentagon would probably deploy more than a few coastguard vessels as a response.

Taiwan residents are not eager to be Washington’s proxies in war with the PRC.

The Global Affairs website published a March 2022 article about two polls conducted in Taiwan with questions about how willing the residents were to fight off an invasion by mainland China.

The article stated that the results differed sharply depending on who sponsored the poll, whether it was by the ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or a more non-aligned conductor:

One organization’s [DPP] poll had 62 percent of respondents say yes and 27 percent say no, while the other survey, with a slight difference in its wording asking whether “you or your family” would be willing to fight, found only 40 percent said yes and 51 percent said no. 

In January of this year, elections were held in Taiwan. The DPP candidate won the presidency with only 40 percent of the vote, while the combined opposition vote was close to 60 percent. The opposition parties also took control of Taiwan’s “legislature.”

The aptly-named Institute for the Study of War, whose board is made up of retired Pentagon generals, former neo-con officials, and Wall Street bankers and hedge fund operators, published a March 22 “China-Taiwan Weekly Update.”

While Washington frequently boasts that Taiwan is “democratic,” this article complains that the DPP war preparations are being hampered by the opposition parties in the legislature:

The Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) are pursuing political reforms that threaten to undermine the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) governance by expanding legislative oversight of the executive branch. 

The opposition’s plan to impose checks and balances on the DPP could significantly hamper the government’s ability to pass policy by miring it in defensive actions against accusations of overstepping authority or corruption.

For these well-heeled gentlemen, imperialist war to crush socialist China is far too important to be stopped by the people that would bear the consequences of it, whether in Taiwan, mainland China, or the U.S..

Meanwhile, on April 1, former Taiwan “president” Ma Ying-jeou traveled from Taiwan to mainland China for an 11-day trip. He is expected to meet with PRC President Xi Jinping.

“This is a trip of peace as well as of friendship,” Ma told reporters in brief remarks at the airport in Taiwan before flying to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

Ma added that he hoped to convey a message that Taiwan’s people love peace and hope to avoid war.

As U.S. imperialism faces setback after setback in its proxy wars in Ukraine, in Gaza, and in Yemen, as it faces more and more opposition in the streets here and abroad for its devastating drumbeat for war while fundamental people’s rights are under attack, the anti-war movement must be vigilant and ready to mobilize against this threat to People’s China!

There is one China!

Taiwan belongs to all the Chinese people!

U.S., hands off Taiwan! Remove the Green Berets now!


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