According to an anonymous US intelligence official, the plan has been in the works for the last 6 months.
Sources have revealed to The Messenger that the United States government may be hashing up an evacuation plan for Americans in Taiwan.
According to an anonymous US intelligence official, the plan has been in the works for the last 6 months and has “heated up over the past two months or so,” due to high tensions recently.
“It’s nothing you wouldn’t read in the news,” the source explained. “Forces building up. China aligning with Russia on Ukraine.”
In April, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister revealed that Taipei is preparing for a conflict with China in 2027.
The US administration has not publicly disclosed the plans and the request for comment was turned down by the State Department. Pentagon Spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners would not comment directly on the matter, but he did divulge that the US does not see a possible conflict as “imminent or inevitable.”
According to the sources, the plan has been kept quiet due to it being a sensitive spot for the government of Taiwan.
A former State Department official divulged that even “prudent planning” could have some people thinking something may be going on.
Over 80,000 Americans lived in Taiwan in 2019. Mark Cancian, a senior counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, assisted in the evacuation of Americans from Saigon in 1975. He noted that they are merely backup measures. “The fact that the U.S. is doing this doesn’t mean that they expect there will be a war. It’s only a statement that there could be a war.”
If evacuations are required, hundreds of thousands of additional foreigners in Taiwan – as well as Taiwanese people – are likely to be on primary routes between any two sites, not including the hilly island’s numerous tunnels.
As per General State Department guidance, individuals overseas are urged to use commercial transit to flee ahead of a crisis, although this is not always viable – especially in the case of a surprise attack. “Once the shooting starts it’s very, very difficult,” explained Mark Cancian, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has run Taiwan war games and was involved in the 1975 evacuation of Americans from Saigon.
In Taiwan, the principal airports are on the island’s west coast, which faces China and might be attacked in the event of an invasion.
“Imagine a D-Day invasion and then a third country – Switzerland or something like that – wants to send a cruise ship through the U.S. fleet to Normandy to pick up its citizens,” Cancian explained.
As a last option, the US military was conscripted to assist in some of the most horrific evacuations in US history, such as Saigon in 1975 and Kabul in 2021. The current US deployment in Taiwan is restricted to about 200 troops, with those causing enough tension with China already.
According to John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA and practitioner in residence at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, identifying Americans on the island is a fundamental stage in the evacuation process in Taiwan.
“One thing they might do, I would do, is I would be finding a way to tell Americans there to register in this database,” McLaughlin told The Messenger, referring to the State Department’s registry for American citizens living abroad.
Recently, the American Institute of Taiwan may have attempted to do so. Following the earthquakes in Turkey, it released a warning on its website under the banner “Preparing Now for Disasters,” telling residents that Taiwan is in a “region prone to disasters” and encouraged them to enroll in the registration and have “go-bags” and personal papers available.
State and Defense Department planners are also in charge of determining potential meeting sites, evacuation routes, and means of transportation for a variety of emergencies.
McLaughlin explained that “you need to anticipate how many aircraft you’re going to need, what rate they’re going to have to be prepared to go in and out, and who’s in charge of that. And then there’s internal transportation, how to get people to the airports and get out.”
Other governments like Indonesia and the Philippines have reportedly already drawn up evacuation plans. In addition, Japan and Taiwan began discussions last year on an evacuation plan for citizens.
The US government may assist in the evacuation of American citizens, although such assistance is not guaranteed. The Biden administration has been criticized for failing to provide adequate assistance to Americans, most notably in Sudan, where serious conflict began in April. The US first stated that it would not undertake an evacuation since only a small number of individuals had requested one; however, the administration eventually modified its position and organized multiple convoys out of Khartoum.
In Afghanistan, hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the US were left behind in the closing days of the evacuation from Kabul.
“The tension is that the U.S. government wouldn’t want to pull personnel out too soon because that would signal lack of confidence,” McLaughlin said. “But they wouldn’t want to wait too late because then they wouldn’t be able to get everyone out.”
Last week, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said the United States and Canada are destabilizing the South China Sea region and are deliberately inciting risks and provocations.
The PLA’s statements come after a Chinese warship was around 130 meters away from hitting the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon during a joint mission of the US and Canadian Navy that were sailing through the Taiwan Strait.
The Chinese army will always maintain high alert levels and carry out the necessary measures to resolutely respond to all threats and protect national sovereignty, security, and peace and stability in the region, a PLA spokesperson warned.
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/September 22, 2023
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/September 21, 2023