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US Special Forces Simulate Taiwan Defense Against China for First Time

The US Special Operations Command (USASOC) has conducted its first simulation of Taiwan’s defense against a potential Chinese invasion.

The training was part of this year’s capabilities exercise, which included USASOC’s simulated insertion into Taipei to defend against Beijing’s forces, according to a report by

During the drill, American forces landed several CH-47 Chinook helicopters on a concrete structure that resembled a potential landing zone on the island nation.

Soldiers then infiltrated the area and fired Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles, simulating tactics employed during the Global War on Terror.

They also breached tunnels and operated Switchblade kamikaze drones at a training site in North Carolina.

Additionally, the troops practiced capture evasion, responded to information warfare, and addressed “gray zone” tactics employed by China.

“Staying competitive without escalating to a crisis or direct conflict is a nuanced game of shadows in the gray zone — one that requires a balance that USASOC is trying to maintain,” USASOC commander Lieutenant General Jonathan Braga told the outlet.

‘A True Pacing Challenge’

The USASOC’s simulation comes as China ramps up its military activities around the self-governing nation.

Beijing continues to view Taipei as part of its territory that should be reunited “by force, if necessary.”

Braga said that China’s People’s Liberation Army remains a “true pacing challenge” for Washington’s national defense strategy, and American forces must be much more prepared.

Apart from simulating insertion into Taiwan’s territory, the soldiers demonstrated intermediate to advanced command of Mandarin to gain a critical advantage on the battlefield.

They also tapped the help of civilians to play the role of Taiwanese residents firing at enemy positions during the simulated conflict.

The USASOC said civilians would be trained to fight Chinese forces in the event of an actual invasion.

US soldiers Taiwan
US soldiers take positions during a simulation of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Photo: US Army

A Game of Simulations

Last month, China launched simulated strikes on Taiwan in response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Chinese fighter jets and warships encircled the island nation before firing a barrage of missiles.

Taiwan also announced that it would practice intercepting warships and combating a Chinese blockade during an annual war game simulation in July.

It vows to incorporate lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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