A Pentagon employee who is under investigation for writing op-eds for Chinese state media wrote an open letter to President Biden warning against leading the US into a “major war” with China over Taiwan.
Franz Gayl, a former Marine who now advises the Marines Corps as a civilian, wrote two op-eds for China’s Global Times that warned US policy towards Taiwan could lead to a catastrophic war with China. Gayl refused compensation for the pieces, but for doing so, he is now under investigation and lost his security clearance.
The idea of writing for Global Times was to get the attention of Pentagon leaders. “I knew it would get everybody’s attention. And man, it did,” Gayl told The Washington Post. Although he may lose his job over it, Gayl says he has no regrets. “If we don’t talk about this now, we are going to sleepwalk into this conflict,” he said.
Gayl had previously landed in hot water for blowing the whistle on the Marines Corps for delaying the delivery of blast-resistant vehicles to Iraq despite a large number of US casualties due to IEDs. In 2007, Wired published a story on the delay based on a document leaked by Gayl.
In his letter to President Biden, Gayl warned the president that the US “at risk of entangling America in a major war with China over the status of the island of Taiwan.” Gayl said, “If by accident or design the Chinese civil war reignites and threatens to escalate” that the US should “refrain from militarily intervening.”
Gayl told Newsweek that he believes US policy towards Taiwan since 1979 has put Washington “on a path to eventual war with China.” Since 1979, the US has not recognized Taiwan as a country but has continued to supply Taipei with weapons. In recent years, the US has taken steps to strengthen diplomatic relations with Taiwan, angering Beijing and increasing the chance of a conflict.