As the United States’ commitment to defending Taiwan is questioned amid Chinese threats of invasion, once unimaginable proposals are being debated in the American military — including the return of U.S. forces to Taiwan.

While U.S. forces withdrew from Taiwan after Washington formalized diplomatic ties with Beijing in 1979, a new proposal to re-establish the United States’ first permanent ground forces is stirring controversy.

The proposal, which was published in an essay in the September-October edition of the U.S. Army Military Review, a professional journal of the army, contends that to effectively deter an increasingly capable Chinese military from an attack on Taiwan, the United States “needs to posture its forces in a way that would inevitably trigger a larger conflict and make plain its commitment to Taiwanese defense.”