A four-star Air Force General on Friday predicted in a memo to his officers that the U.S. will be at war with China by 2025 and advised his commanders to prepare, a report by NBC News said.
Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, in a memo to all air wing commanders and other Air Force operational commanders said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me [we] will fight in 2025.”
Minihan said he believes war with China is imminent in the next two years due to the upcoming 2024 elections in the U.S. and Taiwan, which he claimed will “distract” Washington and Taipei and enable China to make a move on the island.
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, fighter jets of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conduct a joint combat training exercises around the Taiwan Island on Aug. 7, 2022. (Gong Yulong/Xinhua via AP)
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The general said a “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain” needs to be established to prepare for the looming fight.
Minihan directed his Air Force commanders to report back by Feb. 28 on steps they will take to prepare for the war against China.
He also said all personnel should ensure their records and emergency contact information are up-to-date and to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”
The general reportedly urged his fighting forces to “run deliberately, not recklessly,” but said they need to accept some risk in training.
F-35C stealth jet sits on deck of USS Carl Vinson in the Western Pacific, south of Japan. (Reuters/Tim Kelly)
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“If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk,” he added.
A defense official told Fox News Digital Saturday that Minihan’s remarks “are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
DOD press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a statement that U.S.’s “National Defense Strategy makes clear that China is the pacing challenge for the Department of Defense and our focus remains on working alongside allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Top defense officials have repeatedly warned that China’s long-term aim is to reunify Taiwan with mainland China and Beijing has ramped up its aggressive posture in the region in recent years.
In this photo released Dec. 31, 2021, by Xinhua News Agency, an undated photo shows a carrier-based J-15 fighter jet preparing to land on the Chinese navy’s Liaoning aircraft-carrier during open-sea combat training. (Hu Shanmin/Xinhua via AP)
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President Biden said last year that he would respond to an invasion of Taiwan by deploying U.S. forces, unlike the war in Ukraine.
But Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters earlier this month that he “seriously doubt[s]” an invasion of Taiwan and subsequent war with China is “imminent.”