“My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.”
- Gen. Michael A. Minihan, Commander, Air Mobility Command
“China could be at war with the United States two years from now, a top Air Force general predicted in a bombastic and unusual memo to troops under his command, asserting a shorter timeline before potential conflict than other senior U.S. defense officials. Gen. Michael A. Minihan, who as head of Air Mobility Command oversees the service’s fleet of transport and refueling aircraft, warned personnel to speed their preparations for a potential conflict, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aspirations and the possibility that Americans will not be paying attention until it is too late.
“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan wrote. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.” Minihan then directs airmen who are qualified to use a weapon to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most” sometime in February. “Aim for the head.” – Washington Post (behind paywall)
glorytoukraine #supportukraine #armukrainenow #cancelrussia #putinisawarcriminal #usairforce #china
Minihan’s memo encourages the thousands of troops under his command to prepare for war in several other regards. All personnel reporting to him should “consider their personal affairs” and be more aggressive about training, he instructs.
“Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he writes. “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”
The memo, first reported Friday by NBC News, is dated Feb. 1 — which is still days away — and was distributed to Minihan’s subordinate commanders. An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Hope Cronin, verified its authenticity, writing in a statement shared with media after the memo began circulating on social media that Minihan’s order “builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Air Mobility Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail.”
A Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, said Friday that the U.S. national defense strategy makes clear “that China is the pacing challenge of the Department of Defense” and that U.S. officials are working with allies and partners to “preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific.”
A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that Minihan’s comments “are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
Before taking over at Air Mobility Command in 2021, Minihan served in a variety of influential roles in the Pacific beginning in 2013. They include a stint as the deputy commander of Indo-Pacific Command, with purview of China and Taiwan, from September 2019 to August 2021.
The general’s memo coincides with an effort by the Pentagon to reset 20 years of counterinsurgency wars in the Middle East and as the Biden administration continues to equip Ukraine with billions of dollars in security assistance as it strives to fight off a Russian invasion.
Senior U.S. officials have warned for some time that an ascendant China may launch an assault on Taiwan, which is governed independently. The Defense Department under President Biden and his predecessor, President Donald Trump, has declared China its primary long-term concern, citing Beijing’s rapid military expansion and assertive behavior in recent years.
But U.S. officials have offered mixed messages on whether and when China might attempt to take Taiwan. In 2021, Adm. Phil Davidson, then the chief of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, predicted Beijing could make such an attempt by 2027. That timeline has since been dubbed “the Davidson window” by some national security scholars.
The Navy’s top officer, Adm. Mike Gilday, said in October that his service needs to prepare for “a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window. I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean at all to be alarmist by saying that, it’s just that we can’t wish that away.”
In light of its concerns about China, the Pentagon has sought to expand military partnerships with willing partners throughout the Pacific. This month, the U.S. and Japanese governments disclosed that a Marine Corps unit on the Japanese island of Okinawa will be refashioned into a force capable of hopping islands in the region and directing long-range missiles at adversaries.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking Jan. 11 during a news conference alongside Japanese officials, said that the United States had observed some “very provocative behavior” from Chinese forces in an attempt to push international norms. But he also downplayed concerns that China may launch an assault on Taiwan any time soon.
“We’ve seen increased activity in aerial activity,” Austin said. “ … We’ve seen increased surface vessel activity around Taiwan. And again, we believe that they endeavor to establish a new normal, but whether or not that means that an invasion is imminent, I seriously doubt that.”
Minihan, who entered the Air Force as a C-130 pilot, has previously captured attention for his strident, colorful language.
In September, he said at a military conference outside Washington that the Air Force had caused the largest “pile of our nation’s enemy dead” within the U.S. military.
“Lethality matters most,” he added, according to Task & Purpose, a military publication. “When you can kill your enemy, every part of your life is better. Your food tastes better. Your marriage is stronger.”
So, the General is preparing to fight China to defend the interests of Taiwan, but not Russia in the defence of Ukraine. Even though the obligations of Budapest are in fact identical to those of Nato.
A bit odd isn’t it? Taiwan should be protected. But so should Ukraine.
I agree with you: I think it is not fair.
But I do think there are some differences: the safety of Ukraine is the responsibility of European countries and the U.S., while Taiwan basically only has the U.S. to rely on.
Also I do think that the economic consequences of a war against Taiwan are much bigger as the Taiwanese economy is several times bigger and includes tech companies the entire world relies on.
Without Taiwanese technology there are no iPhones or Nintendo’s to be made. The U.S. cannot produce ARM based chips itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is immoral to defend Taiwan and not Ukraine, but from a “national interest” perspective I can explain it. Also China has a much smaller nuclear arsenal than Russia is known to have: they can inflict a lot of damage but not end life.
Maybe I am a pessimist, but I do think a Chinese attack on Taiwan is imminent. I think it will happen for the same reason Russia invaded Ukraine: China is in big financial trouble, the people are unhappy and the economy is stagnating. So the Chinese will do what a lot of weak leaders in distress are doing: play the nationalism card and start a war. If there is an external enemy, this often distracts from internal struggles.
I don’t think China will win the war, but it will lead to a lot of casualties, extreme poverty in the entire world, shortages as many countries rely on Chinese goods. And it may have other spillovers: if China will wage a war, it cannot support North Korea so the Kim’s will face the same problem and will likely start a war against South Korea.
After seeing how weakly the collective West had reacted to mafia land’s aggression, and what a pussy we have in the WH and in other Western capital cities, the chinks rightly might think, if not now, when?
Our reactions are reminiscent of the Keystone Kops, and are nowhere even near to the achievements of the Allies in WWII.
Biden has already explicitly stated (which caused anger among the state department) that he will intervene militarily if China tries to invade Taiwan.
So I don’t think Biden is a problem here.
We don’t know who would succeed him and what the next person will do, but I do think the impact of a war on Taiwan is such disruptive the next POTUS would be forced to intervene as the economy will go south quickly if this happens.
That is my greatest argument against isolationism. You do not choose war, war chooses you.
“China could be at war with the United States two years from now, a top Air Force general predicted in a bombastic and unusual memo to troops under his command, asserting a shorter timeline before potential conflict than other senior U.S. defense officials.”
None of this would happen or have happened; this next war with China or the current war in Ukraine, if we had a strong president in the WH. A Ronald Reagan could do wonders for our and the world’s safety. Weakness breeds wars. It’s always been that way and even now, in the 21st century, it’s the same old story.
You mean the Reagan who arranged arms sales to a designated a State Sponsor of Terrorism (Iran) to create a slush fund to do things expressly prohibited by the US Congress? That Reagan?
Putin, Reagan and all the other politicians who can’t follow the law should just go f-off.
Laws exist for a reason and if they aren’t helpful, then get them changed.
If a republican congress wouldn’t give cash for aid to Ukraine (as they now threaten) then what …are you saying that selling more arms to Iran is needed today. Ok, whatever … Or what, we just sell to ISIS instead? North Korea? That we should just find an illegal way to raise cash for the support. That Reagan was “strong” for doing so?
I am against lawlessness. Sorry. And against military sales to designated State Sponsors of Terrorism. Sorry. Maybe you feel illegal actions that benefit terrorists is a good thing because you get something out of it, but I say the US can and should do better. Just sorry.
If congress won’t allocate money for Ukraine, the answer is to simply educate people as to why it is a critical need. The answer is not get arms into the hands of designated State Sponsors of Terrorism so you can have a slush fund. Sorry. Hello? Hello?
That wasn’t the Reagan administration’s most shining moment, true. But, I meant the Reagan, who vastly hastened the downfall and disintegration of the Soviet Union.
“Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe” – Mitt Romney
Reagan would be painted as out-of-touch for his position on assault weapons.
Hey, you can be right and lose …
It’s anyone’s guess how Reagan would handle this war. With him in the WH, however, I’m sure we’d be better off than what we now have in there.