A top Air Force general is urging his command to be ready for war with China in 2025.
In a memo to his staff, which was leaked, four-star Gen. Mike Minihan, who leads the Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025,” according to NBC.
Air Mobility Command is responsible for the transportation and refueling of Air Force assets.
Starting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Minihan said that politics in each nation plays a role in what he expects will be a march to conflict, according to The Washington Post.
“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,” he wrote.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said he will not disagree with Minihan.
“I hope he’s wrong. I think he’s right though, unfortunately,” he said on “Fox News Sunday,” according to Fox News.
McCaul said he thinks China will try to influence the Taiwanese elections in 2024.
“But if they don’t win in that one they are going to look at a military invasion, in my judgment. We have to be prepared for this,” he said.
McCaul said “as long as Biden is in office projecting weakness,” there are “very high” odds of war with China.
To prepare for war, Minihan told subordinates to prepare to create “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain,” NBC reported.
By way of preparation, the order says that next month, everyone under his command should “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.”
In a reminder of war’s dark side, he advised his personnel in March 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.”
Minihan said training needs to be serious.
“Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he wrote, adding, “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”
In one possible hint of a potential strategy, he wants units linked to the KC-135 planes used to refuel Air Force jets to prepare for “delivering 100 off-the-shelf size and type UAVs from a single aircraft.”
The Defense Department issued a statement saying Minihan’s memo and his words “are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
Other American military leaders have offered different time frames for when they believe war with China is likely.
In October, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said China’s commitment to absorb Taiwan will drive future actions, according to USNI News.
“It’s not just what President Xi says, but it’s how the Chinese behave and what they do. And what we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that they have delivered on every promise they’ve made earlier than they said they were going to deliver on it,” Gilday said.
Although former U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. Phil Davidson has invoked 2027 as the year when he thinks China will be ready to invade Taiwan, Gilday said China might not wait that long.
“When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind that has to be 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,” Gilday said in October.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.