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The United States will go to war with Communist China just two years from now, in 2025, an acting four-star general from the US Air Force has predicted as he moved to prepare the personnel under his command for the fight.
Gut Feeling and Presidential Votes
The prediction that America will fight the People’s Republic of China in 2025 came from a memo by Gen. Mike Minihan, head of the US Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC), obtained and reported by NBC News.
According to the general, what could be the world’s biggest war since the Second World War would erupt over China’s claiming of Taiwan, the self-ruling democratic island, which is an informal ally of the United States.
“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan wrote to the officers under his command, adding, “My gut tells me [we] will fight in 2025.”
Besides his gut feeling, though, the top-ranking US Air Force commander based his chilling prediction on the fact that in 2024, both the United States and Taiwan are set to hold presidential elections.
Taiwan will elect its new leader in early 2024, while the US presidential elections will be in November of that year.
Present-day Taiwan, officially calling itself “the Republic of China,” was established as a state in 1949, after the nationalists lost the Chinese Civil War to the communists led by Mao Zedong and fled to the island, which is slightly bigger than Maryland.
In the past few decades, Taiwan has become a highly prosperous free and democratic country of 23 million people – even as it hasn’t formally declared its independence from Beijing.
The Communist regime of mainland China, however, has been claiming Taiwan as one of its provinces.
China’s current leader, President Xi Jinping, has built up the country’s military and adopted a more aggressive foreign policy. He has vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with the “motherland,” even if the Chinese People’s Liberation Army may have to take it by force.
While Communist China routinely sends its fighter jets and warships close to Taiwan, observers believe Xi may be rethinking his idea to storm the island because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s failed invasion of Ukraine.
In particular, the Chinese leadership seems to have been surprised by the vast amounts of US and other Western military aid to the Ukrainians.
For decades now, since the 1972 rapprochement with Communist China under President Richard Nixon, the United States has been maintaining the so-called policy of “strategic ambiguity” designed to leave the PRC “guessing” where America would come to Taiwan’s aid directly in case of an invasion.
In some diplomatic blunders, however, Democrat President Joe Biden has said three times that the US is obliged to defend Taiwan, a notion that the White House usually quickly backpedals after his gaffes.
Ensuring America Wins at ‘the First Island Chain’
According to four-star Gen. Mike Minihan, however, China’s leader Xi will most probably use a window of opportunity to try to capture Taiwan in 2025.
The Air Mobility Command of the US Air Force, which he is in charge of, provides transport and refueling and has about 500 planes and 50,000 service members.
In the memo he sent to his subordinates last Friday, Minihan instructs them to set up a Joint Force Maneuver Team, which will be “fortified, ready, integrated, and agile.”
That is supposed to make sure that the US military will be able to fight China and win the war “inside the first island chain,” a reference to the Pacific islands located the closest to the Chinese mainland.
The second and third island chains already include US territories and states such as Guam and Hawaii.
In his memo, Gen. Minihan orders his officers to report back to him by February 28 on all of their efforts to prepare for a war with China.
“Aim for the head,” the commander wrote as he instructed the AMC personnel to train in February by “firing a clip” in seven-meter targets and to be aware “unrepentant lethality matters most.”
Minihan also directed the Air Mobility Command to dedicate March to legal affairs to get “legally ready and prepared.”
“Run deliberately, not recklessly,” the commander writes, as he tells his subordinates to take more risks with the approaches to their training.
Pentagon Doesn’t Share Candid War Forecast
In a statement after the leak, a spokesperson for the AMC confirmed the memo was authentic.
However, a US Defense Department official reacted by stating that Gen. Minihan’s comments were “not representative” of the way the Pentagon saw China.
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, also quoted the US National Defense Strategy declaring China “the pacing challenge” for the US.
Speaking before the US Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2021, Navy Admiral Philip Davidson, who commanded the US Indo-Pacific Command at the time, said there was a “manifest threat” that China would target Taiwan over the “next six years.”
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared China and its military were engaging in “very provocative behavior.”
Yet, he also said he “seriously doubt[ed]” that an invasion of Taiwan was “imminent.”
It’s Because ‘Biden Is Projecting Weakness’
While the Pentagon has sought to calm down spirits over Gen. Mike Minihan’s “war with China” prediction, US Rep. Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has agreed with the Air Force commander’s assessment.
Speaking on Fox News, McCaul, however, blamed the high likelihood of a war with China on what he described as President Joe Biden’s “projection of weakness.”
The House Republican predicted that Communist China would go ahead with its “reunification” plans for Taiwan if it failed to influence the 2024 Taiwanese presidential election to get a pro-Beijing candidate voted into office.
McCaul stated that Biden’s loss in the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan was the factor that led Russian leader Putin to decide to attack Ukraine, and the same “weakness projection” could incentivize Xi to stage a military invasion of Taiwan.