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War With China Could Come As Soon As 2025

Above photo: Air Force Gen. Michael A. Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command, warned troops in a memo that a war with China is possible in 2025. Isaac Olivera/375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.

Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan struck a Dr. Strangelove pose in urging the troops under his command to be ready to fight China in two years.

Aim for the head.” This is the message blasted out by four star Air Force general and Air Mobility Command head General Michael A. Minihan about the preparation needed for a potential war between the US and China in two years.

Gen. Minihan’s rhetoric is reminiscent of his keynote speech at the Air & Space Forces Association’s Air Space & Cyber Conference in September. In that address, Minihan expresses his aggressive mentality stating, “Lethality matters most…When you can kill your enemy, every part of your life is better. Your food tastes better. Your marriage is stronger.”

A memo obtained by NBC News spells out the general’s ambitions for the coming months as the rhetoric and action surrounding the Pacific theater heightens by the day.

The general’s memo leaves no doubt regarding his sense of what is to come in the near future. From training orders emphasizing “unrepentant lethality matters most,” to explicit preparation directions, Minihan assumes the worst lies ahead.

“I hope I am wrong…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 wrote.

According to the NBC News report, Minihan has also begun setting deadlines for preparation efforts. “The signed memo is addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and orders them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb. 28,” the report reads.

A Washington Post report confirms the authenticity of the memo, dated Feb. 1, after its circulation online. Maj. Hope Cronin, an Air Force spokeswoman, writes in a statement 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.”

Both reports also mention that an anonymous U.S. defense official declared that Minihan’s remarks “are not representative of the department’s view on China.”

Despite asserting this, recent U.S. foreign policy decisions point towards Minihan’s prediction of escalation, the biggest being former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August—called “utterly reckless” by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman—and new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s planned follow up trip.

ScheerPost’s Patrick Lawrence detailed developments in Japan, with their increased defense spending and closeness to Washington: “It could not be clearer that Tokyo has just elected to stand with Washington in the latter’s campaign of hostility and provocation against the Chinese People’s Republic.”

The Post’s report states, “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.”

The House’s new Select Committee on China’s chairman Mike Gallagher issued a statement reading, “It is time to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in bipartisan fashion.” Gallagher also pushes the arming of Taiwan and echoes Minihan’s predictions of a hot war in the near future.

In Minihan’s speech, he alluded to the preparation he deems necessary for a fight with China: “Everybody’s role is critical, but Air Mobility Command is the maneuver for the joint force. If we don’t have our act together, nobody wins. Nobody’s lethal. Nobody’s in position.”

He goes on in his speech saying, “I’m untethered as of now…I do have something to say. I can’t see the clock, I’m going to go ‘till I go. I’m finally that rank.”

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