(TibetanReview.net, Jan29’23) – A four-star US air force general has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 – most likely over Taiwan – and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year, reported the AP Jan 28. His fears appear to echo Chinese President Xi Jinping’s repeated calls on his armed forces in recent years to be battle-ready.
The report said that in an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Jan 27, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, the head of the Air Mobility Command, General Mike Minihan, had said the main goal should be to deter “and, if required, defeat” China.
“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan has said.
Minihan’s Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling, noted the nbcnews.com Jan 28.
The report said the signed memo was addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and ordered them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb 28.
He has said Taiwan’s presidential elections next year would offer Xi an excuse for military aggression, while the United States would be distracted by its own contest for the White House.
“Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025,” he has added.
The AP report also cited senior US officials as saying in recent months that China appeared to be speeding up its time frame to seize control of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing.
The straitstimes.com Jan28 also noted that a growing number of US lawmakers had called for ramping up help, including sending direct military aid to Taiwan, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscored the need for early preparation.