Senior US general warns of possible war with China

Photo; Reuters

The head of the US Air Mobility Command, General Mike Minihan, has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and called on his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year.

In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, the senior, four-star US Air Force general said the main goal should be to deter “and if required, defeat” China, AFP reported.

“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan said.

He said Taiwan’s presidential elections next year would offer Chinese President Xi Jinping 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 said.

The memorandum also calls on all Mobile Command personnel to go to the firing range, “fire a clip” into a target and “aim for the head.”

A Pentagon spokesperson meanwhile told AFP the memo was “factual”.

This comes after US officials warned recently that China appears to be speeding up its timeframe to seize control of Taiwan, a self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing.

AFP reported that while the United States switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 it sold weapons to Taiwan for self-defense.

A growing number of US lawmakers have called for ramping up assistance, including sending direct military aid to Taiwan, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscores the need for early preparation.