President Joe Biden has made confronting Russia a major priority for his administration, with Fox News reporting last week that he has approved M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
However, some senior military figures say America’s biggest threat lies across the Pacific. According NBC News, one general recently suggested that a war with China could start by 2025.
“I hope I am wrong”
The network cited a memo sent out this past Friday by four-star Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan who serves as head of Air Mobility Command (AMC).
“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan wrote in the memo, which addressed America’s response to a potential invasion by China of neighboring Taiwan.
The general argued that such a conflict is likely given how both the United States and Taiwan are scheduled to have presidential elections in 2024, something which has the potential to “distract” both counties.
Among the goals that Minihan laid out was building a “fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.”
General calls for more aggressive training
He instructed AMC to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most,” adding, “Aim for the head.”
What’s more, Minihan advised all AMC personnel to update their personnel records as well as emergency contact information.
Specifically, he said that in March airmen should “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 also called for a more aggressive approach to training, saying, “Run deliberately, not recklessly,” stressing, “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”
Official says “comments are not representative” of DOD position
NBC News quoted a Department of Defense (DOD) as saying that Minihan’s “comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
Meanwhile, an AMC spokesperson confirmed to the network that the memo is genuine, stating, “This is an authentic internal memo from General Minihan addressed to his subordinate command teams.”
“His order builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Mobility Air Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail,” the spokesperson went on to add.
NBC News noted how during a press conference last month, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged that China has engaged in “some very provocative behavior” in the region.