A four-star Air Force general has told his officers to prepare for war with China within two years — instructing them to drill service members “with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most.”
“I hope I am wrong,” Mike Minihan, head of the 50,000-member Air Mobility Command, wrote in the chilling Friday memo, NBC News reported. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.”
The Department of Defense sought to downplay the memo. “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China,” a spokesperson said.
But Minihan, a 32-year Air Force veteran based at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, laid out his premise in terms of geopolitical logic, as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to mount.
“[Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022,” the general wrote. “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 concluded.
He directed all personnel of the AMC — the Air Force’s main mobility, evacuation, and refueling arm — to focus on target practice in February: “Fire a clip into a 7-meter target … Aim for the head.”
He also ordered them to “consider their personal affairs and … ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”
The Chinese military has made almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s airspace and waters in recent weeks, as Beijing continues to assert its control over the independent democracy that broke away from China in 1949.