A top congressional Republican on Sunday said he agrees with a memo by a four-star Air Force general that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years.
In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, wrote, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.”
Asked to weigh in on the prediction in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tx., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “I hope he’s wrong as well. I think he’s right, though, unfortunately.”
McCaul also accused the Biden administration of “projecting weakness” on the world stage and argued that there are “very high” odds of war with China because of it.”
Later on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., a ranking member of the House Armed Service Committee, pushed back on the prediction. Smith said that although “anything is possible,” he is “really worried when anyone starts talking about war with China being inevitable.”
“I want to be completely clear. It’s not only not inevitable, it’s highly unlikely,” Smith said, of the possibility of war with Beijing. “Generals need to be very cautious about saying we’re going to war.”
The Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling. The signed memo was addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders.
In his memo, Minihan instructed the officers he commands to get ready to prep by firing “a clip” at a target, and “aim for the head.” He said that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be “distracted,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.
Minihan outlined his goals for preparing, including building “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.”
The memo also orders all air wing comments to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb. 28.