Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, weighed in on the prediction from four-star Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, who warned his commanders to prepare for war with China in roughly two years’ time.
Minihan predicted that fighting will come after China takes advantage of the U.S. being preoccupied with the 2024 election to take action against Taiwan, which will be focused on their elections next year as well.
“I hope he’s wrong,” McCaul told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. “I think he’s right though, unfortunately.”
McCaul explained that China very much wants “reunification” of Taiwan with mainland China. He said that could come about through influencing the Taiwanese elections in early 2024.
“But if they don’t win in that one they are going to look at a military invasion, in my judgment. We have to be prepared for this.”
McCaul said “as long as Biden is in office projecting weakness,” there are “very high” odds of this happening. He cited the Biden administration’s failure with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he said led to Russia invading Ukraine.
Later in the program, House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., disagreed with McCaul and Minihan’s assessment of possible war with China.
“I want to be completely clear. It’s not only not inevitable, it’s highly unlikely,” he said.
Smith acknowledged that “anything is possible” and the military should be prepared, said “generals should be very cautious” with what they say and should not be telling the world that the U.S. is going to war with China, most importantly because we’re not.”
The Democrat said that while the U.S. must be able to deter China, he is “very confident” that a military conflict can be avoided.
NBC News reported Friday that Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, warned air wing commanders in a memo that his “gut” tells him a conflict with China is coming.
The general said “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain” needs to be established to prepare for the looming fight, and instructed commanders to report back by Feb. 28 on steps they will take to prepare for the war against China.