Gen. Michael A. Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command (AMC), wrote a memo that has generated enormous interest and controversy around the world. The memo informed AMC personnel that it was his belief that war with China was coming no later than 2025 and that preparations should begin immediately.
“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. [Chinese President Xi Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022,” Minihan 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. We spent 2022 setting the foundation for victory. We will spend 2023 in crisp operational motion building on that foundation.”
“Go faster. Drive readiness, integration, and agility for ourselves and the Joint Force to deter, and if required, defeat China,” he continued. “This is the first of 8 monthly directives from me. You need to know I alone own the pen on these orders. My expectations are high, and these orders are not up for negotiation. Follow them. I will be tough, fair, and loving in my approach to secure victory.”
Nothing Minihan says in that memo is factually incorrect. But China won’t be ready to win a war against the U.S. until the end of this decade when its ambitious naval buildup will be complete.
Minhan’s memo drew a sharp rebuke from the Chinese Communists. China Daily is the official press organ of the Chinese government.
The world is full of obvious things that many choose not to observe. Such as the fact that, despite all its cries of alarm about this or that country being a threat to peace and stability, it is the United States that is the most gung ho and habitual destroyer of both.
This has been once again laid bare by the reckless talk from Washington of a coming “war” between China and the United States over Taiwan.
According to reports, Michael McCaul, the new chairman of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Sunday that the odds of a conflict with China over Taiwan “are very high”. His remarks came two days after a rabidly bloodlusting memo by US Air Force General Mike Minihan was made public. In it, Minihan said he believed that the US would fight a war with China in the next two years, directing all troops under his command to undertake firing practice “with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.”
“I hope he’s wrong as well, but I think he’s right, though, unfortunately,” Rep. McCaul (R-Texas) said referring to Minihan’s memo.
Meanwhile, Taiwan hasn’t been standing still. It’s in the midst of its own military buildup, and Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng says that the island nation has begun to reform its antiquated conscription program.
Chiu said he respected the opinions of international experts and that there is a basis for their arguments. He emphasized that Taiwan’s military is always ready for combat, Liberty Times reported.
“It is possible to have no war for a hundred years, but it is impossible to be militarily unprepared for a day,” he said.
Chiu pointed out that conscription reform will be implemented next year, which is an unceasing effort and will not be done hastily. He encouraged his colleagues to work together in making the reform a success and pledged to continue following up on the reform process.
So far, no disciplinary action for General Minihan has been announced. His aggressive advice on target practice — “All AMC-aligned personnel with weapons qualifications will fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head” — might have raised a few eyebrows at the Pentagon, but aside from the timeline, Minihan isn’t saying anything that other commanders are or should be doing.
Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News, “Xi Jinping is watching for American weakness. He’s watching for an absence of resolve. And if he sees opportunity, he will seize that very opportunity.”
With an 80-year-old president in a declining mental state, that opportunity might present itself at any time.