A four-star U.S. Air Force general has warned troops to prepare for war with China, according to reports.
Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, sent a memo to officers on Friday stating that he predicts the war will begin in 2025.
“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan says in the memo, as first reported by NBC News.
“My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.”
Minihan states in the memo that Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping began preparations for war in October last year.
“Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022,” the general explains in the memo.
“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,” said Minihan.
“Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”
According to the signed memo, Minihan wants preparations to commence at some point in February.
Minihan is requesting that Air Mobility Command personnel start preparing by firing “a clip into a 7-meter target” and “aim for the head” with the purpose of understanding lethality.
He also requests that troops update their emergency contacts and records.
Then in March, Minihahn will ask personnel to start legally preparing themselves.
He also asks them to accept more risks in their training.
“If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risks,” he warns.
A Department of Defense (DOD) spokesperson responded by telling NBC News that Minihan’s memo is “not representative of the department’s view on China.”
In response to the memo, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a statement that the U.S. defense strategy “makes clear that China is the pacing challenge for the Department of Defense.”
Ryder added that the DOD’s focus is to work “alongside allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Washington Post reported.
The fear of a Chinese invasion comes as Taiwanese officials are growing more concerned over China’s hostility within the east Asian region.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu stated last week that he believes China will most likely invade the small island nation by 2027 as he is facing several domestic problems.
Furthermore, Taiwanese officials extended the country’s mandated military service from four months to one year in December, citing concerns over China’s aggressiveness.