Senior US general warns troops of possible looming war with China
A US Air Force general has warned of a conflict with China and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year.
General Michael A Minihan explained that the conflict is most likely to happen over Taiwan as early as 2025, reports AFP.
"I hope I am wrong," Minihan wrote. "My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. 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."
In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, he said the main goal should be to deter "and, if required, defeat" China.
He also explained that this is due to Taiwan's presidential elections which are expected to take place next year. The elections offer Chinese President Xi Jinping an excuse for military aggression, while the United States would be distracted by its own contest for the White House, according to the AFP Report.
A Pentagon spokesperson responded to an AFP email query about the memo saying, "Yes, it's factual that he sent that out."
Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, also revealed on Friday that the US national defense strategy makes clear "that China is the pacing challenge of the Department of Defense" and that US officials are working with allies and partners to "preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific", reports The Washington Post.
Last year, China conducted major military exercises in August which was seen as a trial run for an invasion after a defiant visit of solidarity to Taipei by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The US currently sells weapons to Taiwan to boost its self-defense.
Due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many US lawmakers have been working on increasing assistance and military aid to Taiwan as an act of early preparation.