Four-star Air Force General Mike Minihan sent a memo on Friday, warning the officers he commands that he sees war on the horizon — with China — in less than two years.
Minihan, who reportedly sent the memo out to all of the air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, is in charge of some 50,000 service members and 500 planes in the Air Mobility Command.
According to NBC News, which obtained a copy of the memo, Minihan warned that upcoming elections in 2024 — both in the United States and Taiwan — could provide enough cover that China might feel emboldened to make a move against Taiwan While the rest of the world was distracted.
“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” He wrote. “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.”
Minihan His officers were directed by him To prepare for possible war with China, he asked them to create a plan. He instructed them to report back to him with their plans — and any efforts they may have already made — no later than February 28.
Minihan also outlined a number of steps officers should take in their preparations, stating that his ultimate goal was building. “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.”
He continued to explain what they should do for the next months, starting in February. “Fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.”
He suggested in March that they ensure that their legal affairs are handled in the event of a deployment. “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”
A spokesperson for the Air Mobility Command confirmed that the memo was real and had been sent to ensure that Minihan’s officers were ready to act if all efforts at deterrence should fail.
“This is an authentic internal memo from General Minihan addressed to his subordinate command teams. His order builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Mobility Air Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail,” According to the spokesperson, Friday’s interview was with NBC News.
The contents of the memo were made public by NBC News. The Defense Department released a statement saying that “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
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