A four-star Air Force general said in a memo on Friday that he believes the U.S. will be at war with China by 2025, according to a new report.
“I hope I am wrong,” General Mike Minihan, who leads the Air Mobility Command (AMC), said in a memo to AMC personnel obtained by NBC News.
“My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” he added. “[Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] 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.”
He went on to tell personnel to accept increased risk in training in preparation for a “China fight.” Minihan also says during the month of February, all personnel should “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.”
He called on those in his command to update their records and emergency contacts to “ensure they are legally ready and prepared” in March.
AMC has almost 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling, per NBC.
A Defense Department spokesperson disputed Minihan’s comments, saying they are “not representative of the department’s view on China.”
“The National Defense Strategy makes clear that China is the pacing challenge for the Department of Defense and our focus remains on working alongside allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific,” Defense Department press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told NBC News.