A memo sent Friday by Air Force General Mike Minihan instructs officers in his command to prepare for war with China in two years.
“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan said in the memo obtained by NBC News. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” The memo, dated February 1st, was distributed to commanders in the Air Mobility Command (AMC) he oversees and contained several dated tasks for AMC leaders to undertake in preparation, the outlet noted. (RELATED: REPORT: US Defense Industrial Base Not Prepared For War With China)
The four-star general issued instructions for all qualified service members to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target” and “aim for the head,” according to the memo. “Run deliberately, not recklessly,” Minihan writes. “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”
Nearly 50,000 airmen serve in Air Mobility Command, which boasts almost 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling, NBC News noted.
General Minihan cited the distraction posed by 2024 elections in both Taiwan and the United States as President Xi Jinping’s opportunity to invade Taiwan. “Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025,” the Washington Post quoted Minihan’s memo.
The memo’s predictions contradict Pentagon assessments of China as a “pacing threat,” the Washington Post noted. Minihan’s “comments are not representative of the department’s view on China,” according to a defense official quoted by NBC. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin earlier this month expressed serious doubts that recent Chinese military activities near the Taiwan Strait indicate an imminent invasion, Reuters reported.