Gen. Mike Minihan, head of U.S. Air Mobility Command, said the scheduled events of 2024 will likely embolden Chinese President Xi Jinping to launch an all-out conflict over Taiwan in 2025. (Related: Think tank: America's defense industry is not prepared for a war with China over Taiwan.)
"I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025," wrote Minihan in a private memo to his top subordinates obtained by NBC News.
Minihan pointed out that both Taiwan and the U.S. have major elections scheduled for 2024. This will cause both countries to be "distracted," giving Xi the opportunity to move to Taiwan. "Xi's team, reason and opportunity are all aligned for 2025," noted Minihan in his memo.
"This is absolutely a dire warning," commented Lisa Haven of "Restricted Republic," who pointed out that America is obligated to come to Taiwan's aid if China were to attempt any type of military action that threatens its sovereignty.
Haven further noted how America's current focus on fending off Russian advances in Ukraine is keeping the nation's military distracted and its military assets shipped off to Eastern Europe. "This is absolutely chilling to my core," she said. "We already know that we are on the rocks right now with Russia and war, right? But on top of that, now we've got these warnings of a war in China."
Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes, and is the main branch of the Air Force responsible for transportation and refueling. In his memo, Minihan lays out his goals for preparing for this coming conflict.
Minihan hopes for the Air Force to help the military build "a fortified, ready, integrated and agile Joint Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain." The first island chain refers to the chain of major archipelagos in the East Asian region, starting from Taiwan and extending all the way up to the northernmost tip of the Japanese archipelago.
Furthermore, for the entirety of February, he has directed all Air Mobility Command personnel to practice their small-arms firing capabilities by firing "a clip into a seven-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head."
In March, he is ordering Air Mobility Command personnel to get their personal affairs in order by updating their record and emergency contacts, including visiting military legal officials for those who need it, to make sure they are "legally ready and prepared."
Minihan has also ordered his commanders to do everything they can for the rest of 2023 to prepare for "the China fight." This includes taking even more risks in training sessions.
"Run deliberately, not recklessly," he wrote. "If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk."
Minihan has ordered all of his commanders to report all major efforts to train and prepare for the coming conflict by the end of February. He further noted that his "commander's intent" is to provide his branch of the Air Force seven more monthly directives regarding the future direction of Air Mobility Command's focus and that these directives are "not up for negotiation."
Learn more about the threats to America's national security at NationalSecurity.news.
Watch this clip from "Restricted Republic" as host Lisa Haven discusses Gen. Minihan's dire warning for Americans to prepare for war.