Mike Minihan, a four-star Air Force general, sent a memo on Friday that warned his officers that he sees war with China coming on the horizon. He believes that it is less than two years away.
General Minihan sent the memo out to all of the air wing commanders in the Air Mobility Command. He also sent it to other Air Force operational commanders.
NBC News obtained a copy of the memo in which the general warned that upcoming elections in 2024 in both the United States and Taiwan will provide cover for China. He said they might feel emboldened to make a move against Taiwan while the world is 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.”
The general is directing his officers to develop a plan for a potential war with China and they are to report back to him no later than February 28.
Minihan instructed his officers to build a “fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.”
The memo was confirmed as real by a spokesperson for the Air Mobility Command. They said that the authentic and internal memo from the general was addressed to his subordinate command teams.
The plans being made build on the efforts of the Air Mobility Command that started last year. They want to read the Mobility Air Forces for future conflict if deterrence with China fails.
When news of this memo became public, the Defense Department issued a statement that said the comments are not “representative of the department’s view on China.”