In an internal memo that was circulated on social media on January 27 and later confirmed by the Pentagon as real, the commander of the US Air Force Command (AMC), General Mike Minihan, said the main goal Washington’s approach should be to contain “and, if necessary, defeat” China.
“I hope I’m wrong. My gut tells me that we will fight in 2025,” Minihan was quoted as saying in the memo by AFP news agency. In it, he loved the subordinate commanders getting ready for battle and every soldier practicing shooting.
The AMC consists of 50,000 troops and 500 aircraft responsible for the transport and refueling.
Explaining this prediction, Mr. Minihan said that Taiwan will elect a leader in 2024, at the same time as the presidential election in the US. This will distract Washington, while China, under President Xi Jinping’s third term, has “the right reason, the right opportunity in 2025” to attack Taiwan.
On January 27, an AMC spokesperson confirmed the memo was real. “This is literally an internal memo from General Minihan to his lower command teams. His order builds on last year’s fundamental efforts by Airlift Command to prepare for the invasion. Airborne Forces in the face of future conflicts.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense said: “The (US) defense strategy makes it clear that China is a major challenge for the Department of Defense and our focus remains on working with other countries. allies and partners to sustain a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific”. However, a US Defense Department official said Minihan’s comments “do not represent the department’s position on China.”
Senior US officials have warned that China appears to be speeding up plans to gain control of Taiwan.
Beijing held major military exercises in August 2022, seen as a test of attacking Taiwan, after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.