WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Mobility Command, said he believes there could be a fight with China “in 2025.”
- Mike McCaul of the House Foreign Affairs Committee also thinks there could be potential conflict over China’s claims over Taiwan.
- A Pentagon official clarified that the general’s statements were “not representative of the department’s view on China.”
A U.S. general raised the warning of a potential conflict between the U.S. and China in the next two years. His statement was echoed by a top GOP House member, who agreed that the odds of such conflict arising over Taiwan “are very high.”
General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Mobility Command, wrote a memo to the leadership of its nearly 110,000 members: “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” The memo was dated Feb. 1 but was released on Friday.
While the general’s views do not represent the Pentagon, it shows concern from the highest levels of the U.S. military. The warnings come as China is expected to attempt to exert control over Taiwan.
Minihan said that China could view the 2024 presidential elections for both the U.S. and Taiwan as an opportunity to take military action.
Mike McCaul, the new chief of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News on Sunday, “I hope he is wrong. … I think he is right though.”
McCaul said that China could “look at a military invasion” if they fail to take over Taiwan without bloodshed. He added, “We have to be prepared for this.”
McCaul pointed out that U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out from Afghanistan and the disaster that happened afterward showed weakness that increases the possibility of conflict with China.
He said, “The odds are very high that we could see a conflict with China and Taiwan and the Indo Pacific.”
Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Adam Smith of the House Armed Services Committee disagrees. On Sunday, he acknowledged that while there is “a very dangerous situation in China,” war is “not only not inevitable, it is highly unlikely.” He told Fox News, “I think generals need to be very cautious about saying we’re going to war.”
Smith suggested that the U.S. needs to take steps to deter China from initiating conflict against Taiwan, but added that he’s “fully confident we can avoid that conflict if we take the right approach.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin voiced serious doubts that China ramped up its military activities near the Taiwan Strait to signal an upcoming invasion.
On Saturday, a Pentagon official said that the general’s statements were “not representative of the department’s view on China.”