The United States and China could be headed to war in 2025, according to an Air Force memo that sparked concerns among government officials.
Four-star Gen. Mike Minihan, the head of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, said in a memo obtained by NBC News that he predicts the U.S. would be at war with China in less than two years.
Minihan told his officers to get ready by firing “a clip” at a target and “aim for the head.”
“I hope I am wrong. My guts tells me will fight in 2025,” Minihan said.
The Air Force general argued that Chinese President Xi Jinping would have an opportunity to attack Taiwan as the U.S. will be “distracted” by the presidential elections in 2024. Taiwan is also scheduled to conduct an election in the same year.
Minihan laid out in his memo the preparations for a potential war with China, including establishing “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team” to defend and win the first island chain in the region.
Minihan ordered all personnel under the Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders to report all major efforts in preparation for a possible conflict and update their records and emergency contacts.
The memo alarmed Texas GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, telling Fox News that he “hopes” the general is wrong in his assessment but at the same time, “I think he’s right.”
McCaul said China could resort to a military invasion of Taiwan if they fail at influencing the Taiwanese presidential elections.
The Republican congressman added a potential war between the U.S. and China is “very high” if President Joe Biden continues to project “weakness.”
But a spokesperson for the Air Mobility Command allayed fears surrounding the memo, saying that Minihan’s order “build on last year’s foundational efforts” of the command to prepare the Air Force for future conflict.
An official of the Department of Defense said the general’s comments “are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
The memo was revealed after Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin III “seriously doubts” that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is imminent.
But despite his disbelief, Austin said they had seen increased Chinese military activities near Taiwan after the self-governing island recorded its highest number of Chinese incursions yet in 2022.
Earlier this month, the U.S. announced it would upgrade its Marine Littoral Regiment in Okinawa, Japan, with the ability to fire anti-ship missiles in its bid to deter China’s growing influence in the region.