A four-star U.S. Air Force general has predicted the United States could be facing a full-scale military conflict with China by the year 2025, it has emerged.
General Mike Minihan, the leader of the Air Mobility Command, wrote in a memo to officers that he predicts a war with China in 2025. "I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me [we'll] fight in 2025," he wrote in the memo obtained by NBC News.
Minihan believes that the U.S. will be "distracted" by the 2024 presidential election, allowing Chinese dictator Xi Jinping to take advantage of the situation to invade neighboring Taiwan.
The Air Mobility Command, with its 110,000 personnel focused on airlift, air refueling, air mobility support, and aeromedical evacuation, was directed by Minihan to update their emergency contact information and records. He also ordered all personnel to "fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most."
However, a Defense Department official insisted the "comments are not representative of the department's view on China."
Minihan is among various military officials warning of a potential invasion of Taiwan by China, with Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday predicting a Beijing invasion as soon as this year.
Despite Biden's promise of U.S. intervention with force in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a recent report by the Center for Strategic & International Studies found that sustaining a conflict in the region would be "extremely difficult for the United States."
As Chinese aircraft continue to be present near Taiwan, the potential for conflict remains a growing concern for U.S. military leaders as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine shows no sign of abating.