Republican Congressman Michael McCaul has said that with Democratic President Joe Biden in the White House the risk of a conflict between China and Taiwan is “very high.”
McCaul added that the US military is not ready to fight a war with China and it could run out of precision missiles and advanced technology in less than a week if the war breaks out.
“We have to be prepared for this — and it could happen I think as long as Biden is in office projecting weakness as he did with Afghanistan that led to Putin invading Ukraine — that the odds are very high we could see a conflict with China and Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific,” McCaul said on Fox News on Sunday.
A four-star US Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the United States will be at war with China in two years and told them to get ready to prep by firing "a clip" at a target, and "aim for the head," NBC News reported.
General Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.”
He said that Taiwan’s and America’s presidential elections in 2024 may give Chinese President Xi Jinping an “opportunity.”
The signed memo is addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, directing all personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.”
“I hope he’s wrong as well,” McCaul said. “I think he’s right, though, unfortunately.”
McCaul also said the US could run out of advanced weaponry in less than a week if the United States launched a war with China.
A study published by a think tank last week found that the US would likely run out of some of its munitions, including long-range, precision-guided ones, in less than a week of war with China in the Taiwan Strait.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) study said that the US was “not adequately prepared” for a war with China.
"The US defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists. It is currently operating at a tempo better suited to a peacetime environment," the think tank said in the report.
According to the report, the US military aid to Ukraine has depleted the arms stockpiles of the US Department of Defense and points to the difficulties the US industrial base could face in supplying munitions for a major war.
“Our industrial defense base is broken,” McCaul lamented. “I signed off on all foreign military weapon sales three years ago. They have yet to go into Taiwan. So we need that deterrence. But if we don’t have the weapons, that’s as critical for deterrence.”
Washington is Taiwan's most important international backer and arms supplier, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
US arms sales to Taiwan are a constant irritant in Beijing's relations with Washington, which have rapidly deteriorated in recent years.
Representative Adam Smith (Washington), who is the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, also said on Sunday that the US military readiness is not ready for a war with China.
“This is a huge problem. And we don’t have the industrial base. And we don’t have the ability to ramp up that industrial base,” Smith said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Smith also said he is “worried” when people say that a war with China is “inevitable” and instead said a war with China is “highly unlikely.”
Tensions between the US and China over the self-ruled island intensified following a provocative visit there in August by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives. It prompted large-scale Chinese military drills around the island territory as well as a declaration by US President Joe Biden to defend Taiwan.
Her visit infuriated China, which has sovereignty over the self-ruled Chinese Taipei and has publicly stated that it may take it by force one day, if necessary.
Under the “one China” policy, nearly all countries across the globe, the US included, recognize Beijing’s sovereignty over Chinese Taipei.
Washington, however, engaged in direct contact with the secessionist government in Taipei, in violation of its own stated policy. The US also supplies Taipei with massive amounts of armaments.
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