After a four-star Air Force General cautioned officials that he detects a war on the horizon over Taiwan, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) indicated Sunday that the odds of a conflict with China by 2025 are relatively high.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told reporters that he agreed with Air Force General Mike Minihan’s recent statement that he expects U.S. forces to be engaged in combat in 2025.
McCaul expressed his hopes that Minihan is mistaken but thinks he may be correct.
If Chinese Communist Party President Xi Jinping fails to influence Taiwan’s Presidential election in 2024 (one year from now) and advances China’s efforts on its so-called reunification with the island, the Republican lawmaker suggested China could consider a military invasion of Taiwan.
Officially the Republic of China, Taiwan, has been under Chinese control since 1949. The ‘One China’ policy asserts that Taiwan is a part of China.
McCaul warned that the United States must take precautions. Conflict with China, Taiwan, and other countries in the Indo-Pacific is a distinct possibility so long as Biden remains in office since he may continue to send signals of weakness as he did in Afghanistan, which ultimately led to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to a paper published by Seth Jones, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), last week, the United States might run out of armaments, including long-range, precision-guided munitions, in a battle with China within a week, as shown by a CSIS wargame scenario.
Jones elaborated on his evaluation, which found that supplying Ukraine during its conflict with Russia had depleted U.S. supplies. Therefore, in December, Pentagon officials reevaluated the amount of ammunition it had on hand, highlighting the long-term trend of inadequate funding for this critical component of military operations.
According to Jones, the defense industrial base’s bottom line isn’t ready for the current security situation. He added that the defense industry is currently better suited to a peacetime setting.
Jones questioned how the United States could act as a deterrent without adequate weapons supplies suitable for a conflict in the China–Taiwan Strait.
Congressman McCaul concurred that the CSIS situation made him feel very uneasy. The American defense industrial base, he said, is in shambles, and he approved all arms sales to foreign militaries three years ago that have yet to reach Taiwan.
Another member of Congress brought up a possible battle with China, but Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said such a confrontation is extremely unlikely.
Smith added that generals should exercise care and not send signals that the United States is going to war with China.
Smith says it worries him when people talk about how a battle with China is unavoidable.
Smith agreed with McCaul’s statement that the U.S. military’s stockpile is vulnerable in the face of a potential battle with China. The lack of an existing industrial base and the resources to rapidly expand it has been cited as a significant issue.
Officials from the United States Department of Defense, who was the first to publish the Air Force general’s memo, have stated that the general’s views on China do not reflect those of the department.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dismissed rumors that China was planning to invade Taiwan.
According to Austin, the Chinese military has recently taken provocative actions to restore regional stability. In addition, he is highly skeptical that this portends an impending invasion.