As War Clouds Gather

General Mike Minihan, a four-star Air Force General who leads the Air Mobility Command, made major shockwaves the other day, stating that he believes our country will be at war with China by 2025.  His reasoning:

  • Chinese President Xi [Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022
  • Taiwan's presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a baseless reason to invade Taiwan
  • U.S. presidential elections will offer Xi a distracted America
  • The U.S. has long walked a fine line with its ambiguous "One China" policy, which acknowledges China's claims to sovereignty over Taiwan without accepting them

Additional reasons for concern by 2025:

  • Xi has promised his military and civil leaders the necessity of solving the "Taiwan Problem." Should he be stymied, his political future is at risk.
  • China does not manufacture the latest generation of computer chips; they need those for their war machines, aerospace industry, and other high-technology demands.  Taiwan controls about ½ of the world's supply of those chips.  Taking Taiwan would be a 'twofer' for China to gain the necessary chips for themselves and to deny the West the chips they must have.
  • The U.S. is telegraphing to the world that we are short some munitions, especially the high-tech kind we would need to stop China from successfully invading Taiwan.  By helping Ukraine now, we have discovered significant gaps in our weaponry.
  • The U.S. has not been involved in high-intensity conflicts since Vietnam. Many of the weapons we used in Vietnam were left over from Korea and even WWII.  Consequently, American industry has not had to think about surge capability for 50 years.   
  • Be it Boeing, Lockheed, L3 Harris, or any other defense contractors; their workers frequently are single-shift, 35-hour work weeks like Maytag, Ford, or Dell.  But defense companies are not just another washing-machine company.  Their productive output could very well make the difference between the U.S. living free or in a subjugated world.  We could lose the next war due simply to matériel shortages

During a balls-to-the-wall fight, combatants must go flat-out 24x7 without concern over financial constraints.  The U.S. has always been behind the curve at the start of hostilities in major wars. Historically we had too few trained personnel and insufficient weapons and munitions.  From the Civil War through WWI and II, war clouds were visible just over the horizon, yet we ignored the warnings that would have said it was time to prepare.  Such head-in-the-sand thinking sees thousands of troops killed unnecessarily due to inadequate force structure.  The price of being unprepared is paid in blood.  Being prepared does not mean you must fight a war.  But it may keep the other side from miscalculating their chances of victory.

No one knows if war with China is a certainty.  But unless we are willing to hand over the mantle of world leadership to another country, we had better be prepared for war at any moment.

This is an excellent segue to a pet peeve of mine.  The Department of Defense and senior leadership of each of the individual services should be, by and large, taken out and shot.  Our Constitution requires civilian oversight of the armed services to keep the admirals and generals in check.  But, too many flag officers are no longer warriors; they have become politicians, which is dangerous.

The Army War College misunderstood the problem demonstrated by the following quote:

"... the modern commander is much more akin to the managing director of a large conglomerate enterprise than ever he is to the warrior chief of old.  He has become the head of a complex
Military organization, whose many branches he must oversee and on whose cooperation, assistance, and support he depends for his success."

The War College saw this as a strength, not a weakness.  Recent Democrat Presidents and top generals no longer encourage a warrior mentality, and risk is generally discouraged as a minefield for career advancement.

Such flawed analysis will see more of our soldiers die unnecessarily.  From the home of the $20,000 toilet seat, I can tell you that contracting for weapons is much like road building today.  Why does it take so long to build an intersection or repave a road?  The partial collapse of the Bay Bridge occurred during the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, and Caltrans said it would take three years to fix the bridge.  A local contractor made an unsolicited proposal to get the structure repaired in a month, and he successfully collected a sizeable bonus for early completion.

The DoD does not admire individualism anymore.  They want compliant team players.  Good perhaps for the Department of Labor, but terrible for warriors fighting on a battlefield.

Complacency and bureaucracy have teamed up as the anti-dynamic duos that give you a thousand reasons why something can't be done.  Reflect back to just about a year ago, when our best minds said Ukraine was toast, don't even try to help them. When our military is at its best, nothing is impossible. But naysayers must be eliminated first.

When you think about it, our military readiness posture, inability to fill enlistment quotas, and timidness on the world stage are signs of more than just a mark of systemic failure of the military. They are prima facie evidence that we need to reinvent the country as a whole.  Doing so with the likes of Biden is impossible.  I don't know how often I have heard that the next election is the 'most important,' but I believe that our next election may be the one that chooses our destiny to live free or die.

Our ship of state is already taking on water.  The slow leak that seemed not to be so worrisome has become a deluge.  Consider the lack of concern for fundamental problems such as immigration, our fiscal situation, and social policies.  No one is pushing the emergency button when it is obvious our ship is sinking fast.

As a troubleshooter, I surveyed the situation and first stopped the flooding.  Today, our policymakers seek solutions to problems too casually and without regard for reality.  The border is a perfect example.  Biden wants comprehensive immigration reform before stopping the millions swamping us.  Comprehensive reform is code for amnesty, which we have tried seven times before, which only encourages the next wave.  He knows it, and we know it.

Our next war is inevitable; only the timing is unknown.  Will we have the weapons and personnel to fight and win?  At one time, we could fight two peer enemies simultaneously; now, it's questionable if we can fight a single one to victory. 

Author, Businessman, and Thinker.  Read more about Allan, his background, and his ideas to create a better tomorrow at

Image: Picryl

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