General Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command and 50,000 US service members, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight [China] in 2025.” China’s invasion of Taiwan might spark this war. Predictably, the politically obedient Department of Defense (DOD) responded “comments [by Minihan] are not representative of the department’s view on China.”
“Views” can be unimportant. Whether or not General Minihan is correct is important.
Who would win the war between the US and China? Many are pessimistic about the chances of the United States being the victor. Here are short summaries (with links) of a few disturbing opinions from those who should know.
- China’s military technology looks to eclipse that of the United States. Brandon Tseng, co-founder of the high-tech AI company Shield, described the US’s preparedness for war with China with some chilling similes.
- China’s military is Netflix; the U.S. military is Blockbuster.
- China is Amazon; the U.S. is Barnes & Noble.
- China is Tesla; the U.S. is General Motors
- Retired four star U.S. General Jack Keane warned the United States military is underprepared for a war with China. Keane claims “China has more ships, more planes, and more missiles than the United States has.”
- Bryan Clark of the Hudson Institute agrees. “Despite all the calls to boost production, the U.S. military will be short of key missiles for at least two years. It needs ways to win with what it has now.” The forecast of two years for preparedness of course assumes the US commits funds to develop such weapons.
- Senator Tommy Tuberville, a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, says today is the “most dangerous time” in his lifetime. He claims we are “teetering on the brink of World War III.” Why? “… China [is asking] what day are we going into Taiwan? And when that happens, it won’t just be us. Japan is going to jump into that. Australia is going to jump into that. And we’ve got an administration here that is worried about climate. Their number one focus is on this climate hoax that we got. And everybody worries about our environment. That should be number 25th on the list.”
- Then there is cyber warfare and competition for control of the spectrum used for communication and radar. The Center for Strategic & International Studies reports “The Chinese military is taking major steps toward improving its electronic warfare (EW) …capabilities”.
- China also looks to be preparing bioweapons designed by artificial intelligence. (Think COVID.) So says former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt who co-chaired the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. This, he says, is a “very near-term concern”.
So, how is the US doing? Here are some disturbing developments.
- Under Donald Trump, the DOD formed the focused Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) in 2018 to deliver top AI technology to the warfighter in all branches of armed services. The JAIC dissolved during Joe Biden’s administration in 2022 and, in an act of increasing bureaucratic entropy, was absorbed into other DOD entities.
- Former Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said China “must be laughing hysterically” at the United States as senior Pentagon leaders get caught up in woke culture instead of concentrating on combat readiness
Here’s the bottom line gleaned from my book The Case for Killer Robots. Military superiority wins wars and gives pause to potentially hostile adversaries. The US according to many have lost this status when compared to China. Hopefully the US will do what it needs to do and at least come to parity with China military might.
Time, and maybe a horrific war, will tell.