Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Final War

 The Final War

An unprecedented combination of personal story and geopolitical struggle, history, and present, THE FINAL WAR follows Epoch Times reporters and top China watchers through their journeys of awakening to the CCP threat. To say the least, the Chinese Communist Party is a mystery to most Americans. But behind the party jargon, unpredictable actions, and ever-changing face lies the Party’s vicious plot, with America at the very heart of it. How dangerous are Beijing’s tactics in the fall of Afghanistan, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Taiwan Strait? Behind the most dire issues of our time, what is the CCP’s underlying strategy toward the United States? Why is the Chinese regime promoting the idea of “World War III”? As we try to make sense of the chaotic post-pandemic world, when more and more evidence starts to point towards China, we are on our way to uncovering a century-old secret. For the first time, The Epoch Times investigative team traces back to the beginning of the Chinese Communist Party to reveal its 100-year plot to defeat America. Trawling through exclusive interviews from leading China experts and whistleblowers, an ocean of internal Party records, and Party leaders’ own behaviors, the film reveals the hidden truths of the U.S.-China relations over the past seven decades. Generations of Party leaders have been executing their plan in succession. They are the masters of deceit and decay. Hiding behind flip-flopping policies, the Communist leadership is no longer far from achieving its goal. In 2020, the same investigative team made the viral documentary “Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus”. The film exposed the Chinese Communist regime’s deadly coverup of the pandemic. However, the probe into how the pandemic began was just a tip of the iceberg. The Chinese regime wants the death of America, where we are strangers to our own future. How did it happen? What did the United States get wrong about China? THE FINAL WAR answers the questions that are relevant to every American today. We had studied the CCP for years. We thought we knew it inside out. But this time, what we uncovered was beyond our imagination. It would challenge the entire knowledge system we had built around it and shake the American people to the core. The Final War - The 100-Year Plot to Defeat America - Joshua Philipp

According to, the United States military has been all-volunteer since 1973, but “an act of Congress would reinstate the draft in case of a national emergency.”
Feb 25, 2022

US general’s ‘gut’ feeling of war with China sparks alarm over predictions

This article is more than 5 months old

Leaked memo forecasting Taiwan strait conflict in 2025 triggers debate about ‘undisciplined’ comments

A US F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan

 A US F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which has been operating in the South China Sea amid rising tensions over Taiwan. 

A leaked memo from a US four-star general saying his “gut” told him the US would be at war with China in 2025 has prompted warnings about the danger of “undisciplined” predictions of a Taiwan strait conflict.

The memo, by the head of the US Air Mobility Command (AMC), Gen Mike Minihan, was the latest prediction of a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan, which have ranged from 2022 to 2049. It has triggered a debate about US readiness, accusations of warmongering, and concerns about desensitising people to the real risk of invasion.

China’s government claims Taiwan as a province and its authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, is set on what he terms ”reunification”, by force if necessary. It is a prospect Taiwan’s government and people vehemently reject. Around this impasse, tensions are escalating. Beijing’s military is growing bigger and is increasing its coercive targeting and harassment of Taiwan.

“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan wrote. “Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”

Minihan’s jingoistic nine-point plan set out his “preparation for the next fight”. Dated 1 February but leaked on social media days before, it ordered increased training and integration of the AMC and joint forces, to “deter, and if required, defeat China”.

Timelines within the decade are usually about China’s capability. The director general of Taiwan’s national security bureau and its defence minister have said China would reach full invasion capability by, respectively, 2023 and 2025. Later dates are often based on China’s intention, picking years with symbolic significance for the Chinese Communist party (CCP).

But it is not always clear. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said last year that China was determined to annex Taiwan “on a much faster timeline” but did not give a date.

Minihan’s prediction was quickly linked to statements in 2021 by the then head of the US Indo-Pacific command, Adm Philip Davidson, to a Senate committee hearing. In what is now referred to as “the Davidson window”, the admiral said he believed the Chinese threat to Taiwan would “manifest” in the next six years, by 2027.

This week Davidson repeated his comments, saying his “conflict scenario” included smaller assaults on outlying islands. Davidson, who is in Taiwan meeting the president and other defence figures, declined an interview request.

Minihan’s memo was written off by many analysts as offering no evidence beyond his “gut” and crude assessments that 2024 elections in the US and Taiwan were good timing for an invasion.

“The most charitable interpretation of Minihan’s comments was that he was aiming them at his own organisation to spark change,” said Blake Herzinger, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute thinktank. “The part that doesn’t make sense is releasing a memo with this sort of inflammatory language, unclassified, basically guaranteeing it would leak.

“I cannot imagine it was something the administration was happy to see.”

Michael O’Hanlon, the director of research in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution research group, told the broadcaster Voice of America the memo was “very unwise, and potentially dangerous because of the potential [for creating] a self-fulfilling prophecy”.

Some analysts accused the military figures of putting forward short timelines to lobby for more funding. A 2022-23 window offered by the US chief of naval operations, Adm Michael Gilday, in October, for instance, also urged the government not to “skimp” on funding US military readiness.

James Palmer, a deputy editor at Foreign Policy magazine, said such predictions of war in the next few years “are generated largely by a military-security establishment that sees Beijing as an inevitable next opponent and a useful tool for its own budgetary ambitions”.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board was among those defending the memo, saying it offered an important point outside its rhetoric: that the US is not ready for conflict and people should be more worried about it.

“This is a typical thinking in the US military, or in all military organisations, that the preparation of wars with potential challengers or opponents is a must,” said Huang Kwei-bo, a professor of diplomacy at the National Chengchi University in Taipei.

But the writing – and leaking – of the memo has raised questions about how the current thinking of senior US military figures was diverging from that of US policymakers, who are balancing a challenging but nonadversarial diplomatic relationship with China.

The Pentagon has distanced itself from Minihan’s memo, saying it was not representative of the department’s view.

The US is a longstanding integral party to cross-strait tensions as a global military power and as a legally bound supporter of Taiwan’s defensive capability. Its cross-strait policy remains underpinned by a doctrine of strategic ambiguity – a refusal to confirm whether or not it would come to Taiwan’s aid in the event of hostilities. Minihan’s memo raised the suggestion that some in the US military were acting on an unambiguous assumption – or understanding – that it would.

Ryan Hass, a Brookings Institute scholar on China and Asia, said inconsistent predictions and “undisciplined utterances” from senior figures risked squandering US credibility.

“What US leaders say matters,” he said, noting that US warnings about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had been borne out. “On the other hand, uniformed military leaders make predictions based on their ‘gut instincts’ about when the PRC might invade Taiwan, it erodes confidence in America’s grasp of the situation.”

The impact of comments such as those of Minihan, Davidson and Gilday goes beyond US credibility. Such pronouncements often draw hostile reaction from Beijing, and cause confusion and fear among the public in China and Taiwan.

Chinese officials responded to Minihan’s memo by warning the US against inflaming tensions.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the CCP’s military sent more than 60 warplanes and ships into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, but it was not clear whether this larger than usual incursion was in retaliation to Minihan or another perceived provocation.

Huang did not think Minihan’s memo inflamed tensions. “This is just a judgment from a very senior USAF general in charge of air mobility,” he said. “I respect Minihan’s assessment and prediction about 2025, but I also think those are not in the mainstream thinking of the Biden administration.”

In Taiwan, the memo received a modest level of coverage, featuring in news bulletins and political talkshows, but with far less alarmism than it got overseas.

Brian Hioe, a Taiwanese journalist and editor, questioned whether alarmist predictions from western figures could become a “boy crying wolf” situation and “lead to warnings about an invasion being looked at less seriously”.

Taiwan’s government is urgently working to fix entrenched issues with its own military and foster urgency in a population that has lived with the China threat for decades. Conscription for young men was recently increased to a full year of training and service, and the voluntary reserve service is being expanded to include women.

During a busy weekday lunchtime in Taipei, the Guardian struggled to find many people who had heard of the leaked memo. A couple in their 60s, who ran a produce stall at an inner-city market, waved it away as “politics”.

“This rumour [of invasion] has always been here, it’s always the same,” said Mrs Ye. Her husband, Mr Wang, shouted his agreement from the back of the stall. Taiwan’s political parties “always say China will attack us”, he said. “I’ll fight them, I am not afraid.”

A 26-year-old IT worker, David Guo, said he was sick of the “bullshit” posturing and accused the US of “playing chess” for power in Asia.

Joy Jian, a 67-year-old insurance worker, brushed it off. “I don’t care about this news any more,” he said. “If it will happen, it will happen.”

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