U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff: Don’t Believe Taiwan Strait Conflict Is “Imminent” or “Inevitable”

In International
February 14, 2023
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff: Don't Believe Taiwan Strait Conflict Is "Imminent" or "Inevitable"

WASHINGTON: Gen. Charles Quinton Brown, Jr., chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, said Monday (Feb. 13) that he did not believe a Chinese invasion of Taiwan was imminent or inevitable, and he expressed some concern about when China would start speculation and comments about a possible attack on Taiwan was disappointing because it was its goal of requiring the military to that it must be prepared for a possible conflict at all times, lost sight of.

Air Force General Brown, who served as Commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces and Air Force Commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, is the first African-American soldier in the United States to serve as Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The top general of the U.S. Air Force answered questions about when a conflict over the Taiwan Strait might occur at a symposium on the Air Force and U.S. defense strategy at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

During the discussion, Michael O’Hanlon, a senior Brookings Institution official, said that U.S. military generals, including Air Force Air Mobility Command commander General, were all talking about the timeline for China’s possible attack on Taiwan, and even Secretary of State Blinken and U.S. intelligence officials commented on the timeline for China’s possible attack on Taiwan; Believing that Admiral Brown’s work involved training and strengthening the U.S. military’s ability to prepare for war, he also needs to think about many short-, medium- and long-term problems, so he asked Brown from the Air Force perspective, “When is the threat? China the biggest or the most dangerous? Is it possible for China to attack Taiwan? Is this war likely?” ”

To these questions, General Brown answered directly that he could not predict the future, but he could shape it. “I shape the future by being prepared.”

“I don’t think conflict is imminent or inevitable, our goal is to avoid it,” Brown said.

“Without knowing when that might happen, my goal is to be ready today, tomorrow, next week, next year, next 10 years, so that the Air Force has the opportunity to propose options for the president. Teammates and U.S. allies and partners work closely together.” However, Brown did not deny that he was disappointed by some speculation and commentary about when China might invade Taiwan, believing that this would not help the U.S. military’s war preparation goals.

“As you mentioned, there has been some speculation on the subject, and that speculation is not necessarily helpful. I’m disappointed with some of the comments on this because it takes the focus away from what we really want to do, which is to make sure we’re getting ready.”

“The real focus is on being prepared and thinking about it with a sense of urgency so you don’t wake up one day and say if only we had seen a certain trend earlier and acted in a certain way,” Brown said. high. Brown stressed that his role is not to try to predict anything, but to ensure that the U.S. military is fully prepared at all times, while also really paying attention to the geopolitical environment.

“We are doing the right things to prepare, not to fight a war, as some say. We need to think about how conflicts might develop in the future, and the changing nature of warfare, and we need to prepare for that,” Brown said.

Melanie Sisson, a defense expert at the Brookings Institution who engaged in a dialogue with Brown, also shared Brown’s view that repeated comments by senior U.S. officials predicting the timeline for China’s invasion of Taiwan are indeed damaging. At the House Armed Services Committee’s hearing last week on China’s threat to U.S. defense, Sisson said one of the most important things the U.S. can do is strengthen its own deterrence. Situation.

“I think it’s a disservice to us when senior DoD officials repeatedly make different estimates. It shows that we don’t have a coherent view of what’s going on in the Taiwan Strait, and that certainly doesn’t help our efforts to deter the Chinese Communist Party,” she said. Heesen said.

Beijing views Taiwan as a renegade province and insists it will not hesitate to use force if necessary to achieve reunification.


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