Gen Keane rips ‘outrageous’ US handling of China threat: ‘You’d think we would have learned our lesson’

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The decision by the United States to delay a scheduled test of an intercontinental ballistic missile due to China’s deployment of dozens of military aircraft and missiles in the Taiwan Strait is a mistake, Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane said Thursday, warning that the move will portend weakness at a critical moment amid escalating tensions.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the Biden administration will postpone a long-planned test of an Air Force Minuteman III ICBM to avoid escalating tensions with Beijing as China threatens to invade Taiwan.

Keane, a retired four-star general, denounced the move as a subversion of our own national security interests and called on President Biden to approach mounting tensions in the region with “a sense of urgency.”

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Taiwanese police officers on heightened alert after Taiwan is hit with multiple cyber attacks. Picture taken at the Jing-Mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, on Aug. 3, 2022. 

Taiwanese police officers on heightened alert after Taiwan is hit with multiple cyber attacks. Picture taken at the Jing-Mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, on Aug. 3, 2022.  ( I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“I don’t agree with that whatsoever,” Keane said on “The Story.” “We have tests scheduled for good reasons. This is in our national interests, just continue to do that. That, to me, portends steadiness and firmness and relentlessness. 

“It’s not a provocation,” he added. “I think as opposed to sending a message of… resoluteness, we’re sending a message of weakness — and it’s so unnecessary.”

China claimed its military successfully executed “precision missile strikes” on Thursday, a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the island.

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The U.S. responded by deploying several warships to the area, but Keane said Biden has “to get serious here about what’s taking place” and consider a stronger U.S. military response. 

“China is moving closer and closer to doing what President Xi has promised he would do if Taiwan does not capitulate and willingly become part of mainland China…and here we sit, not even having an effective military deterrence against that operation,” he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a commendation ceremony for role models of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Great Hall of the People on April 8 in Beijing. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a commendation ceremony for role models of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Great Hall of the People on April 8 in Beijing.  (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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The United States should focus on moving capabilities into the region, Keane said, calling on officials to expedite the transport of weaponry and ammunition to Taiwan after months-long delays.

“This is outrageous stuff,” he said. “You’d think we would have learned our lesson as a result of Afghanistan. So yes, we have to make up our minds here that President Xi is dead serious, much as Putin was dead serious and we dismissed him for years.”

China is “inching closer” to war, and the United States has no effective deterrence against it, Keane said.

“We have to have a sense of urgency,” he said. “No phone call with President Xi will solve that problem. This is our problem to save with our partners in the region.”

Kirby said the ICBM test will be rescheduled for the near future.