Joe Biden’s ‘dream to see Putin fall’ could tilt conflict into 'total, endless war'

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As the war in Ukraine rumbles on, tension between Russia and the West continues to escalate. Fears are soaring over the threat from China as it continues with its aggression in the South China Sea, posing a risk to Taiwan, the independent island state Beijing views as its own.

But the US may only be able to get involved in one of the two conflicts, according to US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday.

He has warned the US’ Navy fleet is too small to be able to handle more than one conflict.

Mr Gilday told the US Senate Armed Services Committee: “Right now, the force is not sized to handle two simultaneous conflicts.”

He said the Navy could handle one combat operation, and could only keep a second opponent at bay.

But Ukraine may not need the help of the US Navy after reports emerged that Russia’s Navy is beginning to struggle during the conflict.

Russia has lost up to five vessels in action, including its Alligator Class landing ship, which was reportedly obliterated on March 24.

And its Slava Class cruiser Moskva, which is said to be one of its most strategically important, was reportedly hit by two Neptune missiles on April 13.

But if the US steps in, Mr Gilday claims it would struggle to put pressure on China.

This is because the US might not have enough submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and destroyers to handle both conflicts.

The US Navy currently has 298 ships, but Mr Gilday added the country should work on expanding to a 500-strong hybrid fleet by 2045.

It comes as US intelligence officials warned that China is “working hard” to take over Taiwan.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee: “It’s our view that (China is) working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention.”

But some experts have suggested that China might avoid taking over Taiwan by using military force, and may opt to do it peacefully.

Defense Intelligence Agency head Lieutenant General Scott Berrier said: “I believe the (People’s Republic of China) would rather not do it by force.

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“I think they would rather do this peacefully over time.”

But the US has warned China that if it does ramp up its military aggression, it will be sure to get involved.

Chinese ambassador issued a brutal warning to the Mr Biden back in February.

He said: “If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict.”

He continued: “Let me emphasise this, the Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States.”

The US has warned China it would face “terrible consequences” if it violates Taiwan’s independence.

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