The media is abuzz with stories about Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley and his conversations with the Chinese Communists.There are a few things that need to be emphasized about this story. In America our military is led by a civilian–the President. Our military is answerable to the President as the President is the Commander-in-Chief. In our military there is a chain of command that all members of the military are supposed to honor. In his conversations with the Chinese Communists, General Milley went outside his chain of command. That is the problem.
I have five questions about the uproar over General Milley:
1. Is it true?
2. If it is true, why did Bob Woodward not disclose it before now?
3. Is this a set up to make General Milley the fall guy for the Afghanistan debacle?
4. Does the military still honor the Uniform Code of Military Justice?
5. Is this dust-up being put out to distract us from something else?
Yesterday Townhall posted an article about what General Milley has done.
The article reports:
New reporting from The Washington Post, detailing the contents of a new book, shows General Mark Milley reassured China’s People’s Liberal Army General Li Zuocheng that he would give the communist country a heads up if President Donald Trump launched an attack in the final months of his presidency. He did so in a series of reported phone calls and reassured Li he would stand between Trump and an attack on Chinese assets.
What would have been the reaction if someone in the Roosevelt administration had told the Germans he would warn them before the allies invaded France? On the surface, this looks an awful lot like treason.
The article quotes The Washington Post:
In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.
One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”
In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.
Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”
The last paragraph is troubling. That’s not officially a coup, but it sure sounds like one. General Milley was putting himself in a position where the senior officers needed his approval to follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. That is not the way it is supposed to work. This is nuts.