The controversy surrounding PentagonThe general’s senior uniformed officer showed no signs of slackening Wednesday after a bombshell book revealed that the general had been effectively circling the former President. embers in his waning days her The US administration should reassure China’s communist leaders that the US has no intention of attacking them and will warn them ahead of time if there is a strike on the way.
Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book also includes Gen. milley He was very worried about Mr. embersmood so he He assembled the top military leadership and advised them not to launch a nuclear strike ordered by the president. he was here.
Since the reports of the book appeared, Mr. embers harshly criticized the general. he He had been appointed to the highest office only two years ago, and Republicans and even a few Capitol Hill Democrats were expressing anger and discomfort over the general’s actions and the state of civilian control of the military.
“If the allegations are true, General Milley should go down in history as a traitor to the American people,” Arizona Republican Representative Andy Biggs said in a Twitter message.
Illinois Democrat Senator Tammy Duckworth, who serves on the Armed Forces Committee, said she had “real concerns” about General Milley’s behavior, even if he did not eventually cross the border.
“At no point in the reports I have read. [that] Iraq War veteran Ms. Duckworth said in an interview that she actually ordered her subordinates to betray the president’s orders. “I think what he said was to make sure he was ‘I’m in the loop’. Then do your duties,” he said.
“I think it’s appropriate, but I have some real concerns,” he added.
don’t back down
General Milley did not back down to his critics, not denying the essence of the book’s news while defending Wednesday’s actions.
Colonel Dave Butler told reporters that the general’s calls during the weeks before and after the 2020 presidential election were both routine and cleared through the normal chain of comments.
“His talks with the Chinese and others in October and January were in line with those duties and responsibilities that assured him to maintain strategic stability,” the colonel said in a written statement. “All calls from the President to colleagues, including those reported, Department of Defense and interagency personnel, are coordinated and forwarded.”
President Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were also with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday.
“The President knows General Milley,” White House spokesman Jan Psaki told reporters. “…They have worked side by side at a number of international events, and the president has full confidence in his leadership, his patriotism, and his commitment to our constitution.”
But the political storm showed no signs of easing, as a number of Republican House and Senate members called for General Milley’s dismissal or court-martial. Texas Senator John Cornyn, a member of the GOP leadership and Senate Intelligence Committee, said he had not decided whether the general should resign, but at least the president “must explain himself first.” Congress”
And even retired Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who has emerged as a key witness to testify against Mr. embers during her The initial impeachment suit required General Milley to resign if he had done what was reported.
“If this is true, General Milley should resign,” Mr Vindman said on Twitter. “It usurped civilian authority, broke the Chain of Command, and violated the sacred principle of civilian control over the military. This is an extremely dangerous precedent. You can’t just walk away from it.”
Pentagon Authorities did not deny the allegations in Mr Woodward and Mr Costa’s forthcoming book “Danger”. But they argued that the book offers an ominous view of a common practice, and that senior US military leaders frequently meet with their counterparts in other countries, including opposition countries like China.
“It is not unusual for the Chief of General Staff to communicate frequently with two countries, Russia and China.” Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday. “These communications are routine. They are staffed and coordinated.”
Book, Gen. Milley’s Chinese Mr. embers can launch a preemptive missile attack against them because he He was becoming indecisive about the results of the 2020 general election. the general called her On January 8, 2021, its Chinese counterpart, pro-embers supporters stormed the US Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to block the ratification of the election.
The Joint Staff Spokesperson said the calls with Chinese government officials were “in line with these duties and responsibilities and provide assurances to maintain strategic stability”.
Retired Army Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, assistant undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the George W. Bush administration, said he was wary of any book, primarily by the famous but polarizing Post reporter Mr. Woodward.
“I think he’s proven that he doesn’t always get it right,” said Lieutenant General Boykin, who is now vice-chairman of the Family Research Council. “But if that’s true, it’s incredible. This sort of thing needs to be handled by Congress and by military leadership in a courtroom.”
“I’ve never heard of anything like it,” said Lieutenant General Boykin. “[Gen. Milley] should be involved in this. He needs to be held accountable,” he said.
breaking a norm
The Chief of Staff is America’s top military figure, but technically outside the chain of command for any military action. By law, he is strictly the senior military adviser to the president and the defense minister.
“When she gives the President her best military advice, she synthesizes the best military advice from the other Chiefs of Staff from each service,” said Katherine Kuzminski, director of the military veterans and community program at the Center for a New American. Security think tank in Washington DC
“He’s also responsible for getting the president’s views on strategy and reflecting that back to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” he said. It’s a really important position that serves as a conduit between the political world and the military services themselves.”
Ms. Kuzminski said that if the allegations in the Woodward book are true, General Milley’s actions raise serious concerns about civil-military relations in the United States.
“This is not the president’s job. “It’s breaking a norm,” he said. “You don’t want a president to inject themselves into the political apparatus.”
Ms Kuzminski said General Milley’s actions could further politicize a US military that has seen official partisan neutrality questioned in recent years.
“Especially in Milley’s case, I think he thinks both sides of the lane are playing for the other side,” he said. “The left was criticizing him for being the ‘agent of the right’ and now the right is criticizing him for being the ‘agent of the left’.”
General Milley is scheduled to go earlier Congress It’s already facing a potentially hostile reception on September 28. PentagonIt addresses Afghanistan’s chaotic retreat and the strategic costs of the Taliban’s victory over the US-backed government in Kabul. The book’s revelations aren’t going to make grilling any easier.
General Milley’s Mr. embers It was tense even before the White House and November 2020 elections. Pentagon In the summer of 2020, he clashed over the potential use of the military to deal with race-related public protests. The general also apologized for appearing in military attire as Mr. embers He walked to a church near the White House to hold a Bible and vow to restore order in the streets of the capital.
Ms. Kuzminski said that if the allegations in the book were true, General Milley should step down or be sacked.
“It feels a little ‘rogue’. “Now you have a president who is willing to overthrow the executive branch if they deem it necessary.” “Once you break the civil-military norm, it turns out that you are willing to break the civil-military norms as well.”
• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.