•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right

02:51  16 september  2021
02:51  16 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Trump barred by generals from ordering nuclear strike or military attack in final days: Woodward

  Trump barred by generals from ordering nuclear strike or military attack in final days: Woodward The new book includes dramatic new details about Trump’s frantic effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and stay in power. The revelations about Milley’s actions were first reported by CNN.Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the unprecedented action of ordering other top generals to consult him before implementing any significant orders by Trump following the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.“There’s no telling what he could do. You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Milley during a frantic Jan.

Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has become a lightning rod for the Biden administration, which is facing calls for him to resign over book excerpts underscoring his maneuvering during former President Donald Trump's final days in office.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine General Mark Milley leaves a closed-door briefing with members of the House regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the evacuation effort on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. © Greg Nash Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine General Mark Milley leaves a closed-door briefing with members of the House regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the evacuation effort on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.

Milley was already a target for conservatives before the revelations in "Peril," the upcoming book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post.

Book: Top US officer feared Trump could order China strike

  Book: Top US officer feared Trump could order China strike WASHINGTON (AP) — Fearful of Donald Trump's actions in his final weeks as president, the United States' top military officer twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the two nations would not suddenly go to war, a senior defense official said after the conversations were described in excerpts from a forthcoming book. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the United States would not strike. One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that defeated Trump. The second call was on Jan. 8, 2021, just two days after the insurrection at the U.S.

But the new bombshells, including that Milley twice called his Chinese counterpart following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to assure him Trump did not have plans to attack Beijing as part of a ploy to remain in power, have sparked new calls for the general to resign.

It's not just Trump supporters who are angered by the revelations either.

"Peril's" claims that Milley moved to limit Trump's ability to call for a military strike or launch nuclear weapons after the riots have brought criticism from opponents of Trump, including retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against Trump in his 2019 impeachment trial.

Vindman said Milley should resign if the reporting in "Peril" is accurate, saying on Twitter that Milley "usurped civilian authority, broke Chain of Command, and violated the sacrosanct principle of civilian control over the military."

Biden says he has ‘complete confidence’ in Milley amid book disclosures

  Biden says he has ‘complete confidence’ in Milley amid book disclosures The White House affirmed on Wednesday that it was standing by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who according to a new book may have circumvented the military chain of command by reassuring a Chinese general he would warn Beijing if then-President Trump ordered a nuclear attack on the rival superpower. "The president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing. The president reiterated that message himself about an hour later as he met with business leaders at the White House. “I have great confidence in Gen.

While pressure on Milley and President Biden is growing, there's no signal that the general is in danger.

Biden on Wednesday said that he had "great confidence in Gen. Milley" when asked if the general did the right thing in light of his reported actions.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also offered support, saying Biden and Milley have "worked side by side through a range of international events, and the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution."

At the Pentagon, press secretary John Kirby told reporters: "I've seen nothing in what I've read that would cause any concern."

Kirby would not confirm the events in the book, but said Milley, as the key military adviser to the president, would be "intimately involved in that process in providing advice and counsel" to the Defense secretary and the president in the event of any military strike.

Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod SpaceX launched four civilians into orbit Wednesday, as Elon Musk looks to cement the company’s position as a leading space enterprise. The Inspiration4 mission plans to place the crew in orbit for about three days and then return them to Earth. Photo: Thom Baur/Reuters

At the heart of the controversy is two scenes in "Peril" that describe Milley's moves in the waning months of the Trump administration to prevent any erratic attacks on other nations in a possible strategy to detract from Trump's election loss.

In one instance, Milley called his Chinese counterpart reportedly looking to assure the general and Chinese President Xi Jinping that the U.S. was not preparing a strike. The call followed intelligence in the days before the 2020 election that revealed Beijing believed Trump was preparing to launch such an attack to manufacture an international crisis.

Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler on Wednesday confirmed Milley made the calls but said they were routine. Butler added that the general "regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense around the world, including China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict."

Biden has 'great confidence' in Milley after secret actions in Trump's final months

  Biden has 'great confidence' in Milley after secret actions in Trump's final months A former official told ABC News that then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper was actually the first official to initiate similar outreach to China."I have great confidence in Gen. Milley," Biden told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, during an event at the White House.

Kirby also said such calls are "staffed, they're coordinated and they're transparent, as transparent as they can be."

Woodward and Costa also write that Milley was "certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election," and then convened a secret meeting at the Pentagon to review military protocols, ordering senior military officials to not take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

Kirby, without confirming the reporting in "Peril," said "it is not uncommon at all, for the department to continue to review security protocols - particularly when it comes to our strategic deterrence capabilities - that we constantly take a look at the protocols and the procedures to make sure that they are still relevant."

"It is completely appropriate for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the senior military adviser to both the [Defense] secretary and the president, to want to see those protocols reviewed on whatever frequent basis that he wants to do that," Kirby added.

The pushback has done little to qualm complaints about Milley.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Milley should be fired over the "contemplation" of a leak of classified information to China, and criticized the chairman for undermining the former president with his communications with China. He even suggested on Fox News Tuesday night that Milley was involved in "the essence of a military coup."

'Traitorous' or 'tabloidish': Should Milley be court-martialed or Woodward condemned?

  'Traitorous' or 'tabloidish': Should Milley be court-martialed or Woodward condemned? Washington scandal books are a genre unto themselves. Each has some key revelation crafted to fuel a scandal and sales; often, by the time fact-checkers catch up, the support for the claim is largely irrelevant. That was the apparent case with Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," which unleashed a torrent of alarm over claims that top officials were moving to secretly record Trump, in order to declare him incompetent under the 25th Amendment. Journalists later found an array of errors in those accounts, including core claims.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) called for Milley to be fired, saying he doesn't have the right or the authority "to contact our opponents in Beijing and tell them that he will inform them about any action we might take before we take it."

"He has broken the trust of the American people," Hawley said.

Milley is likely to be grilling during a scheduled appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie are also set to appear at that hearing.

Milley had already come under criticism from Trump and some other Republicans for comments defending critical race theory during a committee hearing over the summer.

In the comments, Milley defended reading materials critical of the founding fathers, saying he thought it was "important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read" Milley said.

"I want to understand white rage, and I'm white," Milley said at one point during the July House Armed Services Committee hearing.

He also made it clear that the military does not actually teach critical race theory at West Point, but his comments were criticized by some on the right, who saw it as offering support for what they see as a "woke" military. Milley himself had dismissed characterizations of "woke" officers as offensive.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Milley's comments "pathetic" and "sad."

That skirmish had nothing to do with the excerpts in "Peril," but it created a context where critics of Milley were even more ready to call for his resignation.

Some other Republicans have held back from calling for Milley's ouster, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rep. Mike Waltz (Fla.), who instead wrote to Milley seeking answers on the phone calls to his Chinese counterpart.

The two said they wanted a briefing "on the intelligence that led you to believe that China was concerned about a preemptive strike from the United States."

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Okla.) said on Fox on Wednesday that the information in the book raises "serious concerns" but said some of the allegations seem "somewhat farfetched." But, he said senators will address the concerns when Milley testifies on Capitol Hill later this month.

Trump has again criticized Milley, and the GOP divide over the general may be affected by the former president.

Former Trump national security advisor John Bolton, who has fallen out with Trump over his own book, on Wednesday defended Milley as "a staunch supporter of the Constitution and the rule of law," saying "his patriotism is unquestioned."

In the days after Trump's loss, "I can only imagine the pressures he and others were under in fulfilling their Constitutional obligations," Bolton wrote on Twitter late Wednesday. "I have no doubt General Milley consulted widely with his colleagues on the National Security Council and others during this period."

Mark Milley Insists Calls to China Are 'Routine' Part of Job in First Public Comments .
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff came under fire amid reports that he'd twice called his Chinese counterpart with assurances that the U.S. would not attack or initiate a war with China. Speaking to the AP while traveling to Europe, Milley said that he made the calls "to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case in order to ensure strategic stability."Excerpts from the upcoming book Peril, authored by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, contained descriptions of the calls Milley made. During the conversations, he told Li that he would provide him with a warning in the event of a U.S.

usr: 1
This is interesting!