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Home/Rod Dreher/Gen. Mark Milley: China’s Man In The Pentagon?

Gen. Mark Milley: China’s Man In The Pentagon?

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifying before Congress

Hi all, I’m sorry to have been away from the keys, but I was tied up all day filming a PragerU segment about Live Not By Lies. And the Internet keeps going on and off at this hotel. Flying back home tomorrow.

Anyway, I was stunned by the news about Gen. Mark Milley today. By now you will have read that the Joint Chiefs head phoned his Chinese counterpart twice during the final months of the Trump administration, to reassure the Chinese that the US wasn’t planning to attack China — this, because Milley was worried about Trump’s mental stability. The first time was right after January 6 of this year. Here’s the second time:

Milley also reassured Chinese Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the U.S. had no intention of launching a strike against China, according to the paper. It was one of two secret phone calls shared with Li on the issue.

The first took place on Oct. 30, 2020, after Milley reviewed intelligence suggesting China believed the U.S. was preparing for an attack due to military exercises in the South China Sea and Trump’s antagonism toward the country, according to The Post. But Milley told Li he would be warned of an impending attack.

“General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years,” he said, according to the paper. “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

The top US general called the man who would be his worst enemy in the event of war — and called him on October 30 of last year! — and told him that he would telegraph the US attack ahead of it happening. What the hell?! In what kind of country does the Joint Chiefs head call America’s No. 1 enemy and assure them he will let them know if we plan to attack them? In what kind of country does the top military leader violate the chain of command like this?

If Milley was so afraid of the president’s mental state that he felt compelled to phone the top Chinese general not once but twice, why did Milley not warn Congress and the American public? This makes no sense. Where was Milley during the second impeachment trial? Milley thought he was working for a deranged Commander in Chief capable of starting a war with nuclear-armed China in a fit of pique, but he didn’t want to go public with this concern. Incredible.

Milley had to have been a source for this information. If so, then he was proud of what he did, and figured it would make him look good. I don’t care how bonkers Trump might have been, the head of the US military cannot go around the civilian Commander in Chief — especially not to do his own foreign policy negotiations with our chief foreign rival. Again: if things were as bad as Milley believed they were, he should have publicly threatened to resign, and then gone to Congress to spill the beans. If memory serves, this kind of thing is why Truman fired Gen. MacArthur. I don’t care if you hate Trump, Milley has to go.

One more time: you can think that it was appropriate for him to have called China under these circumstances, but if Milley had any guts, or any sense of responsibility to the country he has sworn to defend, he would have gone public with this at a time when it would have cost him something, but might have spared the country a disaster. But he waited to tell it to Bob Woodward after he (Milley) was safe from Trump, and presumably to ingratiate himself to the people whose admiration he craves. The nation’s military chief doing something like this is beyond extraordinary. He seems like a double creep, Milley does: he didn’t make it public when it could have stopped what Milley regarded as a grave danger to world peace, but when it also would have cost him something; now he’s revealing that he carried out an act radically destabilizing of the civilian chain of command, when doing so could not do any good, but also wouldn’t hurt Milley, and might actually boost his personal stock.

Some character that one has.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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