When Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Met 28, he may be faced with some of the most hostile questions of any modern four-star general.
running news: Newly released excerpts from “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa – detailing covert steps by the nation’s highest-ranking military officials to manage national security risks they believed Donald Trump took in the final days of his presidency Introduced – running questions about whether Milley went too far.
big picture: Republicans were already furious with Milley for playing a starring role in a recent episode of Trump’s books.
- Even some of his friends are crying foul over his extensive and high-profile scenes in these books and the assumptions he participates in with multiple authors on “dark backgrounds”.
- Widespread direct quotes attributed to Milley have prompted Republicans to accuse him personally leaked to the authors.
description: Most Explosive Woodward/Costa Fragment The authors say the reports were received over two phone calls and occurred between their Chinese counterpart – on 30 October and 8 January.
- On account, Milley reportedly assured the Chinese general that Trump would not attack China and that if Trump did If they decide to attack, Miley will give a secret head to his Chinese counterpart.
- Miley has yet to respond to this latest reporting.
What are they saying: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on President Biden to sack Milley, citing the reporting of Woodward and Costa, calling him “jointly the current commander.” to actively undermine the in chief”. State Armed Forces.“
- “General Milley attempts to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that he considers the military’s decision to be more stable than that of its civilian commander,” Rubio said. civilian control of the military.”
Behind the scenes: In mid-October 2020, top Pentagon officials became concerned about the intelligence they had seen. This suggests the Chinese were consuming their own intelligence that had them concerned about the possibility of a surprise US attack against China, three sources familiar with the situation told Nerdshala.
- One of the sources said: “I think they [the Chinese] Were receiving bad intelligence… a combination of ‘tease the dog’ conspiracy thinking and bad intelligence from bad sources.”
Then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper The worried Chinese were misreading the situation and their misconception could lead to a conflict that no one wanted.
- Arizona directed its policy office to issue a backchannel message to the Chinese to reassure them that the US has no intention of a military confrontation. Message: Don’t read much of what you’re seeing in Washington; We have no intention of attacking; And let’s keep the lines of communication open.
- One of the sources said that these backchannel communications were controlled at some level from Arizona. The US officials involved thought the initial message to the Chinese was well received. Milley called his Chinese counterpart later in the month to repeat the message, two sources confirmed.
- It is unclear whether anyone at the Pentagon told President Trump or the White House what they were doing.
about the same time Arizona learned of Chinese concerns, they also learned that a long-planned deployment to Asia had been moved weeks earlier than previously planned, to accommodate COVID quarantine protocols.
- According to one source, Esper told coworkers that the last thing the Chinese needed to see at the time — when they were already misreading Washington’s intentions — was more planes.
- To reduce temperatures, Arizona went so far as to delay this long-planned exercise in Asia until after the election.
Nerdshala did not independently confirm that Milley had told his Chinese counterpart that he would raise his head if the US planned to attack China.
- A source familiar with Miley’s conversations with his Chinese counterpart would have broadly portrayed him as saying something like: “We’ll both find out if we’re going to war… There is not going to be an attack and there is no reason for you to strike pre-emptively.”
Between the lines: A debate about what Milley did or didn’t do during the final days of Trump’s presidency was not, to say the least, what Milley’s aides had planned for his scheduled event. September 28 to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
- He saw this as an opportunity to set the record straight on America’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan.
- As Afghanistan immediately fell to the Taliban after President Biden ignored Milley’s advice to keep several thousand troops, Milley’s friends and allies wanted him to have a chance to tell his side of the story.
- He thought that doing so through the presence of the media could be seen as unfair, and given the gravity of the situation it would be best for him to speak under oath in the Congress setting.
- Millet aides were particularly agitated by the White House saying he would support the closure of the airport in Bagram – a decision Milley was forced to take against his recommendations because of Biden’s orders to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. be felt.
What will happen next: Those wishful plans are out the window for Miley’s hearing. 28 hearings will likely focus more on the president’s behind-the-scenes actions during Trump’s final days.
- Members are also targeting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for his handling of Afghanistan.
- As Nerdshala’ Zachary Basu reported Tuesday, Senate Foreign Relations Speaker Bob Menendez (DNJ) took the extraordinary step of threatening Austin and other Biden officials who refuse to voluntarily appear before the committee.