The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on September 28, attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Chiefs of Staff) Chairman Mark Milley and U.S. Central Command Commander Kenneth McKenzie, the subject is the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. However, as the highest general of the US military, General Milli had other plans. He wants to use this opportunity to explain the control measures he has taken since the US election last year, including the so-called “secret switch.” He said: “I will elaborate on any level of detail that Congress wants.”
“Work within Responsibilities”
The so-called “secret gate” is a controversial event triggered by the revelations of the “Washington Post” reporter Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in the new book “Danger.” Before the book went on sale on September 21, the “Washington Post” quoted the content of the book in its report as saying that because of fears that then President Donald Trump would suddenly lose control and initiate a war against China, Milly called China twice. Senior military generals assured the latter that the United States would not suddenly go to war with or attack China.
Bob Woodward, one of the authors of “Danger”.
According to the book, the first call Milly made took place on October 30, 2020, just as the polling day of the US presidential election approached. He said on the phone: “The US government is stable and the situation is improving. We will not attack China, nor will we take confrontational actions.” Milli also said to the Chinese general: “You and I have known each other for 5 years. . If we want to attack, I will call you in advance.” The political reporter Baker of the Washington Post later explained to Millie’s actions: “There were tensions in the South China Sea at the time, and Trump treated China well during the campaign. The war remarks exacerbated these tensions. Milley received intelligence that China was worried that the United States was preparing to launch an attack. He was afraid that China would misjudgment, and even fear that China would strike preemptively. Therefore, he tried to tell the Chinese that the United States is stable. Yes, I am not going to attack China.” The
second call occurred on January 8 this year, two days after the riots in the U.S. Congress. At that time, Trump supporters rushed into the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from officially confirming Biden’s election. Milli called the Chinese military again and said: “Things may seem a bit unstable… but we are all normal.” According to US media analysis, Milli’s call is still trying to eliminate China’s concerns about the US political situation, emphasizing that the US situation is “very stable.” “And said that the congressional riots were just “accidental incidents.”
However, Milly is not so confident about Trump’s status. Also on January 8, he had a phone conversation with Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi. Pelosi asked what measures could prevent the “unstable president” from launching a nuclear war, and said Trump was “crazy.” Milli said: “I can assure you that the nuclear button is safe. We will not allow any crazy, illegal or unethical things to happen.” After the call, Milli summoned the relevant officials and explained the procedures for launching nuclear weapons in detail. , And instructed them not to accept anyone’s orders unless Milly himself was involved. According to the description in the book “Danger,” Milly looked at everyone’s eyes and asked them to confirm that they understood their instructions correctly.
Pelosi also sent a letter to all Democrats on the same day to report on the phone conversation with Millie, saying that the two sides discussed feasible preventive measures to prevent the “insane president” from obtaining nuclear weapons launch codes and launching nuclear attacks. She said Milly assured her that measures were being taken to prevent Trump from ordering a nuclear attack. The U.S. Constitution stipulates that only the president can authorize the use of nuclear weapons, without military advisors or Congress approval. The actions of Pelosi and Milly immediately attracted the attention of American public opinion. Milly’s spokesperson responded by emphasizing that it was Pelosi who called Milley to discuss the matter, and Milley only answered questions about nuclear weapons command procedures.
Woodward, one of the authors of the book “Danger”, was a well-known reporter who exposed the truth about the “Watergate Incident”, and has a great position in the American press. At the time of writing this book, the author reportedly interviewed more than 200 sources and obtained a lot of “inside information” in American politics. Although there are so many “political secrets” books in the United States, Woodward’s reputation clearly adds a lot of weight to this book.
After the news broke, the American conservative media immediately besieged Milly, and some media accused Milly of “treason”. Republican Senator Rubio wrote to President Biden that Milley had lost his judgment as a senior military officer and he must be fired to prevent him from posing a greater threat to the country. Trump said in a TV show that Millie would be “treasonous” if he contacted China privately. He also issued a statement saying: “I never thought of attacking China-China knows this. The people who made up this story were sick and insane, and the people who published the story were just as bad.” The
Biden administration supported it. Milly. On September 15, Biden publicly stated, “I have great confidence in General Milley.” On the same day, White House Press Secretary Psaki said: “The president has full confidence in Milli’s leadership, patriotism, and loyalty to the Constitution.” Milly’s spokesman Butler issued a statement saying that all Milly’s (official) phone calls had other staff present. Pentagon spokesman Kirby said that he “did not read anything that would cause concern.” He emphasized that Milli or any chairman of the Joint Joint Council will have dialogues with counterparts in rival countries to reduce the risk of misjudgment and conflict.
On January 6, 2021, supporters of Trump in the United States attempted to storm the Capitol and clashed with security personnel.
On September 17, Milli publicly responded to the matter for the first time. He admitted that he did have these calls, but these are his “work within his responsibilities” to “relax allies and opponents to ensure strategic stability.” But he did not discuss the matter in detail. US Fox News reported that Milly had obtained the consent of the then acting Defense Secretary Miller before calling, and he also briefed the Secretary of Defense’s Office afterwards. The call was made by means of a video conference call, with 15 people present, including multiple recorders. However, Miller denied his knowledge and asked Milly to “resign immediately.”
Can’t get along with Trump
As the highest-ranking active-duty soldier, Milly has more than 40 years of military experience. Lindsay Graham, a Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, once called him “a battle-tested commander and a reformer of the Pentagon.”
Milly is from Winchester, Massachusetts. In 1980, he graduated from Princeton University with a degree in political science and joined the US Army. He has successively served as command and staff positions in the U.S. 506 Infantry Division, Second Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 101 Airborne Division and other units. He went to Iraq to participate in the war for the second time and accumulated a wealth of experience in the field. Later, he was promoted to Commander of the Third Army and Commander of the Army Headquarters. In 2015, he became the Chief of Staff of the Army. The then President of the United States was Obama.
While serving as a military commander, Milly also received a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University, a master’s degree in international security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After serving as the Chief of Staff of the US Army, he proposed to integrate technology, research and development, testing and other fields to establish the US Army Future Command and develop high-tech military technology. This command was established in Texas in 2018 and consists of about 500 people. It is the largest structural reform of the U.S. Army since 1973. In Milli’s view, the development of technology will have a major impact on future land warfare. Many senior U.S. officials have praised Milli’s strategic vision and leadership, believing that he “improved the Army’s ability to prepare for future wars.”
In February 2020, Pelosi tore up Trump’s State of the Union address in Congress.
On October 7, 2019, Trump (left) and Milly shook hands at a briefing.
In December 2018, Trump announced on Twitter that Milly was nominated to replace Joseph Dunford as the chairman of the Joint Council, becoming “the chief military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense”, responsible for coordinating the various major services of the US military and formulating Military plan. Unlike Dunford’s cautious and low-key, Milly has a cheerful and straightforward personality and likes to express his views publicly. In 2016, in response to a Congressional inquiry, he said that since the US military allows women to work in various combat positions, women should also be listed on the list of registered military service. In 2017, he criticized the House Armed Services Committee for failing to approve the national defense budget, calling the latter “dereliction of duty.” The outside world feels that he seems to be more “matching” with Trump’s extroverted character. Trump also praised him as “a great soldier.”
However, many high-ranking generals of the U.S. military were at odds with Trump and eventually chose to part ways with him, including former White House Chief of Staff Kelly, former Secretary of Defense Mattis, and former U.S. Army Commander Allen in Afghanistan. people. Mattis was dissatisfied with Trump’s unprofessional handling of Middle East affairs and handed in a fierce resignation, which led Trump to directly ask him to leave early on social media. And Milly also disagrees with Trump’s fake expertise on military issues. The book “Danger” broke the news that Trump was quite dissatisfied with the USS Ford. Once, he reminded the latter in a meeting with senior generals that he had worked in real estate and knew about elevators. If the elevator on the ship entered water, it would cause malfunctions. It is true that the elevator for carrying weapons and ammunition on the “Ford” often fails, but it is mainly a system problem and has nothing to do with water ingress. In addition, Trump often complained that the electromagnetic ejection system of the “Ford” was too complicated and he didn’t understand it. He complained, “You have to go to MIT to figure out how this damn thing works.” He was particularly uncomfortable with the location of the aircraft carrier flight command center, and said to Millie at a dinner party: “This doesn’t look right. I have an aesthetic vision. Can’t you see it?” Navy officials explained to Trump that this setting is OK. Provide more runway space. But Trump stubbornly believes that this seems wrong. Milly didn’t know how to answer, so he could only sit and listen to Trump’s vent.
On June 1, 2020, Milly (wearing a camouflage uniform) walked with Trump (front) to St. John’s Church near the White House. The small picture shows Trump posing for a photo with the Bible.
Of course, these are minor issues, but Millie often contradicts Trump on some major issues. For example, after the death of African American George Floyd in 2020 triggered mass protests, the White House once stated its intention to use the military to maintain order, but it did not receive the support of the US military. On June 1 of that year, Trump, accompanied by a number of officials, walked from the White House to the front of St. John’s Church to take pictures, and Milly was also with him. But he then publicly stated that it was a mistake for him to take pictures with Trump. He said, “I shouldn’t be there. I appeared in that moment and environment, which made people feel that the military was involved in domestic politics.” He also described Freud’s death as a meaningless and cruel killing, calling the subsequent protests a protest against the injustice suffered by African Americans over the centuries. These statements are closer to the position of the Democrats.
After the U.S. presidential election entered a fever pitch, various gossips were flying in the sky, one of which was that Trump would launch a coup after losing the election. According to US media reports, Milly was very worried about this and said that if Trump really gave a dangerous order, he would choose to resign. He said to his deputy: “He (Trump) does not have an army, nor does he have the CIA and FBI. He cannot do this. We are the ones with guns.” In response, Trump fought back angrily, saying that he had never After thinking about a coup d’etat, he said that even if he wanted a coup d’etat, he would never join Milly.
Pursue “not to go to war with China”?
As a diligent senior general in the US military, Milly knew China. As early as August 2016, he visited China as the Chief of Staff of the US Army. During his tenure in this position, the Chinese and US armies conducted joint exercises on humanitarian relief and other issues. In October 2019, Milli, as the chairman of the Joint Council, said when talking about Sino-US relations that he believed that China was not an enemy, but an opponent. The United States is not ready to go to war with China.
But this sentence cannot be interpreted as Milli’s “pro-China”. It can only be said that he clearly knows that the United States will have to pay an unbearable price for a war with a big country like China. As early as March 2016, he frankly stated at the U.S. Congressional hearing: “When we talk about risks, we mean the possibility of a large-scale outbreak with one or two of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. War. Judging from the current state of the military, if it is to start a war, whether it is time, casualties, or military objective costs, we cannot perform the mission satisfactorily.”
Milli also constantly emphasized China’s “threat.” In an interview last December, he stated that he believes that China is trying to catch up with the United States in military strength by 2035, and plans to gain the ability to defeat the United States in armed conflicts by the middle of this century. This is a major security challenge facing the United States. . At the National Defense Seminar held at the U.S. Naval Academy, he once again emphasized the importance of technology. He said, “We are in the midst of a fundamental change in the nature of war.” If the U.S. military wants to maintain its superiority over China, it needs to embrace robotic weapons and artificial intelligence in an all-round way, and it needs smaller and more capable troops in Asia. Long-range missiles are deployed more widely everywhere. But he also said once again, “I am not saying that there will be war with China. I am saying that we want to prevent war with China.”
Both emphasizing “not going to war with China” and using “China threat” as a reason to develop the military power, this seems to be the common thinking of American professional soldiers like Milly. Not long ago, John Haydn, the vice chairman of the United States Joint Council of Representatives, made a similar high-level statement when he was invited to have a dialogue with American scholars. Haydn said that the U.S. leadership has made it very clear that China is a “step-by-step threat” that the U.S. must pay attention to. This is true today, in the short-term and in the long-term. He also cited the US-Soviet confrontation as an example. At that time, the two big powers had huge nuclear weapons at the same time, but no large-scale war occurred between the two sides, “because we have always maintained deterrence and have not crossed the line.” “So when it comes to matters between major powers, our goal should be to never go to war with China, and never go to war with Russia.”
Such “power thinking” is also in line with “American logic.” It’s just that Milly and other senior U.S. military officials have to keep an eye on the “nuclear button”. Who knows if the core of power in the United States will “out of control” again?
was born in Massachusetts in 1958 and studied at Princeton University, U.S. Naval Command College, and Columbia University. Joined the U.S. Army in 1980 and successively held command and staff positions in the U.S. 506 Infantry Division, Second Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 101 Airborne Division and other units. Later, he served as Commander of the Third Army, Commander of the Army Command, and Chief of Staff of the Army. He was appointed as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army on October 1, 2019. He is the highest general of the US military.