by Curt Mills
Wednesday, 29
September 2021
Dispatch
10:36

Finally, a good day for General Milley

The top military man faced a grilling — and survived
by Curt Mills
The general’s not going anywhere soon. Credit: Getty

Points on the board for Mark Milley. 

Flanked by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Central Command Commander Frank McKenzie, Milley participated in a long-awaited Senate hearing on the Afghanistan collapse and the general’s slapdash communications with Beijing in the smouldering final hours of the Trump administration. 

Going into the hearing, Milley had built himself quite the reputation. From offending Black Lives Matter protesters and Donald Trump, to dubious consultations with China and assailing “white rage” as a top American threat, the current U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — Washington’s top military man aside from the president — finally had a good day on Tuesday. Add to that heavy criticisms of the general and military brass more generally from top American conservatives, it looked like it was going to be a tough day for Milley.

The general will not resign, as swashbuckling populist Sen. Josh Hawley and others have called for. President Biden has tangled with the “E-Ring” (where American war is made) before, most notably as vice president. If he was going to take Milley down, it likely would have been before he was allowed to represent his new administration in Congress. 

So, Milley is not going anywhere soon.

He survived accusations of incompetence over American withdrawal from Afghanistan and paid no price for speaking to Washington Post scribe Bob Woodward. If speaking to Bob Woodward is a career-killer in Washington, someone’s changed the whole game. 

Less successful was the appearance of the least famous official of the trio: Gen. McKenzie, head of “CENTCOM”, which has been the nerve centre of the U.S. crusade in the Middle East and Central Asia these last twenty years. From moments of apparent triumph (the deposition of Saddam Hussein and slaying of Osama bin Laden) to the greatest failures (Bin Laden’s initial escapes, and the Taliban comeback last August), CENTCOM played a crucial role in all these military operations.

Of the three, McKenzie showed himself to be the most “made man,” as is said in Mafia, just by the U.S. defence establishment. 

The war on terror is not over, said the good general, and neither is the war in Afghanistan. That’s news to the supermajorities of Americans — Democrat, Republican and independent — who say neither Afghanistan, nor Iraq, was worth it. And that’s news to the Afghans who now live under Taliban rule, as they did to two decades ago back. McKenzie was a Trump appointee to the post, as was Milley, and both now firmly reject the mantra of their old boss. 

For now, it is Biden who has inherited Trump’s war with the “deep state”.  

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Penny Mcwilliams
Penny Mcwilliams
11 months ago

And..? This reads more like an introduction to the development of an argument, so where it?

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

Exactly.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
11 months ago

It has the obilitory Trump smear. As if it was wise and prudent to abandon 20 years worth of work for a political objective that fell flat. Public opinion on forever wars elsewhere have been countered with the maintenance of relative peace with strategically placed forces. The next 20 years may see forces arise that must again be quelled by another peace keeping effort.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago

Gen. Milley should be tried for treason. He is a disgusting, “inside the Beltway” (someone who has been in Washington D.C too long) creature, and calling China to tell them that he would warn of an attack is the very definition of treason.
Guess what: US still has capital punishment, as does the US military. Gen. Milley represents much of what is wrong with America in 2021. Sickening.
The American Special Envoy to Haiti just resigned. I completely disagree with him on policy, but I actually think that his resignation, for what I would say are the wrong reasons, was honorable.
Gen. Milley is not honorable.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Slight over reaction there I must say. From what I understand all he said to China is that an attack wasn’t imminent and the US had no plans to attack them. This de escalation of tensions is common between nations, it happened throughout the Cold War frequently. It’s vastly different to warning an enemy of an upcoming attack, which would indeed be treasonous

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

He is not a diplomat and finessing China is not in his remit. He should go for that alone. Moving onto the most recent topic at hand, it is obvious that he mismanaged the withdrawal on a scale that is unforgivable.. Either he must go, or Biden must go, or preferably both.

James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

With respect, I disagree. If the allegations are true, he went completely freelance and said he would warn the Chinese if an American attack was imminent. That sounds like treason to me.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Jaw dropping that anyone would defend his actions.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Deep state creatures of the swamp. Not elected and seemingly answerable to no one.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
11 months ago

I would not call a congressional hearing where clips of it are already being used to show Milley is a liar and a hypocrite a good day for him. See the thing about video recordings, people can look at what you said in the past and compare it to what you are saying now. It is not the hearing that Mark Milley has to worry about, it is everything that comes afterwords.