Gen. Mark Milley should retire now as many in our Armed Forces and across America have lost confidence in his service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Opinion]
By most accounts in the media and military circles, General Mark Milley has been a good solider.
A Princeton political science major and ROTC graduate,he began his military career in 1980. He was an infantryman most of his career.
My first meetings with Gen. Milley were during the Reagan National Defense Forum. Our corporation was a sponsor of the forum and, as vice chairman, I was in attendance. Milley was the Army Chief of Staff at that time. He is from the no “BS” network — yet understood the need to be a solider and statesman.
Make no mistake, Milley is a decorated officer and many in the General Officer ranks say he’s done a great job serving both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden as the senior military adviser.
The recent revelations by Bob Woodward of Milley reaching out to Chinese military counterpart really isn’t unusual. Woodward’s new book claimed Milley moved to limit Trump’s ability to call for a military strike in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
What is different are allegations that Milley told his Chinese military counterpart he would warm him if the United States was going to war with China.
While the U S has no intention of going to war with China, Milley overstepped in making the statement and the offer to share that information.
I can find no instance when a seated Chairman of the Joint Chiefs called, say Hitler, Mussolini, or other enemies and warned of an impending attack. Eisenhower didn’t do that on the eve of D-Day either.
Then we have the Afghanistan withdrawal — or what some are calling “Biden’s Retreat.” In defense of this Commander in Chief and all others, military planners had ample time to plan the withdrawal while working with State Department counterparts on getting Americans and collaborators out. No excuses. This was a major mess! One of the worst in our history.
It was former President Carter that placed a small plaque upon the Resolute desk in the Oval Office which stated, “The Buck Stops Here.” Carter, a fine man, lost his re-election bid over his reported mishandling of the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Mark Milley has seen his share of dead and wounded while serving. Generals make tough calls and at the order of the President send men and women into harm’s way.
Gen. Milley is a good person, officer, and patriot. His resume is filled with important assignments, commands, badges, and decorations.
The United States Armed Forces are under civilian control. That is the way it has been since our revolution and the way it must remain. This is apparently what the General overlooked in sharing his warning with the Chinese.
Milley and every General Officer, Field Grade Officer, Company Grade Officer, Warrant Officer, Senior Non Commissioned Officer, and Non Commissioned Officer understands and is duty bound to adhere to this model. We take orders from the Commander in Chief.
Over the past several years we have seen many officers forced to step down for poor judgement, accidents at sea, mission failures in combat, and for too many other reasons to list here.
Gen. Milley is serving a two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has served with distinction in his career since graduating from Army ROTC at Princeton.
He should retire now as many in our Armed Forces and across America have lost confidence in his service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The families and fellow service members need to understand why 13 more Americans died during a withdrawal from Afghanistan. Milley owes it to those Blue Star families and their fellow Americans to give a full account of his actions and his subordinates.
As a distinguished general officer said to me, “Ready … Fire … Aim … isn’t a military strategy or professional.”
- Gen. Mark A. Milley: Shutterstock