Bob Woodward alleges in a forthcoming book that General Mark Milley conspired with senior military officers of the Chinese Communist Party against his boss, President Donald Trump. Yesterday I expressed skepticism that any American military officer would do such a dishonorable thing, while noting that Milley had not yet disputed Woodward’s charges.
Now, based on this statement by Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Dave Butler, it appears that Woodward’s reporting is, shockingly, accurate. Col. Butler’s statement was issued in response to Woodward’s report and the firestorm of controversy that it ignited. Thus, the most significant fact about the statement is that it does not deny the truth of any part of Woodward’s account. Rather, Col. Butler tries to put Woodward’s reporting in a sympathetic light:
His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability.
So Milley did talk with his Chinese counterparts at the time alleged by Woodward. His only defense is that those conversations were normal. They “convey[ed] reassurance.” Well, that is what Woodward wrote: Milley told the Communist Chinese that if President Trump intended to launch an attack against them, he, General Milley, would betray his country by giving them advance warning. No doubt that was reassuring to the CCP.
The Joint Chiefs spokesman’s statement also confirms Woodward’s claim that Milley met with other senior military officers to instruct them not to obey certain possible orders from President Trump:
Also in keeping with his responsibilities as senior military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, General Milley frequently conducts meetings with uniformed leaders across the Services to ensure all leaders are aware of current issues. The meeting regarding nuclear weapons protocols was to remind uniformed leaders in the Pentagon of the long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.
So what Woodward wrote is correct. The idea that President Trump was likely to order a nuclear strike on China is fanciful, to put it politely. That the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs took such a fantasy seriously demonstrates how out of touch he was, and is. Trump, for better or worse, was the least warlike of presidents. Did he ever order American servicemen into a new conflict? Unlike just about every president since Eisenhower? No, he did not.
General Milley is obviously a slave to left-wing ideology, which is why he has inflicted Critical Race Theory on America’s fighting men and women. This far-left ideology is also reflected in his view that President Trump, against all evidence, was some kind of warmongering loose cannon, and his even more sinister view that the leaders of China’s armed forces were his peers and his allies in undermining the foreign policy of the United States.
I never would have imagined that the U.S. military could sink to the level represented by Milley. He should be fired, cashiered, court-martialed, drummed out of the Army, criminally prosecuted if possible. And we need a thorough investigation into how the leadership of our armed forces could possibly have sunk so low.