Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has been in hot water recently over allegations in the book “Peril” that he made two secret phone calls to his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army. The book was written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa and detailed the phone calls that took place. One call was placed on Oct. 30, 2020, right before the 2020 presidential election and the second call was made two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The book went on to claim that Milley had contacted Li about allegations that the United States was planning an attack on China amid military exercises that were happening in the South China Sea. Milley reassured Li that the U.S would not attack China in any way and promised him that they are “100% steady.” “Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes,” Milley promised Li on the call.
While Milley spokesman Col. Dave Butler claimed that the calls were coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the opposite. He fired back that he “did not and would not ever authorize” Milley to have secret calls with his Chinese counterpart. He described the entire incident as a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination, adding that he should resign immediately.
Sen. Marco Rubio has even called on President Biden to fire Gen. Milley, adding that the reports worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief. He went on to say that Gen. Milley worked to leak classified information to the Chinese Communist Party and help the People’s Republic of China arm themselves in conflict. The book even claimed that Milley had promised to give the Chinese an “advance warning” of any American attack. He’d held secret meetings behind former president Donald Trump’s back and told leaders not to take any military strikes or nuclear orders from Trump days after the Jan 6. Incident at the U.S Capitol. Milley had even told Gen. Li on the second phone call that they’ve known each other for five years now and if they are going to attack, then they’ll “call you ahead of time.”
Rubio points out how Gen. Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that his judgment is more stable than its civilian commander. “It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by Gen. Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military,” Rubio said.
Sen. Rubio called on President Biden to immediately dismiss Gen. Milley’s ability to lead in national security.
Some Pentagon officials have disputed the claims, saying that Milley only sought to assure China that there would be no “surprise attacks.” While the first phone call was a part of diplomatic relations to assure your rivals that everything is fine, the second phone call in offering to let an adversary when you will attack is absolute treason. There’s no path for the US to plan and conduct in the interest of national security if officials are off-calling CCP members about any armed conflict.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to the calls for Milley’s resignation, adding that President Biden has “complete confidence” in Milley and has made it clear that he should not step down.
At this point, the President is giving it the a-ok for the chain of command to ignore the higher-ups and do what they think is “right,” even if it goes against the president’s orders. This shows just how deep the rabbit hole goes.