General Milley making mistakes.
As a rule, members of the American military aren’t allowed to disclose military plans/secrets to the enemy. Makes sense. It’s not just frowned upon, it’s firing squad upon. Yet General Mark Milley, the chairmen of the Joint Chief’s of Staff under Trump, actually did just that. At least according to reporting in a new book from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
From The Washington Post:
In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.
One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”
Um. That’s like telling your child “No matter what bad thing you do, I won’t punish you.” Some will take offense to me comparing the Chinese to children, but I don’t care. It’s the metaphor that matters. It is not a good idea to assure someone you’re at odds with that nothing bad will happen if they misbehave. Sometimes the threat of action is all that’s necessary to keep someone in line. See also the arms race.