On the Road to a Banana Republic? General Milley’s Role
Gerard Baker in an op ed in The Times of London provide a cure warning about the behavior of the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
You don’t need to be a cynic to see what’s going on here: Woodward doubtless speaks to many people, but there is always a direct relationship between the amount of access a high-ranking official gives him and the amount of virtue that official is assigned in the story.
The latest hero is Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who, in the mouth-agape, edge-of-the seat retelling of the last days of Trump, is The Man Who Saved America. Milley is portrayed, throughout, as alarmed by the former president’s determination to contest the election result and terrified by his increasingly intemperate outbursts…
But the general’s self-aggrandising account is troubling.
As Milley knows, there are clear operational procedures that must be performed before a presidential war directive can be implemented. As crazy as Trump may have been, the idea that he could press a nuclear button and start World War Three in a fit of rage is fanciful.
As it happens, of course, for all the former president’s notorious intemperance, he had proven to be the most reluctant warrior among any of America’s recent presidents.
But much worse, Milley’s decision to go so public, through the medium of the author, with the tale of how he thwarted impulsive presidential action is itself a shocking breach of the constitutional order.
Milley remains joint chiefs chairman.
As one dismayed senior former military chief told me this week, a carefully planned public relations campaign to explain how America’s top soldier directed his senior officers, and other officials, to prepare to defy the commander-in-chief’s authority is a reckless departure for the US.
It nudges American government closer to banana republic territory.
What if Milley or some successor decides that Biden is too cognitively impaired to give orders and that it’s the military’s job to work around or defy him?
For the complete op-ed, please see the following: