Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Gen. Mark Milley made clear his dedication to the structure at an occasion Wednesday whereas standing beside the newly put in performing Protection Secretary Christopher Miller.
“We’re distinctive amongst militaries. We don’t take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We don’t take an oath to a person. No, we don’t take an oath to a rustic, a tribe or faith. We take an oath to the Structure. And each soldier that’s represented on this museum, each sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, every of us will shield and defend that doc, no matter private value,” Milley mentioned throughout remarks on the opening of the US Military’s museum.
Whereas Milley routinely references the army’s oath to uphold the Structure, he selected to strengthen that message throughout his first public remarks following the foremost shakeup of the Pentagon’s senior civilian management.
Within the wake of Trump’s dramatic purge of among the senior-most civilian officers on the Pentagon who’ve been changed with political loyalists and conspiracy theorists, all eyes at the moment are centered on whether or not Trump will take any motion in opposition to the uniformed army management, together with Milley.
Whereas the army prides itself as being non-ideological, senior uniformed officers should work with new administration appointees who’re fiercely dedicated to Trump’s agenda.
In distinction to the politically appointed civilian management posts, a lot of whom have been pushed out or resigned within the final 48 hours, the army management traditionally continues on into the subsequent administration.
All this comes as Trump refuses to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden and the administration is but to set off the formal transition course of.
Milley involved about politicization
Milley, who was appointed in October 2019, will formally go away workplace on the finish of his time period in 2023.
President Barack Obama appointed Gen. Joseph Dunford chairman in 2015 and Dunford served within the function throughout the first years of the Trump Administration till his time period expired in 2019.
However Trump may select to sack his prime common earlier than Milley’s time period is up in 2023.
Lots of the Trump loyalists which were put in on the senior most posts on the Pentagon come from the White Home Nationwide Safety Council workers and are anticipated to push the NSC’s priorities on the Protection Division.
Whereas a number of officers have lauded Miller’s popularity and talent, a number of describe him as comparatively inexperienced for somebody taking over such a senior publish, with one senior protection official describing him as a “device” and “vassal of the NSC” put in place to execute the White Home’s agenda.
Educated sources instructed CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday that the White Home-directed purge on the Protection Division could also be as a result of now ousted Protection Secretary Mark Esper and his workforce have been pushing again on a untimely withdrawal from Afghanistan that may be carried out earlier than the required situations on the bottom have been met, and different pending safety points.
Milley has careworn Afghanistan withdrawal have to be situations based mostly
Milley has additionally been comparatively vocal in stressing that any withdrawals from Afghanistan ought to be based mostly on situations and achieved in a way that doesn’t threaten US safety.
That stance noticed the senior common change into engaged in a disagreement with the White Home nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien who advocated for a extra accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan regardless of situations on the bottom.
US army officers have lengthy careworn that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is situations based mostly, with these situations together with the Taliban’s breaking its ties to al Qaeda and making progress in peace talks with the Afghan authorities, two situations which have but to be met.
Milley has additionally indicated assist for renaming bases named after Accomplice officers and apologized for showing in a photo-op with Trump following the forceful dispersal of peaceable protesters outdoors the White Home, calling the transfer a “mistake” and saying his presence “created a notion of the army concerned in home politics.”
Trump has defended the photo-op and pushed again strongly in opposition to efforts to vary the identify of bases named after Accomplice officers.
However whereas Trump may fireplace Milley in idea, his could be technically restricted in who he may faucet to exchange him.
Based on regulation, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Air Pressure Gen. John Hyten would robotically function the performing chairman upon Milley’s departure.
If Trump have been to additionally dismiss Hyten, the President would then must designate a member of the Joint Chiefs as performing chairman.
For his half, Milley seems to be carrying on with enterprise as normal.
Shortly after Esper was fired on Monday, Milley held a safe video teleconference with the opposite members of the Joint Chiefs and the leaders of the Combatant Instructions within the safe assembly room generally known as the “tank,” in accordance with a senior US army official.
The senior officers subsequently known as their counterparts abroad to guarantee them that the US army mission continues and to guarantee them the Pentagon is sustaining its army stability around the globe, the official mentioned.
Performing secretary Miller has met with Milley and different prime workers to provide them his preliminary steerage to not count on “important adjustments presently,” the official mentioned.
Milley has additionally been finishing up regular enterprise, assembly Tuesday with Qatar’s Armed Forces Chief of Employees Lt. Gen. Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem on the Pentagon.