A statement made by Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley defending the teaching Critical Race Theory to West Point cadets has gained some attention. However, the comments Milley made today actually reconcile several years of CTH watching Milley operate and having puzzling questions.
Remember, General Milley did some really odd things as Joint Chiefs Chairman under President Trump:
(1) Milley never removed Lt. Col Alexander Vindman from his White House post after the underling compromised his leadership position. The pentagon left Vindman on assignment to the NSC even after Vindman attempted to take-down President Trump.
(2) Milley was then slow to react to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer threatening President Trump; attempting to extort him into inaction over the disciplinary plans against the SEAL commando, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher. And perhaps worst of all…
(3) Joint Chief Chairman Milley, SoS Mike Pompeo traveled to Mar-a-Lago in December 2019, where they informed President Trump of military strikes in Syria and Iraq *after* they took place. [Background Here] [Background Here]. President Trump made Esper, Milley and Pompeo hold a press conference without Trump supporting them; then President Trump remained silent on the issue for days.
It seemed like CTH was alone noticing the issues with the Pentagon and suspicions of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley. However, a few days after the Mar-a-Lago incident Col Douglas Macgregor expressed his own suspicions about the U.S. military attack in Iraq and Syria that paralleled our gut reaction. Macgregor stated he believed President Trump was being intentionally and “skillfully, misinformed”.
There were valid reasons for suspicion around General Milley and the entire Pentagon apparatus.
Factually, President Trump’s strategic approach toward foreign threats and foreign intervention (through the use of geopolitical economic pressure) was a major paradigm shift that removed the Defense Department from a primary role and placed them back into a more appropriate ‘contingency’ role, when it came to foreign policy and national security.
It was obvious from the outset of the Trump administration the Pentagon did not like that position.
Before explaining more, let us watch General Milley today outline his worldview on internal domestic politics. Note how Milley connects the teaching of Critical Race Theory to his view that people attempted to “assault” the DC Capitol and “overturn the constitution of the United States“. Watch this carefully because in many ways he is saying the quiet thing out loud:
In the big picture it was not difficult to figure out why the Pentagon would be opposed to Trump. During the Trump campaign and early administration President Trump’s expressed foreign policy was viewed by NATO alliance members as a threat. President Trump dared to tell them their “cold war mentality” was outdated. Heck, the NATO members were simultaneously purchasing energy from Russia at the same time they were demanding the U.S. military protect them from any Russian aggression.
The same type of common sense perspective that startled the NATO alliance members applied internally to the U.S. military.
President Trump’s preferred use of economic warfare made the Pentagon’s role diminished. Instead of punching North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, President Trump hit the checkbook of Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping (tariffs etc.) and then opened diplomatic discussions with the DPRK Chairman. Toward the threat from North Korea the primary military response became the contingency plan; President Trump engaged in economic leverage, not military…. and it worked.
As a consequence the value of James Mattis was replaced by the effectiveness of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Joint Chief’s Milley was not in the primary planning room; Milley was replaced by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (until he’s needed).
In the Trump era the President was telling the Pentagon where and when to position; and then asked them for ‘contingency’ preparation. Decades of Pentagon-centric foreign policy was lessened by an entirely new geopolitical approach based on an economic strategy. This was, in essence, the Trump Doctrine.
Take away power, or worse yet, stop using military power, and the leaders within the system start to sense their institution becoming functionally obsolescent. Overlay this military fear with pre-existing ideological differences and the situation gets worse.
Unfortunately, like all other issues in the era of hyper-polarization, normally liberal democrats would be alarmed about military leadership going rogue with their own agenda. However, as long as that agenda was anti-Trump, the political-left with a totalitarian outlook are now okay with it.
In 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden was openly asking the U.S. military to initiate a coup against President Trump. The corporate media didn’t bat an eyelash… The traditional checks-and-balances, things that normally keep us stable, started getting very sketchy within the military; this has only gotten worse in the past year.
Remember,… the impeachment effort was only a “soft-coup” until the uniformed military showed up. Yet these same Pentagon leaders have the nerve now to call a protest in DC, likely manipulated by the FBI, an insurrection “intended to overturn the constitution of the United States of America.” The one thing these leftist ideologues are good at is projection.
“Tell me again how we should “back the blue”, as we watch parents arrested at school board meetings. Tell me again that most FBI agents are good & legitimate, while we watch 15 agents investigate a garage pull-down cord while ‘known wolfes’ roam free. Tell me again. Please, keep telling me…. and when the order comes down to go door to door to collect citizens’ firearms, or to arrest citizens for wrong thoughts, our local police and military will follow orders”… and I will say “tell me again”, in handcuffs.