The Most Dangerous Man in America, by Declan Leary

A vain, stupid man in the highest rank in the US military is indeed a danger to us all. From Declan Leary at

Gen. Mark Milley is ambitious, incompetent, progressive, and wildly self-assured.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley arrives before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill on September 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)

Four-star General Mark A. Milley, 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and highest-ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces, is a walking answer to the unasked question, “What if Jim Mattis were fat and dumb?”

With his fellow four-star and President Trump’s first secretary of defense, Milley shares a powerful but muted arrogance, a strong but less than rabid hawkishness, a clear political ambition that nonetheless defies immediate identification, and the obvious desire to be seen as a 21st-century warrior-scholar. He does not share with Mattis the requisite intelligence to uphold these delusions of soldier-sagehood, nor the basic capacities required to competently lead men and fight wars.

Milley’s warfighting incompetence—shared by almost all the top military brass—was on full display in the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal executed last month, and the chairman, along with CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (himself a retired four-star), was called yesterday before the United States Senate Armed Services Committee to answer for the failure.

While granting an equivocal admission that “it is clear, it is obvious, the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted, with the Taliban now in power in Kabul,” Milley left it unclear whether he would have let the war end on any terms at all, if it were up to him. After suggesting that he had played a part in killing President Trump’s initial order to end the war by January 2021, Milley recounted:

On 17 November [2020], we received a new order to reduce levels to 2,500, plus enabling forces, no later than 15 January [2021]. When President Biden was inaugurated [on 20 January] there were approximately 3,500 U.S. troops, 5,400 NATO troops, and 6,300 contractors in Afghanistan with the specified task of train, advise, and assist, along with a small contingent of counterterrorism forces. The strategic situation at inauguration was stalemate.

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