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General Milley Made Secret Calls to China Fearing Trump Might Start a War

A new book by best selling author Bob Woodward reveals Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, made secret calls to China in the waning days of the Trump Administration.
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A new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, "Peril" reveals deep concerns by top General Mark Milley that Trump would attack China. 

Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink.

Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.

Click on the above link to reserve a copy.

Fearful General

‘Peril’ discloses that Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the election and after Jan. 6 in a bid to avert armed conflict.

The Washington Post reports Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart.

Note: That is a free link to a site that is normally paywalled. I get a few free links a month on many sites. This is the first one I have used ever. Here are some snips from the article, emphasis mine.

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, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.

The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.

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.

In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.

Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the secretary of defense at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.

The general saw parallels between Jan. 6 and the 1905 Russian Revolution, which set off unrest throughout the Russian Empire and, though it failed, helped create the conditions for the October Revolution of 1917, in which the Bolsheviks executed a successful coup that set up the world’s first communist state. Vladimir Lenin, who led the revolution, called 1905 a “dress rehearsal.”

The book also provides new reporting on President Biden’s campaign — waged to unseat a man he told a top adviser “isn’t really an American president” — and his early struggle to govern. During a March 5 phone call to discuss Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, his first major legislative undertaking, the president reportedly told Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va), “if you don’t come along, you’re really f---ing me.” The measure ultimately cleared the Senate through an elaborate sequencing of amendments designed to satisfy the centrist Democrat.

Blockbuster Story

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Wow! What a blockbuster story.

Click on the WaPo link above for many additional details.

Publications toss out the word "blockbuster" so often that it has lost meaning. This is a genuine blockbuster. 

Trump Won't Run Again

Trump's own top general was so fearful Trump might do something stupid that he made secret calls to the leader of a foreign nation telling that nation we would not attack, but if we did they would get advance warning.

I have repeatedly commented Trump will not run again. He may pretend that he will, but even if so, he will find a reason to back out.

This book seals the fate. 

Who wants to elect someone whose own top general does not trust to make wise decisions?


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