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Gen Milley should resign


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1 hour ago, HeloDude said:

Here’s a quick point worth asking/mentioning:

Hypothetically, if Trump had directed ICBMs to be launched at X (name your country) on 19 Jan 21, would he have been wrong (in terms of not have the power/ability) to do so as the Commander in Chief?  If Milley had discussions with other military officers to ensure this would not have been able to happen without his awareness and/or concurrence then would that not be considered insubordination and worthy of some form of action against him?  Also what if Milley would have attempted to stop Trump’s order?

It's an interesting one.  On the one hand the Chief Executive is the sole legal release authority for nuclear weapons.  On the other hand, anyone following an order to randomly nuke a country would almost certainly be committing a war crime, and thus have a duty to disobey.

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1 hour ago, HeloDude said:

Here’s a quick point worth asking/mentioning:

Hypothetically, if Trump had directed ICBMs to be launched at X (name your country) on 19 Jan 21, would he have been wrong (in terms of not have the power/ability) to do so as the Commander in Chief?  If Milley had discussions with other military officers to ensure this would not have been able to happen without his awareness and/or concurrence then would that not be considered insubordination and worthy of some form of action against him?  Also what if Milley would have attempted to stop Trump’s order?

Unlike SOS teaches, ethics systems should not be based on lifeboat situations.

That didn't happen and the answers to those questions do not matter.

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19 minutes ago, raimius said:

It's an interesting one.  On the one hand the Chief Executive is the sole legal release authority for nuclear weapons.  On the other hand, anyone following an order to randomly nuke a country would almost certainly be committing a war crime, and thus have a duty to disobey.

Presidents allow for (and order) the bombing of random people all through history…civilians as well.  Other than the number of people dying, what’s the difference?  Is there a number of people dying where it changes from a lawful order to war crime?  Have any of the bombings done by the US in our history been a war crime?  Why even have nukes if using them would be a war crime?

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It's an interesting one.  On the one hand the Chief Executive is the sole legal release authority for nuclear weapons.  On the other hand, anyone following an order to randomly nuke a country would almost certainly be committing a war crime, and thus have a duty to disobey.
Maybe it's time we reevaluate our nuclear posture.

Consolidating the power into one person pretty much guarantees a retaliatory nuclear strike if we are attacked with nuclear weapons. This is good for the mutually assured destruction concept.

Consolidating the power into one person also means that one person could initiate nuclear war with no check or balance. The only safeguard is the assumption that no sane person would initiate a nuclear strike unless absolutely necessary.
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1 minute ago, jazzdude said:

Maybe it's time we reevaluate our nuclear posture.

Consolidating the power into one person pretty much guarantees a retaliatory nuclear strike if we are attacked with nuclear weapons. This is good for the mutually assured destruction concept.

Consolidating the power into one person also means that one person could initiate nuclear war with no check or balance. The only safeguard is the assumption that no sane person would initiate a nuclear strike unless absolutely necessary.

One of the worst/deadliest wars in human history started because of a person with a handgun.  And more people died in one night of fire bombing Tokyo than died from the dropping of two nuclear bombs.

Either our President has the legal ultimate authority to nuke whoever he wants and at his will or he doesn’t. 

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Presidents allow for (and order) the bombing of random people all through history…civilians as well.  Other than the number of people dying, what’s the difference?  Is there a number of people dying where it changes from a lawful order to war crime?  Have any of the bombings done by the US in our history been a war crime?  Why even have nukes if using them would be a war crime?


I think what makes the use of nuclear weapons, particularly in a first strike capacity, involves the military necessity and proportionality. I don't think number of people killed matters in this context, it's the use of nuclear weapons in the first place that changes the discussion.

There's also the environmental fallout of a nuclear strike to deal with that you wouldn't have in a conventional strike. Plus the suffering of survivors exposed to radiation creating a humanitarian crisis.

Even if it's not a war crime per se to use nuclear weapons, there's going to be international backlash and condemnation. So unless we're ready to exist in our own bubble, this backlash will affect our other instruments of power.

With conventional military campaigns, Congress could decide to stop the campaign. Can't really put nuclear war back in the bag.

And all of this rests on the President, who could decide to ignore all his advisors, ignore the principles of necessity and proportionality, and unilaterally execute nuclear war.

Congress has the power to declare war, and putting nuclear first strike solely in control of the President circumvents this power.
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One of the worst/deadliest wars in human history started because of a person with a handgun.  And more people died in one night of fire bombing Tokyo than died from the dropping of two nuclear bombs.
Either our President has the legal ultimate authority to nuke whoever he wants and at his will or he doesn’t. 


I don't think numbers killed is a good yardstick to compare conventional war to nuclear war. You're right, war is devastating, even without nukes.

As we learned more about the negative effects of using nuclear weapons, we started to reign in where we put them and who has the authority to use them. I think our better understanding also raised the bar on how significant a threat needed to be before we'd consider nuclear weapons.

I think it's time for us as a nation to rethink if the President should have the ultimate authority to nuke whoever he wants at will, particular for a first strike, especially since Congress holds the power to declare war and a first strike with nuclear war is a de facto declaration of war by the President. even a retaliatory strike can be iffy.

Not saying there aren't scenarios where the use of nukes is justifiable, to include first strike. Just that maybe we should have some checks and balances on the employment of nuclear weapons.
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Maybe it's time we reevaluate our nuclear posture.

Consolidating the power into one person pretty much guarantees a retaliatory nuclear strike if we are attacked with nuclear weapons. This is good for the mutually assured destruction concept.

Consolidating the power into one person also means that one person could initiate nuclear war with no check or balance. The only safeguard is the assumption that no sane person would initiate a nuclear strike unless absolutely necessary.

That’s actually exactly how it works. There’s a whole system and it doesn’t include the CJCS, nor does it need to.

Edit to add: it’s not like it goes straight from POTUS to 25 Captain Snuffy’s with launch keys. There are several high ranking people on down that could preempt malfeasance.
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The president has absolute authority on the understood expectation he is acting in the best interest to protect our country and its citizens… that’s what grants him he authority to order a launch under the current law, and while there has been an effort of late to limit the President from First Strike ability under actual law, there is an important and ignored part of the checks and balances on this….

The Presidents cabinet and the people who would chose to say”dude isn’t fit for office, let’s exercise the 25th amendment” are Senate confirmed positions for that exact reason. The expectation is that the senate exercises that oversight to make sure the room isn’t full of some weird death cult bushido type crazy’s who would follow the president down into the bunker to watch it all burn together.

That checks and balances process was eroded when the party in power changed cabinet confirmation (along with others like judicial) to a simple majority… in 2013. Gee…. Wonder if the Democrats wanted that decision back after Trump got elected.


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That’s actually exactly how it works. There’s a whole system and it doesn’t include the CJCS, nor does it need to.

Edit to add: it’s not like it goes straight from POTUS to 25 Captain Snuffy’s with launch keys. There are several high ranking people on down that could preempt malfeasance.


And this gets at the heart of the question: if the President orders a nuclear launch, should someone in the chain of relaying that order to the missileers with the keys be able to tell the President "no?" And at what level? GO? O-6? Individual missile crews?

Is that bucking civilian control of the military? If it's within the president's rights to unilaterally order a nuclear strike, does the military at any level have the right to dissent (outside of something clear cut like targeting Americans)? Should the military ignore the launch order until the cabinet meets to determine if the 25th amendment be invoked because the military leadership disagrees with the launch order? And if the cabinet chooses not to act, then what?

Where do we draw the line? Should the military disobey conventional military action direction from the President if senior leaders in the COCOMs disagree with the President's plan?

I agree that CJCS inserting himself into the equation was not right. But the situation highlights a problem
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And this gets at the heart of the question: if the President orders a nuclear launch, should someone in the chain of relaying that order to the missileers with the keys be able to tell the President "no?" And at what level? GO? O-6? Individual missile crews?

Is that bucking civilian control of the military? If it's within the president's rights to unilaterally order a nuclear strike, does the military at any level have the right to dissent (outside of something clear cut like targeting Americans)? Should the military ignore the launch order until the cabinet meets to determine if the 25th amendment be invoked because the military leadership disagrees with the launch order? And if the cabinet chooses not to act, then what?

Where do we draw the line? Should the military disobey conventional military action direction from the President if senior leaders in the COCOMs disagree with the President's plan?

I agree that CJCS inserting himself into the equation was not right. But the situation highlights a problem

I don’t think you have a clear understanding of how the nuclear enterprise works.
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This hypothetical scenario based speculation is mildly interesting, but it’s quite clear CJCS is a disgrace for many reasons and must resign or be fired.  

I personally think Austin, Miley and McKenzie at a minimum no longer remain credible in their positions after the AFG debacle.

Unfortunately we all know there will be no accountability.  

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I don’t think you have a clear understanding of how the nuclear enterprise works.
You might be right. But I assume Gen Milley has a good understanding of the nuclear enterprise, and if the reporting is correct, was genuinely concerned enough about Trump's behavior towards the end of his presidency to take drastic action. If Milley ends up resigning or being fired over it, I bet he keeps a clear conscious on the actions be took.
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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:
5 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

I don’t think you have a clear understanding of how the nuclear enterprise works.

You might be right. But I assume Gen Milley has a good understanding of the nuclear enterprise, and if the reporting is correct, was genuinely concerned enough about Trump's behavior towards the end of his presidency to take drastic action. If Milley ends up resigning or being fired over it, I bet he keeps a clear conscious on the actions be took.

Insanity! 

First, there are procedures that he could have taken inline with the LAW.  He can go to the President's cabinet and ask them to invoke the 25th, he can resign in protest, he can even go to the press.  If (and we still need to learn the truth), but if he did what is reported...he bypassed the law and effectively staged a coupe.  This is beyond serious, this is the very foundation of our system, the bedrock of which is civilian control.  Again I know the recent faults with Woodward but for a moment assume lets what he said is true.  Milley stepped between civilian control of the nukes, asked officers to swear an oath to him and told the Chicoms he would warn of an attack.  This sounds like the plot out of a movie or a military junta taking power in a banana republic.

I thought the fiasco leaving Afghanistan was bad but if true this goes beyond resign, this should turn to Courts Martial. 

We REALLY need to know and understand what happened and find the true, the republic is at stake.

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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

You might be right. But I assume Gen Milley has a good understanding of the nuclear enterprise, and if the reporting is correct, was genuinely concerned enough about Trump's behavior towards the end of his presidency to take drastic action. If Milley ends up resigning or being fired over it, I bet he keeps a clear conscious on the actions be took.

But it's not about his conscious or how well he sleeps at night. If we reach back to our PME (shudder) and remember our Instruments of National Power, diplomacy, info, military, economic (DIME)... if everything else fails, and it's starting to seem that way, we had our military nuclear deterrent.

Our nuclear enterprise has taken decades of work to establish. The process of launching nukes has constantly undergone a series of upgrades, tweaks, and adjustments to ensure that is works and that it is safe. Although I've forgotten most of it, we've all either written papers on it or studied it. As it is important to us that this system works, it is vitally important that our enemies know our system works.

Mark Milley has not only (allegedly) undermined that system at home, but he (allegedly) called our biggest strategic enemy and advertised it to them, "Yo Li, our long established process for launching nuclear missiles, and biggest instrument of our national power and check against yours, is broken. You're welcome."

Trump had lost the election. Pelosi called Milley to "inquire" about nuclear weapons. Is it possible that Milley was acting out of self-preservation to please the incoming administration and ensure he had a continuing career? What if he had said to Pelosi "Sorry Ma'am, that's outside the scope of my duties." He'd be toast 12 days later. I remember on that day, Pelosi making a comment to the media that checks were in place to make sure our nukes were safe... just to intimate that they previously were not under Trump. It was political move.

If all this is true, the Trust is broken. Who has control over our military? Milley did not like or trust Trump to be sane enough make a rational complex military decision, but he trusts Biden? For real?? If anyone is arguing Trump was not mentally fit to make those decisions, they must be making the argument that Biden is. Politics has superseded safety in our process for launching nukes.

It will take longer to rebuild this damage than it will for our enemies to exploit it.

 

 

Edited by torqued
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This hypothetical scenario based speculation is mildly interesting, but it’s quite clear CJCS is a disgrace for many reasons and must resign or be fired.  
I personally think Austin, Miley and McKenzie at a minimum no longer remain credible in their positions after the AFG debacle.
Unfortunately we all know there will be no accountability.  

Having the “first African American SECDEF” resign is not good optics for the democrats and woke crowd, so it will not happen. That alone is everything wrong with the left today and a contributing factor to why we are in this mess.


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18 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

 There's a lot of people out in the media and on this forum that are "raging for justice, throw him in prison, execute him!!" before all the facts are in.  

Nearly everybody on this forum has used the words "if true" or some derivation, and no one said we should bypass his right to a fair trial. Your arguments don't require strawmen to be true. 

 

Further, there's no requirement to wait until the trial has been conducted to speculate, since none of us are going to be investigating him. Especially with politics. Politicians (and Milley is probably more of a politician than he is a soldier at this point) act very predictably. One thing they almost never do is allow a false story to float without an outright denial. Think Hunter Biden and his laptop. 

 

As I've said repeatedly, I don't trust Woodward as far as I can throw him. However if the journalist is famous as Bob Woodward makes a claim about a politician, and the politician doesn't issue a denial, it's time to pay close attention.

 

There are also some fairly high profile rebukes coming out that I don't believe would occur without some behind the scenes validating. Christopher Miller is one such example.

 

Honestly looking at Milley, a cartoon character of what a military General should be, I'm not at all surprised that he did it, and had the chutzpa to brag about it to a journalist. It seems like a lot of these "dissidents" from the conservative wing get a taste of media adulation for some "heroic" act against the great orange vulgarian and they quickly forget that they are still enemies to the left and will not be forgiven for their unacceptable wrong-think. 

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2 hours ago, jazzdude said:
6 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

I don’t think you have a clear understanding of how the nuclear enterprise works.

You might be right. But I assume Gen Milley has a good understanding of the nuclear enterprise, and if the reporting is correct, was genuinely concerned enough about Trump's behavior towards the end of his presidency to take drastic action. If Milley ends up resigning or being fired over it, I bet he keeps a clear conscious on the actions be took.

If he remains, I wonder what criteria he will use for the current POTUS in order to establish (in his mind) the inability to wield nuclear decision-making?  Rather not test that out.

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12 hours ago, HeloDude said:

Presidents allow for (and order) the bombing of random people all through history…civilians as well.  Other than the number of people dying, what’s the difference?  Is there a number of people dying where it changes from a lawful order to war crime?  Have any of the bombings done by the US in our history been a war crime?  Why even have nukes if using them would be a war crime?

This is a terrible strawman.

No, we don't allow presidents to just decide to commit mass murder.  There is a "road to war" that involves many outside sources.  The mass murder without any reasonable cause is the war crime, not the particular weapon here.

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12 minutes ago, raimius said:

This is a terrible strawman.

No, we don't allow presidents to just decide to commit mass murder.  There is a "road to war" that involves many outside sources.  The mass murder without any reasonable cause is the war crime, not the particular weapon here.

Did Truman not commit “mass murder”? I remember the left saying Bush was committing mass murder as well…without reasonable cause.
 

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13 minutes ago, HeloDude said:

Did Truman not commit “mass murder”? I remember the left saying Bush was committing mass murder as well…without reasonable cause.
 

Which is interesting and why they always have a big legal workup before a conflict.  Afghanistan and Iraq were both presented as cases of Jus Ad Bellum, the justification for war that says a person always has the inherent right to self-defense and in doing so war is just.  This principle dates to the early philosophers including St Thomas Aquinas, John Locke and Scorates.  

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Am I the only one who is as taken aback with his statement his to Chinese counterpart that he would let him know if we were coming? WTFO? What happened to surprise and initiative???

Edited by ViperMan
grammar; missing words
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3 hours ago, Lord Ratner said:

Nearly everybody on this forum has used the words "if true" or some derivation, and no one said we should bypass his right to a fair trial. Your arguments don't require strawmen to be true. 

 

Further, there's no requirement to wait until the trial has been conducted to speculate, since none of us are going to be investigating him. Especially with politics. Politicians (and Milley is probably more of a politician than he is a soldier at this point) act very predictably. One thing they almost never do is allow a false story to float without an outright denial. Think Hunter Biden and his laptop. 

 

As I've said repeatedly, I don't trust Woodward as far as I can throw him. However if the journalist is famous as Bob Woodward makes a claim about a politician, and the politician doesn't issue a denial, it's time to pay close attention.

 

There are also some fairly high profile rebukes coming out that I don't believe would occur without some behind the scenes validating. Christopher Miller is one such example.

 

Honestly looking at Milley, a cartoon character of what a military General should be, I'm not at all surprised that he did it, and had the chutzpa to brag about it to a journalist. It seems like a lot of these "dissidents" from the conservative wing get a taste of media adulation for some "heroic" act against the great orange vulgarian and they quickly forget that they are still enemies to the left and will not be forgiven for their unacceptable wrong-think. 

I'll concede that your first statement is mostly accurate; looking back, most people on this forum did caveat things with "if true" or something to that effect.

  Since we're speculating, to your second point, predictability is the is one of the reasons I'm very skeptical about the allegations contained in this latest book.  Most 3-4 star generals are politicians or at least very politically savvy once they get to that level, it's how they got there in the first place.  In my experience, all the generals I've been around or worked with at that level invoke CYA in almost everything they do and say (I think they take a class in it prior to pinning on that third star).  Slight derail, as I understand it (I've never done a puzzle palace tour thankfully) it used to be the JCS was actually one leadership level where this wasn't always true, since once you've made JCS or CJCS you've hit the ceiling, there's no where else to go.  My buddies up in the Pentagon have told me that dynamic changed appreciably once Mattis was made SECDEF; several generals now had the attitude that they were still potentially upwardly mobile and started acting as such, but I digress.

  I find it very difficult to believe that Milley told the Chinese he'd give them a heads up before the US attacked or that he made other officers swear an oath to him regarding the use of nuclear weapons because if he did those things too many people are/were in the know and as has been stated on this forum, those are illegal acts that would result in UCMJ actions.  If the people in the room for those calls or the officers he allegedly made swear an oath get hauled in front of Congress, the IG, or a courts martial, they're not going to fall on their swords for the good general.  He'd be proper fucked and he's smart enough to know that. 

  Another thing to consider, at least regarding the timing of the first call.  What if Trump had won the election?  I find it very difficult (though not impossible, as I said I'll be interested in what he says to Congress on the 28th) to believe that Milley would take such actions or say such things knowing the guy he allegedly is conspiring against might still be his boss.  Trump sure as shit wasn't going to give him a pardon or be forgiving about it.  To be clear, I'm not arguing that Milley didn't do and say these things because of his honorable character, I'm saying I think it's very unlikely because he's a political creature.

  On the Chris Miller denial point in particular, we'll have to agree to disagree.  In a follow up to his statement to Fox about the phone calls, he told Politico, despite his pretty forceful rebuke:

"I imagine there was a perfunctory exchange between us and our staffs about coordinating phone calls and messages for the day.”

“I don’t recall the specifics, and it certainly wasn’t in a detailed or more formal way," he added. "It was more perfunctory/routine.”

  Always have an out/CYA.

  Also, the guy was in the seat as SECDEF for 53 days; before that he was ASD/SOLIC for only 3 months.  In most staff gigs it takes a min 4-6 weeks to get your head wrapped around the day-in/out basics.  At the time of the second phone call, he was two days removed from the storming of the capital debacle and he also was working to catch up on the transition to the Biden administration, which had been delayed due to Trump's refusal to concede the election results.  My guess (once again I'm speculating) is that his office had been advised of the call and that he had other things going on.

  FWIW, I think at minimum McKenzie and Milley should resign over how the Afghan withdrawal was conducted, I'm just not fired up over this story unless more corroborating facts come out.  My personal take on this right now is that it smells of the 10% truth rule on Friday night stories at the squadron bar.     

  

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