Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, could have jeopardized the national security of the United States in allegedly secret calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to former U.S. military officers. Milley also overstepped his own authority while allegedly discussing the launch of nuclear weapons with senior military officials, they say.
According to a new book titled, “Peril,” Milley called Li once in October 2020 and another time on Jan. 8 to assure him that the United States wouldn’t attack the Chinese Communist Party, and if it was poised to attack, he would alert his counterpart.
“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 reportedly said.
Milley made those calls, the book has alleged, because he was fearful that then-President Donald Trump would carry out military action during the waning days of his presidency.
Some U.S. lawmakers have described Milley’s actions as treasonous, saying the general overstepped his authority, and have called for President Joe Biden to fire Milley. Biden, in response, has backed the general.
Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2000, said he was incredibly concerned about Milley’s allegedly secret conversations with Li.
That the nation’s top military officer has not denied any of the allegations, but defended his conversations, has shocked Lippold, who told The Epoch Times, “Milley may have purposefully—or inadvertently—created a window of strategic vulnerability.”
Milley has since described the calls as “routine” and “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job. As chairman, Milley is the top military adviser to the president and to the defense secretary.
Lippold said the call to Li could have easily called into question “America’s resolve and willingness” to safeguard itself and ensure its survival.
By J.M. Phelps