Mediocre Milley Has a ‘Near Sputnik Moment’

United States Army General Mark Milley, the hapless chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is, for lack of a better term, a four-star ignoramus. 

Milley remains in his lofty perch even after Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s revelation that he called his Communist Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng, to reassure him the United States would not attack in the last days of the Trump Administration. 

This unbelievably asinine move was a blatant signal of dysfunction in the uppermost echelon of the U.S. military to a clear adversary. That is, if you want to call obvious violations of the U.S. Code and the Uniform Code of Military Justice—including sedition, seditious conspiracy, and misprision of sedition—mere “dysfunctions.” 

Worse, Milley’s dingbat phone call was also a mindless, de facto revelation that the United States was eavesdropping on China’s highest-level communications. You can bet that Li did not send his BFF Milley a thank-you note for disclosing the Chinese communications intelligence breach.

Thus Milley demonstrated to the Chinese that he has the strategic acumen of a straight-leg shave-tail bewildered by the problem of pouring “water” out of a boot. But Milley insists it was all on the up-and-up—that the call was “briefed and sanctioned” across the administration, even though he circumvented the chain of command.

And now the jowly, orthodontically-challenged Milley has had a Captain Renault “shocked shocked” occasion of feigned surprise when he breathlessly claimed the United States is in a “near-Sputnik moment” following the test of a new Chinese hypersonic missile. 

Evidently, Milley’s pal Li didn’t reciprocate with a warning that the political equivalent of a large Mach 5-plus suppository was en route to his well-fed derriere. Shucks, those inscrutable Chinese!

Given his demonstrably poor judgment, it’s clear the general never bothered to read the seminal Chinese war plan delineated in the 1999 book, Unrestricted Warfare. He couldn’t have read it, because People’s Liberation Army Air Force Colonel Qiao Liang and People’s Liberation Army Colonel Wang Xiangsui laid out exactly how China would expand its power and displace the United States in the next few decades. They had Pentagon mediocrities like Milley squarely in mind when they observed: “The American military clearly is technologically stagnant and it is not good at seizing opportunities provided by new technology for new military tactics.”

The Chinese colonels’ comments are underscored by Milley’s apparent faulty command of history, especially U.S. Army history.  The result is just plain dismal. 

While Mediocre Milley was having his “Near Sputnik Moment,” those who are schooled in military history could only chortle: The Army had in its possession a prototype Mach 4 cruise missile called Hermes II . . . in 1947! 

Though the first flight went off course and landed in Mexico, the missile still reached Mach 3.6. Unfortunately, the Army lost heart over the next few years and the project dried up. But the technology still exists, and it is in America’s possession.

Milley couldn’t be so oblivious that he is unaware of U.S. hypersonic programs going back for decades and continuing to this day, including Navaho, ASSET, MaRV, the Pershing II terrain correlator, D-21, Common Hypersonic Glide Body, Tactical Boost Glide, Conventional Prompt Strike, the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, and the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon. Or could he?

The irony is that obviously under-briefed Milley, who glibly throws around Nazi, Brown Shirt, and Hitler comparisons with the frequency of a cheap vibrator, is completely oblivious to the fact that the Hermes II hypersonic ramjet only existed thanks to U.S. Army funding and . . . German National Socialists. 

OK, they were “good” German National Socialists.

Werner Von Braun and 100 or so of his boys (out of the 1,600 ex-Nazis and their families) were repatriated to the United States with fake background papers, courtesy of the Army, under the auspices of Operation Paperclip

And one final irony for Milley: When the real Sputnik was launched and the United States found itself scrambling to catch up with the Russians, who came to the rescue? 

Once again, the U.S. Army . . . and its “good” German Nazi rocketeers.  

Von Braun and his crew, along with a crack team of American military contractors, managed to do the impossible and put a Redstone missile (essentially a long tank V-2 with Rocketdyne upgrades of the V-2 engine and turbopump) on the pad in 90 days and launched an American satellite into orbit.

Milley blunders on as the biggest ego and greatest war loser since the diminutive Union General George “Little Mac” McClellan abandoned the Peninsula Campaign from lack of situational awareness and even greater lack of fortitude. 

Like McClellan, who referred to his boss, Abraham Lincoln, as “Nothing more than a well-meaning baboon,” the similarly vertically unimpressive Milley had nothing but contempt for his towering boss, President Donald Trump, comparing him to Adolf Hitler in pursuit of a “Reichstag Moment,” and tarring his supporters as “Brown Shirts.” 

At least the egotist McClellan had the wit to save his huge supply train of horse-drawn wagons, lest it fall into the hands of the Confederates. Mediocre Milley in Afghanistan, however, had neither the fortitude nor the brainpower to save his supply train, leaving $80 billion worth of arms and equipment behind. 

One wonders, just exactly what the hell was Milley studying when he attended the U.S. Naval War College (Class of 2000) to “earn” a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies? And just exactly what will Milley do if and when he is confronted with his next “Sputnik moment”?

Maybe he could call his bubba General Li—and suggest the United States preemptively surrender.

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