I missed this last week. Shame on me for it. Then again, it didn't get much play in U.S. media (MSM has been too busy bashing Donald Trump).
Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, one of the Pentagon's top commanding generals, Thursday week ago took off the gloves, and made clear warnings (some might say threats) targeted at America's foreign adversaries.
"I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm … the United States military - despite all of our challenges, despite our tempo, despite everything we have been doing - we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that."
Milley was further quoted in in the Military Times:
"While we focused on the counter-terrorist fight, other countries - Russia, Iran, China, North Korea -- went to school on us," he said. "They studied our doctrine, our tactics, our equipment, our organization, our training, our leadership. And, in turn, they revised their own doctrines, and they are rapidly modernizing their military today to avoid our strengths in hopes of defeating us at some point in the future."
I'm told some in our military have taken notice. Milley seems to dismiss the notion of limited war, which has been a doctrine guiding U.S. military strategy since Harry Truman was president. Milley seems to talk total war, and given the diminished stature of U.S. conventional forces, one that might, if not be likely to, involve nuclear weapons.
If conflict between the U.S. and Russia widens, Milley has potentially killed the notion (in the minds of potential adversaries) that the U.S. wants to minimize potential hostilities, or limit engagements to proxy wars. Milley's comments seem to favor the widest, deepest possible clash.
Rather than backing down, there are signs Russia ramps up its defensive posture. Milley's comments apparently preceded Russia's recent unofficial call for its citizens abroad to return home.
Earlier this month, Russia ran a massive civil defense drill, claiming 40 million of its citizens participated. Said to be an annual exercise, it drew high profile coverage in some international press.
Meanwhile President Obama's administration, while escalating war talk, hasn't said word one about protecting American civilians if the war or wars Gen. Milley speaks of come to be.
Don Dickinson and I discuss Milley's comments, and expand on other aspects of escalating tension between the U.S. and Russia, and why this may be a far more perilous series of events than those experienced in the previous Cold War with the USSR. First hour and ten minutes of today's webcast.