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Mark Milley The Doctor Strangelove General

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley apparently revealed to authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, that, in the closing days of the Trump administration, he had secretly gone outside the chain of command to communicate with Communist Chinese

General Li Zuocheng and tell him that the United States would not strike and pledged to give him a heads up if Trump ordered an attack, according to reporting by The Washington Post.

“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 is reported to have said.

(Somewhere in whatever afterlife ancient warriors occupy, General Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, was no doubt laughing his ass off after that exchange.)

What we find particularly interesting is the timing of the two calls: The first was on Oct. 30, just four days before the presidential election, and the second on Jan. 8, two days after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. What gave Milley the idea the Red Chinese needed reassuring at those two moments? Did Donald Trump threaten some kind of Götterdämmerung ending to his administration that included an attack on Red China? There’s absolutely no evidence that he did.

According to POLITICO, the evidence as to whether Milley made the calls without notice to Pentagon civilians is a little murky. However, former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said that if the Woodward and Costa report is accurate, “it would be completely inappropriate and completely contrary to civilian oversight of the military if he was conducting foreign policy activities or national security activities of that nature, but I don’t know if that call is accurate. I don’t know if it’s true or not.”

He added that such a call would be “pretty troubling for civilian oversight and would be really contrary to the Constitution if true. … If the way the Woodward book portrays the nature of the phone call is accurate, it’s not in accordance with the way we do things in our government and our republic.”

While the Biden White House and Pentagon have been furiously spinning to make the calls sound routine, and the Woodward and Costa report an exaggeration, in a statement the authors told POLITICO: “We stand by our reporting.”

This whole bizarre episode reminds us of director Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 cult classic film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in which a paranoid general went rogue to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

But wait a minute classic film buffs will protest – in the movie Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper was the bad guy for trying to start a war, here General Milley is a good guy because he is allegedly trying to stop one.

We think that’s too shallow a reading of both the movie and Milley’s treasonous behavior.

The point of the film – aside from its obvious anti-nuclear weapons agenda – was to tell the story of how easily a rogue general – like Mark Milley – could start a nuclear war.

In Almost Everything in Dr Strangelove Was True, a 2014 essay for the New Yorker written by Eric Schlosser, the author noted that, upon taking office, John F Kennedy “. . . was surprised to learn [that] a subordinate commander faced with a substantial military action” could start the thermonuclear holocaust on his own initiative if he could not reach you.”

Kennedy and his national-security advisers sought to encode the NATO stockpile of approximately three thousand American nuclear weapons stored in Europe, but the Air Force and the Navy refused to add code switches to the weapons in their custody, thus making the idea of a rogue commander all too chillingly plausible, noted Tara Brady in an article for the Irish Times.

“When Strangelove was released,” wrote Schlosser. “There were all these articles about how implausible it was, how nothing like this could ever occur. And that was a lie. There were no locks on the bombs. There were no controls on them. When President Kennedy took office he didn’t know that the authority to use nuclear weapons had secretly been granted to low level commanders. Kubrick looked really closely at our nuclear war plan. He spoke to a lot of people in the military. And he was correct in assuming that we could have a nuclear war by accident.”

And of course, the opposite is also true – we could lose such a war or be destroyed if our senior or even fairly junior officers simply decided to ignore their orders and refused to engage the enemy – which is where Mark Milley reenters our story.

Can we afford to entrust our national defense to the commander who left billions of dollars of weapons behind for our enemies when he ordered the chaotic retreat from Afghanistan? Can we trust a commander subject to such paranoic whims that he thinks – without evidence – that his Commander-in-Chief is going to start a nuclear war and promises our greatest enemy that he will give them a heads-up if an attack is coming? The answer is obviously no.

In 1964 Kubrick’s film was panned by many conservatives as being anti-military, anti-American or even “pink.” But the important point that it made – who is in charge of America’s massive military power matters as much or more than the power itself – is still relevant, and it tells us that Mark Milley is not just insubordinate, but a dangerous lunatic who cannot be trusted anywhere near the chain of command of America’s 21st century military arsenal.

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley

  • Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

  • Donald Trump

  • Chinese military

  • Communist Chinese General Li Zuocheng

  • The Art of War

  • Biden administration

  • Biden foreign policy

  • Dr. Strangelove

  • nuclear war

  • rogue commanders

  • National defense

368 views24 comments


Marilyn Kousoulas
Marilyn Kousoulas
Sep 20, 2021

Fire the CRT Milley and make sure he never receives his retirement money. If we think that Milley is afraid of what Biden can do with the 'red button' stop and think of how most of USA and our allies feels about that. Also, Pelosi is going behind Biden's back and giving orders! Is she exempt from removal? NO!

Replying to

Milley should be court martialed for treason.


Sep 17, 2021

"We're the ones with the guns"? How was Miss Milley not fired for that little bon mot...which, apparently, he thought was clever and, in fact, was a threat against a sitting President. This guy is a thoughtless, stupid, below-average military thug who should not be in that position...but that's the swamp, and what it has turned our military into...a bunch of second-rate political hacks who only know how to lose wars.

Replying to

I believe B. Hussein Obama appointed him to that position in 2012. Biden and the Dems will defend this guy tooth and nail. So don't expect anything to happen.


I'm not sure referring to Milley as "the Strangelove General" is fair to the general in this classic film (which is one of my favorites). The general in the film was trying to defend and save the U.S. from the communist U.S.S.R. Milley was actually aiding communist China, and undermining his Commander-in-Chief. Definite difference between the two.


Spot on article except for one thing. The Capitol was not "stormed" by rioters. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people there that day, thousands ended up outside of the Capitol, and hundreds entered, most of those did so peacefully and in an orderly fashion and were in fact invited in by the capitol police. There were a handful of inciters ("professionals?") that did some violence and successfully got a few to follow them (video of which is played relentlessly by the media to give the impression that was going on everywhere). And the capitol police, in certain cases, appear to have goaded the crowds outside as well to create some mayhem that could also be filmed. We need…

Replying to

"Stormed" suits the Deep State left's narrative attacking conservatives. Too bad they didn't have the same ire about Ashli Babbitt's senseless murder.


It is standard procedure for professionals in all occupations to interact from time to time with their counterparts around the world. However, there are some things they can share and other things they can't. This is especially true about high ranking government officials, including flag officers in the Pentagon. The problem at hand is whether Gen. Milley actually said what the Woodward book says he said. Suspiciously, nobody, including the general, has denied the content of the conversation. What conclusion can we reach from that? Either Woodward made it up, or the general said it. Given his recent conduct advocating for Critical Race Theory and the way the Afghan war ended, it doesn't look good for Gen. Milley.

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