Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

By Robert Bursey, AP National security writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – While taking charge of the Pentagon fired by leadership churn, the Biden administration will see a hold as a source of military continuity: General Mark Miley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

President-elect Joe Biden will inherit Miley as his senior military advisor, and although Biden may replace Miley, he is unlikely to.

A Princeton-educated history buff with the gift of gab, has been a staunch defender of found military traditions, even as President Donald Trump packed the Pentagon with political loyalists. Miley reassured Congress that the military would stay out of the elections and, without any uncertain words, told the soldiers that the Capitol riot was an act of treason. Last summer, he put his opponents on the line apologizing with Trump for being photographed in a photo-op outside a church near the White House after being forcibly removed from the area.

Military leaders always have an important role in ensuring stability from one administration to another. But the delay will be particularly important for continuation after the met, about the rocky posture transition and uncertainty when the Senate will confirm the top Pentagon nominees.

Milla, 62, is in his second term of four years as the Army’s top officer. His predecessor, the Marine General, Joseph Dunford, now retired, was an equally transitional figure, appointed by President Barack Obama and continued with Trump for nearly three years.

The President of the Joint Chiefs does not command troops, but advises a President and the Secretary of Defense on the approach to major military problems.

Biden will have several problems on his plate from the get-go, including Iran and North Korea. In addition to dealing with potential military crises, Biden joined with his future secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, for advice on broad strategic goals, including for arms control with Russia, combating terrorism in the Middle East, and competing with China. Will see

Miley is already singing as a go-to officer at an eccentric Pentagon.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, asked her two days after the January 6 rebellion at the Capitol what could be done to investigate Trump’s authority to order a nuclear strike in his last days in office . The chairman of the joint chief is not in the command’s nuclear chain, but Pelosi’s call echoed an idea that did not replace any confirmed secretary of the Senate, with stability beginning to meet.

Found do not hesitate to take charge.

He loves to talk, often relying on his in-depth knowledge of military history, sometimes personalizing his talk, never hesitating to accept his idea. Miley speaks devoutly to her late father, a veteran of battles in the Pacific Theater of World War II and concerned about America’s vulnerability to the space-based war he could bring to Pearl Harbor next.

A Massachusetts native, Miley was commissioned as an armor officer in 1980 and rose to become Army Chief after 35 years. When Trump announced his election as joint chief nearly a year before Dunford’s term ended, he called Miley a “great gentleman” and outstanding soldier.

By June 2020, however, Miley was in danger of being fired; He privately opposed Trump’s talk of enforcing the Rebellion Act to place active-duty soldiers on the streets of the nation’s capital in protest against the murders of a black man, George Floyd, by the Minneapolis police.

Miley publicly expressed regret for being part of a Trump’s entry on a walk in Lafayette Square on June 1, which Trump held a Bible for photographers. Miley was hit by critics for appearing a political pawn. A few days later, Miley said that she had made a big mistake. In the months that followed, he was in danger of being sacked by Trump.

Michael O’Hallan, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, said Biden should not see Miley as molesting Trump.

“If Biden wants to send some messages about reconciliation and bipartisan cooperation, then working closely with Miley … wouldn’t be a bad place to start,” O’Hallon said.

It appears that Austin, named Biden’s defense secretary, will win Senate confirmation on Inauguration Day, Wednesday. Seeing that confrontation, Biden persuaded Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, an official of the Trump administration, to temporarily remain as acting secretary. This makes the presence of Mile even more important.

Once confirmed, Austin would enter a Pentagon from an extraordinary period of leadership instability. Trump went through the most defense secretaries of any one-term president in history – two who were confirmed by the Senate and three others who served in only one acting, placeholder capacity.

The Austin nomination added another twist to Miley’s path given Austin’s background as a recently retired Army general. Questions are being raised in Congress and elsewhere on how the Pentagon, led by a former career military officer, will affect relations between civilian and military officials.

Roger Zakheim, Washington director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, says the extra effort needed to win a prohibition against recently retired military officers serving as Secretary of Defense would give Biden less reason to remove Millie.

“You don’t want to create more unrest here than what you’re already going to do to deal with General Austin through the nomination process”.

Biden will provide guidance not only for advice on current problems, but also for guidance on future adjustments to military structure and strategy, including changes to the US military footprint abroad. Miley looks for the possibility of Biden looking for savings in the defense budget.

“We at the Pentagon, civil and military alike, have got to do a quick reality check on the national budget and are likely not to be too far in the future,” Miley said recently. “I doubt the Pentagon’s budgets will begin to level at best. There is a reasonable possibility that they may actually decline. “

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