A group of 27 House Republicans has requested Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to investigate the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley for his alleged call with a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general, citing national security risks.
In a letter sent to Austin dated Sept. 16, the group led by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) requested a formal AR 15-6 investigation into the allegations that “Milley blatantly disregarded the concept of civilian control of the military, and gave aid and comfort to America’s principal adversary, the Chinese Communist Party.”
The lawmakers cited reporting from a new book authored by reporter Bob Woodward. The book discloses two secret phone calls in which Milley assured his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng, that U.S. military exercises in the South China Sea would not precipitate armed conflict. However, he would warn the Chinese general in case of an attack.
The letter comes after several reports emerged on Tuesday, Sept. 14, on the upcoming book “Peril” which describes Milley’s top-secret action to preempt then-President Donald Trump from ordering a military strike or launching nuclear weapons as well as making a series of phone calls to his Chinese counterpart.
According to Breitbart, a spokesman for Gen. Milley, then confirmed some allegations contained in the book. In a statement on Wednesday, Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said, “The House Republicans said in their letter that they are gravely concerned with ‘Milley’s ability to exercise his duties and responsibilities as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.'”
“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict.
His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability. All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.
Also in keeping with his responsibilities as senior military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, General Milley frequently conducts meetings with uniformed leaders across the Services to ensure all leaders are aware of current issues. The meeting regarding nuclear weapons protocols was to remind uniformed leaders in the Pentagon of the long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.
General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.”
“To conspire with a communist, malfeasant, hostile, and genocidal government regarding our intentions—or lack thereof—with utter disregard to the implications of said ‘promise’ on our national security or our Service Members, is nothing short of craven (at best) and treasonous,’” they wrote.
The GOP lawmakers demand the Pentagon launch an AR-15-6 investigation, the Army’s primary tool for gathering information by various means that will look into any situation a commander deems necessary and in the military’s best interest.
The Republicans also asked the Secretary of Defense to respond to their letter with the investigation results by Oct. 6, 2021.
“In the interim, General Milley’s security clearance must be suspended pending the outcome of this investigation,” they said.
Earlier, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) urged President Biden to fire Milley immediately, citing the reports claiming that the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman may contemplate a treasonous leak of classified information to the CCP.