Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley didn’t hesitate to bash Trump, but he’s working overtime to protect Biden over the linkage between Afghanistan and Ukraine.
When pressed by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, on the Afghanistan withdrawal and whether it played a part in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, Milley replied: “From the intelligence I’ve read, it’s not clear. I think it certainly is possible, but I also know that Putin had aims on Ukraine long before the end of the war in Afghanistan.”
Blackburn cut him off: “I think we all know that. So he saw his opening, right?”
“Well, the forces were building up — they began to build up their force in September, October,” Milley replied. “So I think in order to do that, they would’ve had to have the plans and approval long before September, October.”
This is dumb. And Milley isn’t this dumb. No one in his position could be. This is a case of deliberately playing dumb.
The Russians would have had a dozen plans for invading Ukraine going back who knows how long. I’m sure Milley’s seen that we have plans for invading Ukraine, Fiji and anywhere else in the world. Considering Russia’s interests, I doubt they would have had to suddenly scramble to formulate new plans. And considering Russia’s performance, they were almost certainly working off some old plan.
As for approval, is Milley serious? Russia isn’t America. There’s a much shorter approval process in dictatorships especially ones in which the military brass is very political. Considering the botched disaster in Afghanistan, which Milley and other brass knew would go bad, he ought to appreciate that. When you can’t tell the head cheese that he’s an idiot and what he wants is going to get a bunch of people killed, the approval process is surprisingly short.