Small Wars Journal

Army Chief of Staff Milley Meets the Press

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 11:10am

Army Chief of Staff Milley Meets the Press by Sandra Erwin - Real Clear Defense

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley came to the National Press Club Thursday to push his case for a bigger Army and to call for greater public support for a larger defense budget…

Milley devoted the bulk of his speech to the global security issues that he and the rest of the U.S. military leadership spend the most time fretting about. “We’re in a fundamental change in the character of war,” he said, arguing that the enemies of the United States and its allies will seek to attack in unconventional and unpredictable ways.

He said the most worrisome adversaries today are four nation-states – Russia, China, Iran and North Korea – and nonstate actors such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and other militant insurgent groups determined to kill Westerners…

Nonstate actors are a tough problem because their worldview is hard to grasp and they can’t be defeated simply by military means. “I would suggest that we’re in a very long struggle” against violent extremists and terrorist organizations. “Our basic approach is, we work with friends and partners in the region.”

The underlying message of the speech was that the Army is too small and under-equipped to tackle this dangerous world. Today about 20 percent of the Army – about 180,000 soldiers – are deployed in 140 countries. “We need to be bigger and stronger, and more capable.”

Military leaders and Pentagon officials continue to press the case for more money and resources, but they are poised for more disappointment this year, as Congress and the White House are in a stalemate over budgets and other big items on the legislative agenda…

Read on.