Tucker Carlson Gets it Slightly Wrong – General Milley Isn’t In Command of the US Military – Civilians Are

Screenshot via Twitter

As the media hype over the recent ‘insider’ books focused on the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency continues, one point in particular has gained prominence. The book, I Alone Can Fix It, quotes Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) chairman Mark Milley as repeatedly likening his boss to Adolf Hitler, or the “Führer.” He also reportedly said he thought Trump was considering a coup to overturn the election, and that it was his duty to use his position in the military to prevent a coup. These are scandalous claims.

Whether there is any merit to these bizarre allegations, or if the quotes are even true, is the topic for another piece.

Here I want to make an observation about comments made by Tucker Carlson on Fox News in response to all this reported Hitler and coup talk. It brings up the important and often confusing issue of military command authority and the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In a recent show, Carlson asked: “So, the question is, why is Mark Milley still in command of the U.S. military? This is not a small question. If what The Washington Post’s reporters are reporting, it’s a question we need to deal with right now.”

The problem is Gen. Milley is not “in command” of the U.S. military. Something some observers quickly jumped to point out.

James LaPorta, for example, correctly tweeted:

Gen. Milley is not in command of the U.S. military. That’s not how it works. Joint Chiefs of Staff has no authority over combatant forces. They are advisors. The chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense; then to the commander of the combatant command.

This is statutorily correct. This advisory-only role for the JCS was firmly clarified and the issue of “executive authority” clearly resolved, notes the official JCS website:

by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986: “The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall assign all forces under their jurisdiction to unified and specified combatant commands to perform missions assigned to those commands…”; the chain of command “runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense; and from the Secretary of Defense to the commander of the combatant command.”

That is then stipulated in US Code, Title 10 Section 162 (U.S. Code § 162). So, as also noted by the official JCS website, the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council (NSC), however, all JCS members are by law military advisers, and they may respond to a request or voluntarily submit, through the Chairman, advice or opinions to the President, the Secretary of Defense, or NSC.” 

No where is the JCS mentioned as being part of the chain of command.

The commanders of unified combatant commands, like the European Command (EUCOM) for Europe, or INDOPACCOM for the Indo-Pacific region, or STRATCOM for America’s strategic nuclear forces, are the four star generals who, by law, take the nation to war at the direction of the President and Secretary of Defense (SECDEF).

However, in practice, since the Chairman of the JCS (CJCS) is the nation’s senior military leader, he is given great deference and respect by the official chain of command, and is usually informally placed ‘in the loop’ on major command decisions and even orders. One former senior defense official has told me that by “custom and tradition, the chain of command goes ‘through’ the CJCS.”

While this is custom, not law, it is a reminder that the Chairman of the JCS has a powerful role to play in the Pentagon and throughout the U.S. military.

To be clear, the JCS consists of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and now also the Chief of Space Operations.

Each of those 4 star general or admiral ‘service chiefs’ has administrative authority over his respective military branches for training, organizing, and equipping their force, but no actual combat command authority.

Lastly, the Chairman of the JCS is chosen by Presidents for four year terms that often overlap administrations. This is intentional to maintain them as apolitical. If they quit or are asked to resign prior to the end of their tenure, this greatly increases the chances of the position becoming politicized.

The upshot is that while Carlson was technically incorrect about the CJCS, he is right about the importance of Gen. Milley at the Pentagon, and that many questions require answers. 

If Milley or others at the JCS, were recklessly talking about unfounded coups and making Hitler analogies about the President of the United States, as these authors claim, this needs to be confirmed.

However, if as I believe is more likely, the claims in the book are false, or unverifiable, they need to be quashed immediately as outrageous misinformation. These questions are far too important to be left to book writers or TV pundits. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Bob
Bob
2 months ago

I consider this rebuttal by Mr. Crespo to be an example of “tripping over lint” … a saying from when I served in the Marine Corps. While Mr. Crespo is technically correct about the position and role of the CJCS, I think we can allow Tucker a little grace as I don’t believe he served in the military. That said, Tucker’s point about the allegations, if true, certainly raise the question of why someone in such a high and trusted position would make those kinds of remarks. Like Mr. Crespo, I think, these allegations should be investigated thoroughly. There American public and the American military deserve no less, particularly regarding General Officers.

Bob
Bob
2 months ago

I just commented and you deleted my post. Why?

Captain America
Captain America
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

That’s what you get for speaking the truth. You cannot offend the ministry of truth!

james bolton
james bolton
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

You obviously stated the truth and the truth hurts globalist puppet, libby snow flake sheep and moderators little feelings .

Dave
Dave
2 months ago

Tucker Carlson Gets it Slightly Wrong – General Milley Isn’t In Command of the US Military – Civilians Are
.
Yeah, right ….. I defy any civilian to go into any military base and try to tell them how to run things.

Rick
Rick
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Me – 28 years military service. In fact, civilians run the military. There are powerful GS grade and SES people who make major decisions and guide the services… except in combat. Once the civilians call for military action the control for execution of those orders goes to the combat commanders (with ROE and guidance from the civilians). Civilians still retain an oversight role, even then. With all due respect, IF Gen Milley’s “Hitler” comment is true he was out of line. And, there is a clear path to the Sec Def to call him on it if necessary. Civilian control.

Stephanie R Wilson
Stephanie R Wilson
2 months ago
Reply to  Rick

G-d bless you for serving sir.

snipRESPECTSALUTE.png
Fran Schroeder
Fran Schroeder
2 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Who are these civilians and how are they appointed? If they ae appointed by the officials in charge of government, then whoever appoints them is actually in charge.

agiletz
agiletz
2 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I believe the idiot’a name is biden and he is the CIC – get pretty much anywhere and any base any time he feels up to any arduous travel plan. AND HE SURE AIN’T NOTHING more than a civilian………………………..

duffdad
duffdad
2 months ago

You’re right, but the civilians in charge at this point in time are unhinged lunatics and anarchistic traitors!!!

james bolton
james bolton
2 months ago
Reply to  duffdad

The civilians in charge at this point in time are globalist puppets receiving globalist bribes to preach globalist agendas .

CHRISTOPHER E STRUNK
2 months ago
Reply to  duffdad

Globalists NOT anarchists

rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago
Reply to  duffdad

Puppets to the highest bidders!

will FORD
2 months ago

sure they ARE

John Kociuba
John Kociuba
2 months ago

Why are we paying J7 to exist? Why are J7 agents dragged before Senate if they have no authorization or accountability?

Washington D.C. Defrauding The American People Thru Propaganda? Fire J7 Immediately! Is the J7 bought by Communist sympathizers used with security clearances to spy on american military techniques for foreign enemies? A dangerous play, now ending. 🇺🇸

Respectfully,
🇺🇸

John Kociuba
John Kociuba
2 months ago

Question begs to be answered: Why are military leaders following Unconstitutional orders by POTUS that discriminate against soldiers based on religion, political party affiliation, race? 🇺🇸

Respectfully,
🔺️

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

Milley needs to be removed from his position, this hack, undermined our duly elected president and government, in other words he was a traitor, this nut=job needs to go, fired, court=martialed, hero to a zero, is more like it.

rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I agree 100% sir!

John Kociuba
John Kociuba
2 months ago

I would say training, organizing, equipment is command of the United States Military! Time to end J7 nostalgic nonsense…waste of taxation…4 star lobby firms adopting Communism because of OECD International Socialist Organization penetrated U.S. Corporations.🇺🇸

Respectfully,
🔺️

John Kociuba
John Kociuba
2 months ago

We should call the J7 for what it is……
“BOOTS -4-BRIBES!” 🇺🇸

Respectfully,
🔺️

Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
2 months ago

Milley appears to me to be a political hack, not a military man. What an absurd fear!!

Stephanie R Wilson
Stephanie R Wilson
2 months ago

Milley has to go regardless. Austin as well.

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rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago

Affirmative actions got this man his position, nothing more!

libra
libra
2 months ago

I am going to dump my Raytheon Stock since I learned Lloyd Austin had been on the Board of Directors.. I read carefully Proxies now as Valerie Jarrett is on the board at a Stock I own– I voted against the entire offering of Board members.. She is already out there advertising herself available to become a Board Member of any Corporation that will take her… Share holders take note as too many of Obama’s old retreads are worming their way into easy places of enrichment and to become weasels with their votes. Bad enough Obama is in his third term now. Raytheon is the largest military contractor to the Federal Govt..so I believe that the Secy. of Defense will benefit greatly and his seat at the director’s table will b available in the future.

Daisy
Daisy
2 months ago

Trump should have removed him. The President is the Commander in Chief. He had the power to fire Milley. Presidents have fired Generals in the past. Milley overstepped. We all now know what he is about. He is not a loyal American.

CHRISTOPHER E STRUNK
2 months ago
Reply to  Daisy

WE warned about Milley to DJT who has his own way of doing things.

libra
libra
2 months ago

True– The only mistakes DJT made was not firing everyone from the Obama administration. DJT is not a politician –he is a business man and did not realize just what slippery snakes and liars these Demomarxist politicians can be.

Elizabeth Estrada aka CHIAKIA

LISTEN UP….GOD Says…..HE Wants EVERYONE Who CHEATED in the 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELE CTION to Be ARRESTED and IMPRISONED. NO EXCEPTIONS. THERE Shall Be JUSTICE in t he NAME of the LORD GOD of HEAVEN and EARTH. From SamuraiQueen. 😄😄😄

John
John
2 months ago

Sounds like this General will be relieved of command when the next republican takes the presidency…Trump or DeSantis?I’m sure China,Iran and Russia are having a good laugh as well as the now emboldened Taliban.

Fran Schroeder
Fran Schroeder
2 months ago
Reply to  John

After the Afghanistan debacle, why would anyone trust America again? Biden and cohorts should have protected our friends in Afghanistan before leaving.

rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago
Reply to  Fran Schroeder

Better yet, the politicians should have stay out of this war and let our military leaders do their jobs and totally destroy our enemies PERIOD! We have no BACKBONE to complete the task while these politicians screw everything up, just like Vietnam! JM2C!

rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Pulled out of Iraq by a fake President. Pulled out of Afghanistan by a cheater president! Both democRAT! There’s a pattern!

John
John
2 months ago

General Milley may be one of those American born commie plants born and bred to help bring about the downfall of our nation.

libra
libra
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I was happy to hear some of our USN Admirals speak out about CRT.. They said they need to spend more time on instruction about the USN and about handling Ships instead of the Pabulum crap of CRT.. It seems ships and men have been lost due to lack of Naval training and an overt abundance of MARXIST indoctrination.

rrse7
rrse7
2 months ago

milley is a hack. He has a sore spot for President Trump because he fired his marine buddies kelly and mattis. He is a traitor to this country by following the orders of the democrats and not looking out for the American people. Don’t see how the other military leaders stands for what milley is doing. Our leaders have become weak and do not stand up to their superior officers even though they are wrong and are making bad decisions because of POLITICS! Different time different military. Sad to see. We are losing our way in this world because we have sorry leaders and a cheater-in-chief! If things are not corrected quickly, we will all be joining the ranks of the rest of the worldly COMMUNIST! JM2C!

libra
libra
2 months ago
Reply to  rrse7

Milley is just a sweet talking hack.. He knew what Trump wanted to hear and Trump thought they were BUDDIES..–Trump was wrong. In politics Trust No One. Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar tells the tale of misplaced trust in politics..

Jawad
Jawad
2 months ago

Gen Milley is on the retirement gravy train and he is kowtowing to the progressive status quo until he gets his military retirement: no better that a congressman without spine or principles on the gravy train. As long as we sponsor such parasite slugs, we will get the likes of HIM. Any questions?


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