This past weekend, the President announced in a tweet his personal pick, Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, to be the United States 20th Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). General Milley will replace General Joseph Dunford, who became Chairman in October 2015. Both of these great leaders are cut from the same cloth; infantry, combat leadership proven, and from the Boston area. General Milley is known for his assertiveness, his demand for readiness, a joint warfighter and leadership under combat command tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It provides a continuity of the JCS Chairmen to challenge the calculus of North Korea, Iran, the near peer of Russia and the Peer of China towards the United States.
As we concluded a two week visit of the Pacific on Friday, where our military force has clearly moved focus to readiness, capability, and increased capacity. A One Belt, One Road Chinese policy, with a lifetime President, a grand strategy of world dominance, and over $5 trillion of goods and trade going through international waters within the island chains annually, it is obvious that the shift is not just about North Korea.
The weekend prior at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Secretary of Defense James Mattis made strong and poignant remarks on the nation’s National Defense Strategy and his thinking on China.
“We are in era of great power competition, but as President Trump has said, competition does not mean hostility, nor does it inevitably lead to conflict. It won’t if we continue to invest in strength.” – Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, December 1, 2018
“This is true of America’s relationship with China. We seek a constructive, results-oriented relationship with Beijing, but we do not accept predatory economic practices, or coercion of smaller states. No one nation can, on its own, change the international order or veto other nations’ diplomatic, economic or security decisions.” – Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, December 1, 2018
“We’re looking for cooperation where we can with China. We will confront them where we must. But it is not our desire to end up in that situation; it’s to find a way to manage a new relationship.” – Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, December 1, 2018
“As adversaries increase the number and sophistication of ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles. When rogue states pursue missile capabilities that threaten our homeland here, we are advancing the next generation of missile defense to protect the United States and our allies and partners.” – Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, December 1, 2018
“We are Americans. We are not spectators in the arc of history. We make history.” – Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, December 1, 2018
History is being made.