(Washington) An unprecedented attack for an officer of this rank: General Mark Milley, leaving his post as chief of staff of the American armed forces on Friday, attacked former President Donald Trump, saying that no soldier was in the service of a “potential dictator”.
“We do not take an oath to serve a king, or a queen, or a tyrant, or a dictator. And we do not take an oath to serve a would-be dictator. […] We take an oath to defend the Constitution,” said the soldier, in full uniform, during the ceremony marking his retirement after a mandate punctuated by crises.
The reference is transparent. According to a recent book by investigative journalist Bob Woodward, at the end of the Trump era, General Milley contacted his Chinese counterpart on several occasions to reassure him about the American position, without warning the Republican president, whom he ‘worried.
The chief of staff drew the wrath of Donald Trump who recently suggested that Mark Milley was guilty of “treason” and that in other times he would have been executed.
American President Joe Biden, during the ceremony on Friday, for his part praised a “patriot, uncompromising in the fulfillment of duty, unwavering in the face of danger and unwavering dedication to his country”.
His “help was invaluable,” said the 80-year-old Democrat, asserting that the general had always “been guided by the Constitution.”
Charles “CQ” Brown, currently head of the Air Force, will succeed him. After Colin Powell in the 1990s, he will be the second African-American to occupy the highest ranking position in the army considered the most powerful in the world.
“It was one crisis after another”, without interruption, Mark Milley recently told AFP about his mandate which began in October 2019.
Kabul and Kyiv
Alongside Secretary Lloyd Austin, the current chief of staff notably managed American military aid to Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.
His passage was also marked by the American debacle in Kabul, when, in August 2021, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan at the end of a 20-year war described by Mark Milley himself as “ strategic failure.
General Milley also expressed his regret for having been present alongside Donald Trump when the president had a demonstration of the Black Lives Matter movement in front of the White House dispersed to go and have his photo taken in front of a church, bible in hand. hand.
His successor, Charles Q. Brown, is an experienced former pilot with 3,000 flight hours, including 130 combat hours.
A brigade leader, he later served as commander of the United States Air Force in the Middle East and the Pacific.
This general was noticed in the summer of 2020, precisely in the midst of Black Lives Matter demonstrations against racism, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis (Minnesota).
The senior officer had published a video in which he spoke of the discrimination he himself had suffered, including in the army.
The Senate confirmation of General Brown was long delayed due to the deliberate blocking of a conservative senator to demonstrate opposition to the Pentagon’s decision to help servicewomen obtain abortions. CQ Brown was ultimately confirmed by a vote bypassing this blockage.
However, many other appointments remain blocked and Joe Biden deemed it “completely unacceptable that more than 300 other highly qualified military personnel are thus kept in uncertainty”.