“In my estimation, it’s not going to happen in the very near future, not in the next few weeks,” one source, speaking not for attribution, said Sept. 6. “I think we’ll see continuation of a dialogue, very low key, until after the midterm elections.”
The assessment comes as the head of Mossad was the latest senior Israeli official to arrive for consultations in Washington this week.
However, Mossad director David Barnea has canceled earlier plans to brief the Senate Intelligence committee on Israeli objections to the Iran deal, sources said, and a committee spokesperson confirmed.
During those meetings, he presented „sensitive intelligence“ to highlight the Islamic Republic’s lies.
Mossad Director David Barnea left on Monday for Washington DC to hold a series of meetings with top officials from the White House, CIA Director William Burns, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon and the State Department to try to halt the reportedly impending Iran nuclear deal.
Benny Gantz, a retired Israeli army general and the country’s minister of defense, told a local media outlet yesterday that a New Yorker report which said Netanyahu encouraged U.S. action against Iran was likely „not what happened.“
„I don’t know of this story and I assume this is not what happened,“ Gantz said in an interview, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The biggest fear was that Iran would provoke Trump, and, using an array of diplomatic and military channels, American officials warned the Iranians not to exploit the volatile domestic situation in the U.S. “There was a distinct concern that Iran would take advantage of this to strike at us in some way,” Adam Smith, the House Armed Services chairman, recalled.
Among those pushing the President to hit Iran before Biden’s Inauguration, Milley believed, was the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On December 18th, the same day that Trump met with Flynn to discuss instituting martial law, Milley met with Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem to personally urge him to back off with Trump. “If you do this, you’re gonna have a fucking war,” Milley told him.
„Among those pushing the president to hit Iran before Biden’s inauguration, Milley believed, was the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On December 18, the same day that Trump met with [Michael] Flynn to discuss instituting martial law, Milley met with Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem to personally urge him to back off with Trump,“ wrote Baker and Glasser in an excerpt published in the New Yorker.
“If you do this, you’re gonna have a fucking war,” Milley told him, according to the excerpt. The Israeli prime minister’s official Twitter account noted „the two discussed regional threats, especially the Iranian aggression“ in its readout of the meeting.
According to Buccino, the fuel tankers simulated refueling two US F-15s and four Israeli F-16s. The timing of the refueling exercise was coincidental, Buccino said.
“There is no direct US military involvement in that exercise,” Buccino said, referring to “Chariots of Fire.”
Pentagon spokesman Maj. Rob Lodewick also denied that the Department of Defense was “directly participating” in the exercise, according to the report.
“A small number of personnel from across US Central Command are observing portions of the exercise,” Lodewick added.
According to the unsourced report, the US Air Force will serve as a complementary force, with refueling planes drilling with Israeli fighter jets as they simulate entering Iranian territory and carrying out repeated strikes.
The unprecedented Israel- US aerial collaboration in a drill simulating a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is seen as a potential message to Iran amid long-stalled negotiations in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, a possibility Israel has repeatedly voiced its objection to, warning it would lead to “a more violent, more volatile Middle East.”
Gantz is slated to meet with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on Thursday at the Pentagon in Washington. Meanwhile, Michael Kurilla, head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), arrived in Israel on Tuesday for his first official visit.
“Some of the things that may have been out there in the media, those are planning efforts that are underway at a relatively low level,” Milley told reporters at the Pentagon, seeming to refer to the Journal’s report.
Such plans “have not yet made it to [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] or myself for that matter, for refinement of courses of action and what’s needed,” he noted.
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny shared with Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley information about the difficult situation in eastern and southern Ukraine, where heavy fighting is taking place.
„I have had a conversation with my American counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley. I have shared the information on the situation in the East and South of Ukraine, where the heavy battles are going on,“ Zaluzhny said in his Telegram channel.
It happened in my area of responsibility, so I’m the responsible officer for that strike,” McKenzie said during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
McKenzie said he was under “no pressure” and “no one in my chain of command below me was under any pressure to take that strike.”
Austin said military officials had discussed “a range of possibilities,” but no one planned for the possibility the Afghan government would collapse as quickly as it did.
“We certainly did not plan against a collapse of the government in 11 days,” Austin told lawmakers in response to a lawmaker question.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley, and General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, testify on the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“We coordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat, which we anticipated although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey gate, but it is just not true to suggest that other than securing our civilians inside the airport that we were pushing to leave the gate open.
“In fact, and let me just be clear about this, we were issuing changes to travel advice before the bomb attack took place and saying to people in the crowd, about which I was particularly concerned, that certainly UK nationals and anyone else should leave because of the risk.”
The British Ministry of Defence declined to respond to allegations they were to blame for keeping the gate open, but said in a statement: ‚Throughout Operation Pitting we have worked closely with the US to ensure the safe evacuation of thousands of people.
The Pentagon criticised the leaking of the call details reported in Politico, telling the news website: “This story is based on the unlawful disclosure of classified information and internal deliberations of a sensitive nature.
“As soon as we became aware of the material divulged to the reporter, we engaged Politico at the highest levels to prevent the publication of information that would put our troops and our operations at the airport at greater risk. We condemn the unlawful disclosure of classified information and oppose the publication of a story based on it while a dangerous operation is ongoing.”
Commanders calling in from Kabul relayed that the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was “highest risk,” and detailed their plans to protect the airport.
“I don’t believe people get the incredible amount of risk on the ground,” Austin said, according to the classified notes.
On a separate call at 4 that afternoon, or 12:30 a.m. on Thursday in Kabul, the commanders detailed a plan to close Abbey Gate by Thursday afternoon Kabul time. But the Americans decided to keep the gate open longer than they wanted in order to allow their British allies, who had accelerated their withdrawal timeline, to continue evacuating their personnel, based at the nearby Baron Hotel.
The letter takes aim at the President and the highest ranks of military leadership, but mostly chastises them for not doing more to convince the Commander-in-Chief to maintain a US troop presence in the country.
Despite reported assurances from the Taliban that the remaining Americans who desire to leave Afghanistan will be afforded the opportunity to do so, the letter claims they are „de facto hostages of the Taliban“.
Strangely, the letter also claims that China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea are the beneficiaries of the withdrawal.
“There was nothing that I saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”
His comments came just one day after sources told the New York Times that US intelligence officials had been warning of a quick Taliban takeover in Afghanistan — even as President Biden was publicly downplaying the threat.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, emerges in the report as a figure committed to procedural order and concerned by the possibility of erratic decisions by the firebrand lame-duck president; referring to the proposed strike against Iran’s nuclear sites, he told Trump that “if you do this, you’re gonna have a f*cking war.“
He was eventually successful in blocking the plans of Pense, Pompeo and Netanyahu.
Portions of the book related to Milley — first reported Wednesday night by CNN ahead of the book’s July 20 release — offer a remarkable window into the thinking of America’s highest-ranking military officer, who saw himself as one of the last empowered defenders of democracy during some of the darkest days in the country’s recent history.
The episodes in the book are based on interviews with more than 140 people, including senior Trump administration officials, friends and advisers, Leonnig and Rucker write in an author’s note.
It was not public at the time, but Milley believed that the nation had come close—“very close”—to conflict with the Islamic Republic. This dangerous post-election period, Milley said, was all because of Trump’s “Hitler”-like embrace of the “Big Lie” that the election had been stolen from him; Milley feared it was Trump’s “Reichstag moment,” in which, like Adolf Hitler in 1933, he would manufacture a crisis in order to swoop in and rescue the nation from it.
The authors explain Milley’s growing concerns that personnel moves that put Trump acolytes in positions of power at the Pentagon after the November 2020 election, including the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the resignation of Attorney General William Barr, were the sign of something sinister to come.
Milley spoke to friends, lawmakers and colleagues about the threat of a coup, and the Joint Chiefs chairman felt he had to be „on guard“ for what might come.
„They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,“ Milley told his deputies, according to the authors. „You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.“
Did the drone strike on the Iranian site – conducted while Israel’s army chief is in Washington – surprise the Americans?
Kohavi was initially set to meet with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, head of the US Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., and head of the US Special Operations Command Gen. Richard D. Clark, according to The Jerusalem Post.
In an exclusive interview with The Grayzone, Col. Douglas Macgregor, a former senior advisor to the acting secretary of defense, revealed that President Donald Trump shocked the US military only days after the election last November by signing a presidential order calling for the withdrawal of all remaining US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
As Macgregor explained to The Grayzone, the order to withdraw was met with intense pressure from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Gen. Mark M. Milley, which caused the president to capitulate. Trump agreed to withdraw only half of the 5,000 remaining troops in the country. Neither Trump’s order nor the pressure from the JCS chairman was reported by the national media at the time.
Preventing an Unhinged President From Using the Nuclear Codes: This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.
But you cannot pursue an “America first” foreign policy if you put people like Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Mark Milley, and others in charge of carrying it out. They simply won’t do it. We are seeing that again when it comes to withdrawing our troops from the long and foolish war in Afghanistan.
Mit erweiterter Abschreckung ist die Bereitstellung militärischer Vermögenswerte gemeint, um einen Angriff gegen Verbündete der USA abzuschrecken. Konkret handelt es sich um Waffen, insbesondere Atomwaffen.
Trump’s repeated complaints questioning the election’s validity have triggered unprecedented worries about the potential for chaos surrounding the election results. Some have speculated that the military might be called upon to get involved, either by Trump trying to use it to help his reelection prospects or as, Democratic challenger Joe Biden has suggested, to remove Trump from the White House if he refuses to accept defeat. The military has adamantly sought to tamp down that speculation and is zealously protective of its historically nonpartisan nature.
Die für eine westliche Demokratie bemerkenswerte Stellungnahme kam nach einer Anfrage aus dem US-Kongress zustande.
In a sign of the growing concern that President Trump might not leave office voluntarily or might attempt to use the military to hold onto power, two moderate Democratic lawmakers posed a series of written questions to the secretary of defense and the military’s top general about their obligations to the Constitution and the country.
Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) addressed their questions in writing to Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, setting a deadline of Thursday evening.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley met with Chief of the Israeli General Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi today in Israel during a trip to the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
The two leaders discussed the current security environment throughout the Middle East.
The two leaders discussed the current security environment throughout the Middle East.
Former military officials have increasingly spoken out to rebuke Trump over his response to recent protests against the police-involved death of George Floyd and the president’s threat to dispatch active-duty troops to cities to quell violence and looting that accompanied some of the demonstrations.
In an extraordinary statement Thursday, the top U.S. general expressed regret for his involvement in Trump’s photo opportunity at St. John’s Episcopal Church earlier this month that followed an aggressive clearing of protesters.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley says he regrets his participation in President Trump’s photo opportunity outside St. John’s Church last week.
“I should not have been there,” Milley said during a recorded message aired at the graduation of the National Defense University on Thursday morning. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
The source of the virus remains a mystery. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence indicates that the coronavirus likely occurred naturally, as opposed to being created in a laboratory in China, but there is no certainty either way.
But the United States also sent secret messages through Swiss intermediaries urging Iran not to respond so forcefully that Mr. Trump would feel compelled to go even further. After it did respond, firing 16 missiles at bases housing American troops without hurting anyone as a relatively harmless show of force, a message came back through the Swiss saying that would be the end of its reprisal for now. The message, forwarded to Washington within five minutes after it was received, persuaded the president to stand down.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a meeting with reporters Friday that Soleimani was killed after U.S. officials recently became aware of intelligence that showed the “size, scale, scope” of what he was planning, which led them to conclude that there was a greater risk in not taking action than in doing so.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that no lives were lost after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. and coalition forces overnight. Trump said the U.S. would add new sanctions on Iran, but seemed to seek de-escalation. Meanwhile, Trump and his advisers are facing more pressure to provide justification for the airstrike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Soleimani. Senators and congressmembers found a Wednesday intelligence briefing to be wholly insufficient.
Our own sources in Baghdad confirmed that the letter was genuine and that they too had seen it.
One source said their understanding of the US position was that a partial withdrawal or repositioning of some troops to Kuwait was taking place.
The Pentagon’s deployment of new radar, air defense and other military assets to the Gulf nation was discussed during talks Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held with Saudi officials this week.
Milley, in his first visit to this key U.S. ally since becoming President Trump’s chief military adviser this fall, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other leaders during his visit.
According to Harel, Israel is afraid that the US will desert the Iran issue while America is worried Israel may carry out a unilateral attack against Tehran, forcing Washington into a war.
Harel warned that it is impossible to separate the internal Israeli chaos from the Iran issue; in particular with regards to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment and his failure to form a government.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley also discussed the need for deterrence regarding Iran. Milley spoke with military and civilian leaders in Israel, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq on this four-day trip.
„I wouldn’t discount anything from Iran,” he said. “When a nation behaves that irresponsibly, you have to be very cautious when you evaluate what they might do in the future.”
McKenzie noted that Iran increased its military spending from its recent low in 2014 to $27.3 billion, or six percent of GDP, in 2018.
The general’s trip comes as part of a series of visits by several high ranking military chiefs including the head of the US Air Force Gen. David Goldfien, USAFE (United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa) Commander Gen. Jeffery L. Harrigian and the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
October 14, 2019
WASHINGTON–Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. DeDe S. Halfhill provided the following readout:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley spoke with Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov by telephone today.
The two military leaders exchanged their views on issues of mutual concern in Syria.
The two leaders have agreed to keep the specific details of their conversation private.
Das Treffen wurde anlässlich der Teilnahme von Park und Yamazaki an der Vereidigungszeremonie Milleys am Montag von den USA arrangiert.
Es war das erste Treffen zwischen den Spitzenmilitärs der drei Staaten, nachdem Südkorea Ende August die Beendigung des Abkommens mit Japan über den Austausch von Militärinformationen (GSOMIA) beschlossen hatte.
President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and other officials watched as Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford swore in his successor.
WASHINGTON — Withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan too soon would be a “strategic mistake,” President Trump’s nominee for Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said Thursday, clearly outlining the Pentagon’s position as the White House wrestles with whether to pull military forces and end the 18-year war.