PENTAGON – US Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville criticized President Donald Trump’s comments about the Pentagon top brass’s support for profit-hungry defense companies, claim that “as a rule”, the military “only makes the recommendation to send troops” into combat when “all other options are exhausted”.
“I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort. We take this very, very seriously in how we make our recommendations,” McConville stated, speaking to Defence One on Tuesday.
“Many of these leaders have sons and daughters that serve in the military, many of these leaders have sons and daughters who have gone to combat or may be in combat right now,” he added.
McConville did not specify what qualifies as the US “national security” interest, and whether this includes the US aggression in countries around the globe, from the invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan to US aerial bombings in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, all of which resulted in the destruction of these countries, effectively turning them either into US neo-colonies or simply failed states.
McConville’s comments follow Trump’s honest and straightforward remarks at a press conference on Monday in which the president accused the top people in the Pentagon of probably not supporting him because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those “wonderful” defense companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.
Trump remarked that his administration has been getting out of the endless wars, “defeating” the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) caliphate “100 percent”, and has gotten America’s NATO allies to spend more money on defense relative to the United States.
“Trump – me – I got the countries of NATO to spend one point – $130 billion, going to $400 billion a year. Think of it: $400 billion a year more for NATO,” the president noted.
Trump’s comments on the well-proven connections between top Pentagon generals and defense contractors were have been compared to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address, in which the retired WWII general warned Americans about the power of the military-industrial complex, and its influence on US foreign policy.
As a candidate, Trump repeatedly criticized the 2003 US invasion of Iraq by President George W. Bush, calling it a “big fat mistake”, and criticized President Barack Obama for turning Libya into a failed state with the 2011 NATO bombing. And indeed, during the past three and a half years, Trump has avoided starting any major new wars.
He is still yet to fully withdraw US troops from any of America’s major conflicts, making commitments to quit Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the president did also ramp up tensions with Iran, with the two countries repeatedly brought to the brink of war over the past two years since the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.