President Biden on Wednesday threw his full support behind the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer, who has come under fire after a new book revealed he privately conferred with his Chinese counterpart to avert armed conflict late in the Trump administration.

“I have great confidence in General Milley,” Biden told reporters at the White House, following calls from former president Donald Trump and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill for the removal of Gen. Mark A. Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden’s declaration, coinciding with efforts by the chief spokespersons for the White House and the Pentagon to stage a similar defense of the embattled general, effectively ends speculation that Milley’s assignment may be cut short. But the controversy surrounding his fitness for the job rages on — and thus far is falling mostly along party lines….

Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, issued a statement Wednesday largely confirming what’s disclosed in the book, “Peril,” set for release next week, and saying that Milley had acted constitutionally and within his established responsibilities. The general, Butler said, “continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.”

Milley’s apparent efforts to go outside the chain of command have angered not only the former president and his supporters but even some of his critics….

“I see nothing in what I’ve read that would cause any concern,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters, adding that “it is not only common, it’s expected” that Milley or any chairman of the Joint Chiefs would have conversations with his counterparts in adversary nations “to reduce the risk of miscalculation and conflict.”….



Top military and intelligence officials to communicate with each other and meet sometimes…..

image….San Antonio Express-News