Ian Patrick, FISM News
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, who has been criticized for going behind then-President Trump’s back to call his Chinese counterpart about potential war, said that China remains America’s biggest military threat. He said that the Chinese hypersonic missile test could be a “Sputnik moment” that may trigger a new Cold War.
In an interview with Bloomberg’s “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer,” Milley was asked what nation is the biggest “military risk” that the United States faces. While recognizing threats from Russia and North Korea, Milley said the rapid rise of China has become an increasing threat.
As we go forward – over the next ten, twenty, twenty-five years – there’s no question in my mind that the biggest geo-strategic challenge to the United States is going to be China. That I don’t doubt at all.
He further clarified his thoughts behind the growing concern of China and its military by using their recently reported hypersonic missile test as an example. Milley said “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”
Milley was referring to the launch of the Sputnik satellite by the USSR in 1957, which sparked worries that the U.S. was falling behind in the Space Race and was a pivotal moment in the Cold War.
While this is a significant comment from a ranking U.S. official, Milley has come under fire for his book “Peril” which details how he went behind President Trump’s back during his administration. Milley told other military officials to not follow through on any orders from Trump unless he was involved and he also secretly reached out to his Chinese military counterpart on two different occasions.
During one of these phone calls from Milley, he said he would warn the Chinese military if the U.S. planned to attack the country. These instances, seen as treasonous especially by those on the political right, all occurred in the latter months and days of Trump’s presidency.
A Cold War between China and the U.S. is still a modern concern, especially as the Chinese military grows and tries to undermine Western powers in the South China Sea region. Some are trying to say that it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, however.
Joshua Pollack, a leading nuclear and missile proliferation expert, said that the significance of the Sputnik in the 50’s was that Russia “had beaten us to the punch,” according to Axios. Concerning China’s recent test, Pollack said “this is old hat for the United States.”