General Milley answered questions with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the House Armed Forces Committee on the fiscal year 2024 defense budget.
Making evaluations about China, Milley said that he was concerned about China’s nuclear weapons capacity, as well as its rapprochement with Russia.
The US commander said, “In the strategic environment we are in, we see that the two are getting closer to each other. “I wouldn’t call it a true alliance in the full sense of the word, but we’re seeing them getting closer together and it’s disturbing.”
Pointing out that China’s nuclear capacity is not yet in a position to compete with the USA, Milley said, “But they have a significant nuclear capacity and they have intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range that can extend to the USA. This is frankly disturbing. So at the moment, they are against two great powers with nuclear weapons. We are in a situation that we are facing.” used the phrases.
Milley said the Cold War principles of deterrence still apply, but there is a complexity of confronting two nuclear powers.
Regarding the future of China’s nuclear weapons program, the US general said:
“We will probably be able to do nothing to slow down, stop, block or destroy the nuclear development program that China envisions in the next 10 to 20 years. They will do it according to their own plans and I think there is very little external pressure we can do to prevent this from happening. There may be some economic means. “There may be other things in the intelligence world, but they’ll probably carry out their plan. They have a national goal of being a global rival to the United States and being militarily superior by the middle of the century. They set out to do that. It’s really disturbing.”
Withdrawal from Syria
Referring to the bill submitted to the House of Representatives regarding the US withdrawal from Syria in the session, Milley said, “I commend the members of the committee that initiated these discussions. I think this is valuable. If we’re going to risk our lives, we want to know that the American people have our back. So without the support of the American people, we shouldn’t be there either. It’s that simple. That’s why I applaud this effort.” used the phrases.
The bill, presented by Republican Matt Gaetz, representative of Florida in the US House of Representatives, calling for President Joe Biden to withdraw all American troops from Syria was rejected by 321 votes to 103.
“We want to hear a strategy to stop the hypersonic arms race”
At the session, Massachusetts deputy Democrat Seth Moulton asked Secretary of Defense Austin if hypersonic missiles were destabilizing weapons.
Responding to Austin’s “potentially destabilizing” response, Moulton said that the only thing the US did was catch up with Russia and China on hypersonic weapons, and it had turned into an arms race.
“Our secondary attack capability provides deterrence,” Moulton said. It seems that it has entered an arms race for very bad reasons and we are trying to catch up with Russia and China. Because we’re basically trying to get more hypersonic missiles that are destabilizing, making the world an even more unsafe place. So we don’t need to hear a strategy that will win the arms race, but a strategy that will stop it.” made its assessment.
2002 Revocation of the authority to use military force
The bill, which was approved by the Senate with a vote of 30 to 66, and which envisages the cancellation of the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which allowed the invasion of Iraq, came to the agenda.
Austin said that even if the 2002 AUMF act was repealed, they still had the mandate to continue operations in the Middle East under the 2001 AUMF.
The US minister said that if the 2001 AUMF mandate law is repealed, Congress should enact a more specific mandate that will continue operations in the region.
On the other hand, there was a discussion about the withdrawal of the USA from Afghanistan.
Many representatives commented that he needed to be held accountable to decision-makers, particularly Austin.
Austin, on the other hand, defended himself by stating that he did not regret the decision to withdraw, and that they fulfilled the order as quickly as possible.
Source: TRT Haber