Top Military Leader’s DC Stroll In Fatigues Sets Off Wave Of Criticism

twitter.com/velvetart

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was seen walking the streets of Washington, D.C., in battle fatigues after curfew Monday night — a scene that sparked an intense wave of criticism. 

“We’ve got the D.C. National Guard out here, and I’m just checking there and seeing how they’re doing, that’s all,” Milley said as he strolled the nation’s capital on Tuesday, two hours after the city’s curfew which started at 7 p.m. ET

The presence of the military general followed a conference call on Monday in which the president resorted to name-calling, suggesting many of the nation’s governors were “weak” in their ability to restrain racial turmoil. On that same call, Defense Secretary Mark Esper employed the military strategy term “battlespace” to the streets that have become the stomping grounds for nationwide demonstrations against police brutality. Esper said the streets need to be dominated in his view to return to the “right normal.” 

The response to Milley’s presence on Twitter was swift, with some questioning why he appeared in military fatigues, which signaled a readiness “for war.”

David Frum, a writer for The Atlantic and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, suggested that Milley should consider resignation. 

Others reacted with dismay over the visual:

The president laid the groundwork for a ramped up military presence in the nation’s capital when he deployed 1,200 troops from the D.C. National Guard onto the city’s streets to contain racial unrest in D.C. on Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also announced the president’s plans to set up a “central command center” that would include Milley, Esper, and Attorney General William Barr, among state and local officials.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: