Mark Milley, America’s most senior general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen., told members of Congress that the military will not play a role in November’s election and wont help settle any disputes if the result are contested.
On Friday, Milley said “The constitution and law of the US and the states establish procedures for carrying out elections, and for resolving disputes over the outcome of the elections. I do not see the US military as part of this process. In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law US courts and the US Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the US Military.” She added, “I believe deeply in the principle of an apolitical US military.”
The idea of having the military get involved in the event that President Donald Trump refused to vacate the office of the presidency after losing the 2020 election was floated by Trump’s opponent former VP Joe Biden during a June interview on the Daily Show when he was asked what would happen should Trump resist leaving office after an election defeat.
Biden said, “I promise you, I am absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch,” referring to the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Jonathan Hoffman, Pentagon spokesman Jonatan Hoffman said, “We have a constitution, and our constitution, which all members of the military have sworn an oath to, provides no rule for the US military as arbiter of political or election disputes.” He added, “This issue appears to be born of unserious thought reflecting a fundamental lack of appreciation for the history of our democracy and the civilian-military relationship established under our Constitution.”
“If Donald Trump refuses to leave at the expiration of his constitutional term, the US military must remove him by force, and must give that order,” the two retired lieutenant colonels said in their message to America’s top military officer, which has published by Defense One.
Trump has also been accused of politicizing the military by referring to military leadership as ‘my generals’ and using troops to perform controversial domestic missions such as border control and responding to civil disorder resulting from the protests over the death of George Floyd. While, the military has been never been involved in settling election disputes, concerns about its politicization are not new.
The military’s top leadership has also drawn criticism for appearing to be drawn into politically sensitive issues. Milley himself was criticized for fatigued-claud appearance in a photograph alongside Trump while the President toured Lafayette Square after law enforcement officers forcibly cleared the area of peaceful protestors.