Army chief of staff Gen. James McConville on Tuesday defended military leaders, a day after President Donald Trump accused them of going to war to satisfy defense contractors.
McConville, the Armys top general, said during an interview for media organization Defense Ones “State of the Army” event that military leaders would only consider sending troops into combat in the interest of national security, or as a last resort.
“Im talking about general, Im talking admirals, Im talking sergeant majors, many of these leaders have sons and daughters that serve in the military, many of these leaders have sons and daughters who have gone to combat or may be in combat right now,” Trump-appointee McConville said.
“So, I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort,” he continued. “We take this very, very seriously in how we make our recommendations.”
McConvilles remarks came after the president spoke during a White House press briefing on Sept. 7. However, he declined to comment specifically on Trumps remarks on Pentagon leaders, acknowledging todays “political environment,” according to Politico. Taking into consideration the upcoming presidential election, he said the military needs to remain an “apolitical organization.”
“Im not saying the militarys in love with me,” Trump told reporters Monday. “The soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably arent because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the plans and make everything else stay happy.”
“But were getting out of endless wars,” Trump added. “Some people dont like to come home. Some people like to continue to spend money. One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, thats what it was.”
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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows clarified Monday that the presidents remarks were not aimed at “any individual general,” but at “the military industrial complex.”
“This president is consistent about one thing: If were going to send our sons and daughters abroad to fight on our behalf, hes not going to let some lobbyist here in Washington, D.C., just because they want a new defense contract, suggest that they need to stay abroad one minute longer than they should,” Meadows told Fox News.
“Hes been consistent about stopping these endless wars. Hes going to continue to fight against the special interest groups here in Washington, D.C.”
Trumps remarks followed the publication of a magazine report last week that alleged citing anonymous sources, that he had spoken disparagingly about fallen U.S. military personnel.
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