Gen. Milley Tells West Point Class to Prepare for Global War

In an address to the West Point graduating class last weekend, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told cadets to prepare themselves for the growing risk of international war and changing weapons technology.

Milley told the U.S. Military Academy class that the world they are entering as officers has the “potential for a significant international conflict between great powers.” He added that the risk of global war is growing.

He also said that the “very character of war” is undergoing foundational changes currently. He identified China and Russia as the two major world powers that actively intend to “change the current rules based order.”

Milley cited this year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine as evidence that “aggression left unanswered only emboldens the aggressor.” He described the fighting in Bucha and Mariupol as “massacres” and “slaughters,” saying the best way to honor those killed there is to “stand against tyranny.”

He said that the urban warfare taking place this year in Ukraine is indicative of future battlefield operations. Milley described the combat as “highly complex” in that it involves ambiguous enemies that use terroristic tactics in combination with conventional fighting techniques. The modern battlefield is also embedded in or near large numbers of civilians.

Milley also told the incoming officers to be prepared for dramatic technological advances in weapons systems. He described the coming transitions as being just as radical as the change from muskets to rifles and sailing vessels to steam ships. The general also noted that the edge in development does not necessarily belong to the United States.

Artificial intelligence tech was described as the leading factor in the coming weapons advancements. Milley said that cyber warfare is already presenting a battlefield that is becoming more evenly matched between America and hostile nations daily.

He advised the graduates to remain resilient and adaptive in order to achieve their best leadership potential. He added that America’s military leaders must have “incredible moral character” under the crushing crucible of ground combat.

As a nod to the Pentagon’s move toward “woke” policies under the Biden administration, Milley said that the officers’ oath to the Constitution is the same no matter whether an officer is “male or female or gay or something in between.”

Milley also referenced a Bob Dylan song that he said reminded him of his own graduation decades ago. He told the class that a “hard rain is about to fall.”