Trump’s Pick for Top General Could Expand Mideast Advising Role by Jack Detsch - Al-Monitor
When Mark Milley first led a US training mission 14 years ago, he was ordered to school an Afghan unit on Soviet-era weapons at a military installation that was little more than dirty ground. Most of the recruits didn’t have bank accounts to cash their paychecks, and colleagues remember that Milley had to haggle with Afghan contractors just to get American troops fed.
“We went into a parking lot behind a warehouse, we looked around, and we said, ‘This looks like a pretty good place to establish a base camp,’” Milley recalled in a 2007 interview. “And there was nothing but trash, but that was what we did.”
The first Security Force Assistance Brigade, a Milley-led invention to pick US military trainers from the regular Army instead of the elite Special Forces, wrapped up its first Afghan deployment in the fall. Now, as President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Milley will take the top job in the military with a chance to expand his experiment to North Africa and the Middle East, where the US Army is focusing on training instead of combat missions to fight terrorism…