By Bull Winkle
THE PENTAGON — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark A. Milley is learning that breaking up is hard to do as the U.S. finishes its withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to Pentagon sources.
“That big burly general has a heart,” said Col. Nadine Martinez with the Joint Staff J-3. “And right now it's hurting. Afghanistan is getting all cozy with China and we’ve barely moved our stuff out of the closets yet.”
Other staff officers confirm that Milley feels “straight-up burned” that Afghanistan is also courting Iran, Pakistan, and “that vodka-swilling douchebag ex-occupier Russia.” Martinez said, “that stabs right in the old national security strategy heart.”
Sources say that Milley is responding with his “natural romantic spirit of a Spartan warrior” and searching for a quick war to get right back up on the national security horse.
“He’s looking for a casual conflict,” Martinez said. “No commitments. Enough fighting for a campaign medal, some big contracts, positive press coverage. A gray zone conflict with benefits, maybe.”
Remorse over the end of the 20-year relationship with Afghanistan, despite rocky patches and attempts to keep its Coalition family together, appears to be driving Milley’s quest.
“I’ve never seen the Chairman like this, even over this past Twilight Zone episode of a year we’ve all endured,” Martinez said. “He kept it together after that Lafayette Square debacle and even after the January 6th shit show. But he’s moping around so much over Afghanistan that even my teenage son would tell him to get a grip.”
Martinez and other staff members believe that Milley is grappling with the “emotional rollercoaster” of America’s longest conflict. Sources say the general spends hours slumped in his office chair looking at old pictures of Afghanistan on his phone, listening to “When I was your man” by Bruno Mars.
Sources overheard Milley muttering while reviewing old Afghanistan photos, “Ahh, … Kandahar, Tora Bora, and Bagram. Sprawling, magical, KBR-built Bagram. All while sticking it to Iran. What we had was real.”
Staff members say Milley is painfully aware of the strategic relationship mistake of 2003 when Afghanistan wanted a commitment and the U.S. decided to “play the field.” The resulting affair with Iraq “was supposed to be a spring fling,” said Martinez, “but our faithlessness cost us. Iraq was complicated and clingy — the relationship that our parents and almost every history lesson warned us to avoid.”
With Iraq in mind, Milley is uninterested in a full war relationship with Russia or other competitors.
“Putin always wants to get serious,” Milley said recently, according to close aides. “One little dust-up with anybody but his mercenaries and he’s all like ‘Ooooh we’re in a committed war now.’ Nope, swiping left on Russia.”
Through text messaging and late-night FaceTime sessions, the Joint Chiefs and allies are also warning Milley to avoid another “hot mess” like Syria. Some recommend a light intervention hookup, like the 1989 invasion of Panama.
“Hmmmm …. cyber conflict,” Milley was overheard saying, swiping through his phone, “looking hot and needing attention. Maybe Homeland Security can make an intro for me.”
As “When I was your man,” played again, Martinez commented, “for God’s sake I hope he gets some action before the next budget cycle. I can’t hear that fucking song again.”