Gen. Milley regrets not including Vietnam War history book on reading list
There's just so many good books out there.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Sources close to Gen. Mark Milley say the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is privately expressing regret over his military’s lack of preparedness for executing the withdrawal from Afghanistan. In particular, Milley is lamenting not including any Vietnam War history books on his professional reading list that may have prepared him and his senior leaders for the complexities of disengaging from two decades of war.
“I try to keep up with all of the recommended readings of our top military officers,” said one senior Pentagon official. “but I’m not sure how Modern Quilt Bible: Over 100 techniques and design ideas for the modern quilter helped to prepare me for the challenges of shaping our nation’s geopolitical strategy.”
Following the debacle of a sloppy and ill-prepared withdrawal that saw the Taliban rapidly closing in on U.S. military and diplomatic personnel frantically trying to escape as their propped-up government collapsed around them, criticism has grown over the reading list of the military’s highest-ranking officer.
Milley recently came under fire in a Congressional hearing over the Navy reading list including the book How to be an Antiracist and seminars at West Point teaching cadets critical race theory. Milley defended these efforts by stating, “I want to understand white rage, and not just the typical Karen variety.”
Other officials questioned the inclusion of books in Milley’s reading list such as Hummingbird Handbook: Everything You Need To Know About These Fascinating Birds, along with The Complete Book of Dog Breeding.
When asked for comment, Gen. Milley initially acknowledged that there might have been some benefit to including more military history in his reading list, though he remained defensive, complaining there were “only so many books” he could include in his reading list and some omissions were to be expected.
“Sure, I want to understand lessons learned from the American withdrawal from Vietnam, and I want to understand how cultural factors can influence a population’s willingness to fight for a foreign-supported government,” said Milley.
“But I also want to understand French pastry cooking, and in the end, Bouchon Bakery won out.”
Sources close to Milley also relayed that he expressed some regret over skipping his military history classes in his ROTC program at Princeton.
At press time, Milley was observed preparing for a Congressional hearing on the debacle in Afghanistan by perusing a copy of Windows 95 for Dummies.