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The United States’ top military officer warned soldiers graduating from West Point Saturday to prepare for a ‘significant international conflict’ with Russia and China – a skirmish he said will see the cadets battle robotic tanks, ships, and planes.
‘You’ll be fighting with robotic tanks and ships and airplanes,’ General Mark Milley, America’s highest ranking officer, said, speaking to more than 1,000 Army officer hopefuls.
‘We’ve witnessed a revolution in lethality and precision munitions. What was once the exclusive province of the United States military is now available to most nation states with the money will to acquire them.’
During his address, Milley, chairman of the Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and the principal military advisor to the president, told graduates to prepare for the brewing conflict – which he said is sure to change how future wars are fought.
‘The world you are being commissioned into has the potential for a significant international conflict between great powers,’ Milley, 63, began.
‘And that potential is increasing, not decreasing.’
The United States’ top military officer, General Mark Milley, warned soldiers graduating from West Point Saturday to prepare for a ‘significant international conflict’ with Russia and China – a skirmish he said will see the cadets battle robotic tanks, ships, and planes
Speaking to more than 1,000 US Army officer hopefuls, Milley told the graduates to prepare for the currently brewing conflict with the burgeoning superpowers – which he said is sure to change how future wars are fought
Enthusiastic cadets tossed their hats in the air to mark the end of their four years at the West Point US Military Academy following the general’s impassioned address
He went on: ‘Whatever overmatch we, the United States, enjoyed militarily for the last 70 years is closing quickly, and the United States will be, in fact… challenged in every domain of warfare – space, cyber, maritime, air, and of course land.’
The US, he said, can no longer sit idle as a military powerhouse, as the two nations continue to show both growth a desire for global conquest – Russia with its aggression in Ukraine, and China with its recent economic and military growth.
Drawing parallels with technology seen in Russia’s invasion, Milley warned that future wars will be even more complex, with unseen enemies and sophisticated warfare that will see a need for new weapons and strategies from US Armed Forces.
‘Right now, at this very moment, a fundamental change is happening in the very character of war,’ Milley, a veteran of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, said.
‘We are facing right now two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, and both who fully intend to change the current rules based order.’
The general went on to declare that Putin’s invasion of the former Soviet nation has taught the world that ‘aggression left unanswered only emboldens the aggressor,’ citing America’s failure to take action against the autocrat and his already mobilized army.
He then cited some of the recent atrocities committed by Putin’s men, mentioning campaigns in both Bucha and Mariupol that saw tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainian citizens systematically killed as the towns were stormed.
The sacking of the cities comes in response to Russia’s failure to take Kyiv, spurring Moscow to elect for a gritty urban campaign on towns in the eastern Donbas region.
The shift in strategy followed a long-range precision approach from Russian forces, which saw the use of weapons such as Stinger and Javelin missiles. Now, however, the focus of Putin’s forces has shifted to artillery.
‘Let us never forget the massacre that we have just witnessed in Bucha nor the slaughter that occurred in Mariupol,’ said Milley, who was appointed to his top position in the the US Armed Forces by former President Trump in 2019.
Milley cited recent atrocities committed by Putin’s men in cities like Bucha and Mariupol (pictured) which saw Russians storm and overtake the urban towns and systematically kill tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainians. Pictured is a woman walking by her destroyed home in Mariupol on Saturday. More than 10,000 civilians died in the Russian siege of the city
A photograph of one of victims of the battle for Bucha earlier this year. The urban settings of Putin’s recent assaults is something Milley says is sure to become more common on future battlefields, with ‘highly complex and almost certainly decisive in urban areas’
Weeks of attacks by Moscow have left both Ukrainian soldier and civilian bodies ‘carpeted through the streets.’ Milley told the West Point grads Saturday: ‘The best way to honor their sacrifice is to support their fight for freedom and to stand against tyranny’
He told the fresh-faced warfighters: ‘The best way to honor their sacrifice is to support their fight for freedom and to stand against tyranny.’
The urban settings of Putin’s recent assaults is something Milley says is sure to become more common on future battlefields, with ‘highly complex and almost certainly decisive in urban areas against elusive, ambiguous enemies that combine terrorism and warfare alongside conventional capabilities – all embedded within large civilian populations,’ he warned.
Weeks of attacks by Moscow have left both Ukrainian soldier and civilian bodies ‘carpeted through the streets,’ Mariupol’s mayor Vadym Boychenko told the AP Monday.
The general then shifted his speech to enhanced tech seen during the Ukraine conflict and in rapidly advancing countries across the globe – including China.
He said America must be prepared to keep up with the rapidly evolving approach to war, and change the way soldiers train, think, and, of course, fight, as other nations start to bridge the gap between them and the US.
‘You’ll be fighting with robotic tanks and ships and airplanes,’ Milley said. ‘We’ve witnessed a revolution in lethality and precision munitions.
‘What was once the exclusive province of the United States military is now available to most nation states with the money will to acquire them.’
Artificial intelligence – such as that powering both US and enemy satellites and other groundbreaking war tech – is ‘resulting in that profound change,’ Milley said, before labeling it ‘the most profound change ever in human history.’
‘It will be your generation that will carry the burden and shoulder the responsibility to maintain the peace, to contain and to prevent the outbreak of great power war,’ he then asserted.
Cadets were filmed lined up in neat rows in uniform during the ceremony and speech, and filmed embracing each other at the impassioned address’ conclusion.
The cadets successfully completed the New York academy’s courses and were commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the Army.
Following their graduation, the cadets will be trained on planning, training and Army operations during the Basic Officer Leader Course.
They then will have to choose among more than 36 branch-specific majors before being sent to an occupational Army unit for three years.
Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the graduation address to the 1014 cadets of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2022