The 4 Most Dangerous Countries, According To Army Chief Of Staff

news

Earlier this year, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley ranked four nations as the most dangerous to U.S. national security: Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.


Though there was no definitive ranking of these nations, he stressed that Russia is number one, according to Breaking Defense.

Russia

It is the only country that is “literally an existential threat,” Milley said at an Association of the U.S. Army breakfast, adding that Russia can physically destroy us. In addition, the country has postured itself as an aggressive state over that last several years.

In a January interview with Task & Purpose, Rebecca Zimmerman, an associate policy analyst with RAND Corporation, said that what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing is referred to as “measures short of war,” operating in a way that stops short of requiring U.S. military response, but not by much.

Milley cited the country’s response to Crimea, the attack on Georgia, and the increase in defense spending on modernization efforts as posturing. He also suggested that Russia is invading sovereign nations in a way that has not been seen since 1945.

Related: 8 emerging threats the Defense department will face in 2016 »

China

Milley suggested that while Russia is aggressive, China is “assertive.”

While its Navy has begun exploring disputed waters, the country has made no attempts to venture into other sovereign nations. In addition, the China is not our enemy … yet.

“I would caution anyone from saying China is an ‘adversary,’” he said.

The issue is the long-term potential. Its economic growth and increasing military power suggest a steady rise, and may indicate a major power shift, which could be dangerous in the future.

Iran

Though Iran seems to be compliant with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, the nation still remains a question in the minds of the security community. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that old uranium particles found at a base in Iran suggest President Hassan Rouhani was lying when he said that there were no plans to acquire nuclear weapons.

Though he did not dwell on the topic, Milley said, “There’s no doubt Iran is a malign actor.”

North Korea

Yes, everyone knows it has a small military, petulant leader, and is a resource-depleted country. But North Korea does have nuclear capabilities. All four characteristics make for an unstable nation with very little to lose. Plus, North Korea is backed by China in most instances.

Though the threats of nuclear destruction have all proven to be empty words said by paper tigers, that doesn’t mean they always will be.

According to Milley, “just because it didn’t happen before is not a guarantee it won’t happen tomorrow.”

DoD photo
(U.S. Air Force)

Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.

Read More Show Less

Two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters recently flew a mission in the Middle East in "beast mode," meaning they were loaded up with as much firepower as they could carry.

The F-35s with the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to execute a mission in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command revealed. The fifth-generation fighters sacrificed their high-end stealth to fly with a full loadout of weaponry on their wings.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photos)

The U.S. Senate closed out the week before Memorial Day by confirming Gen. James McConville as the Army's new chief of staff and Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy's new chief of naval operations.

McConville, previously vice chief of staff of the Army, was confirmed on Thursday along with his successor, Lt Gen. Joseph Marin. Moran, currently vice chief of naval operations, was confirmed Friday along with his successor, Vice Adm. Robert Burke.

Read More Show Less

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is prohibiting service members who work there from being in the area of a Ku Klux Klan rally scheduled for Saturday in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Elise Amendola)

The Pentagon is producing precisely diddly-squat in terms of proof that Iran is behind recent attacks in the Middle East, requiring more U.S. troops be sent to the region.

Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, said on Friday that the U.S. military is extending the deployment of about 600 troops with four Patriot missile batteries already in the region and sending close to 1,000 other service members to the Middle East in response to an Iranian "campaign" against U.S. forces.

Read More Show Less