Plans are not Orders
TFG wants you to believe that his opponents are hawks, because he's an idiot.
Trump was swaggering around the table in an unsecured conference room(ie: definitely not a SCIF) at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ. He was soaking up the fluffery offered by his sycophants, and running with the assertion by aide Margo Martin that his loss in 2020 was a “coup attempt” by several parties, including Joint Chiefs chairman General Mark Milley.
Trump said in the now-released recording that the existence of a plan for an invasion of Iran is incriminating to General Milley, making the ignorant but predictable claim that because the plan exists under Milley’s chairmanship, that the plan is evidence of Milley’s intent to invade, and that an invasion would have happened if not for the steady hand of Donald Trump.
This is nonsense.
First, Trump did order combat operations against Iranian citizens. That’s not a secret. At least one such operation was carried out at Trump’s explicit command. Milley was in the room when the decision was made, but it was made by the President, and the President famously did not inform any of our allies in advance of the attack, including Iraq, the country in which the attack took place.
Second, the Defense Department has a plan for invading Belgium. They have a plan for attacking the Turks and Caicos Islands. They have a plan for invading Fort Hood. They employ a staff of military experts whose entire job is to generate plans for any scenario, no matter how unlikely it may be, so that when any given scenario comes up as a real problem, the DoD has a plan they can immediately present to the President and/or our allies.
Third, the existence of such a plan does not indicate an intent by the Commander-in-Chief, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or anyone else in the defense hierarchy of the United States to actually carry out any of these invasions. It’s simply an example of the readiness that is demanded of our armed forces.
Not that it matters, but Donald Trump might even know all these things, though I doubt he does. But his charisma lies strongly in telling people what he thinks they want to hear, and in using that charisma to stir his supporters up to oppose any who might challenge his authority or bids for it. The bottom line in the case of this particular document is that Trump is a fool who thinks he can mobilize greater fools to his defense.