- The Washington Times - Monday, October 12, 2020

There is “zero” chance that U.S. troops will be deployed to cities in the event of a disputed election, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday.

President Trump has previously suggested that his supporters “go into the polls and watch very carefully” for fraudulent activity. The president’s comment was quickly analyzed by experts who have questioned whether he would deploy the National Guard to polling places to monitor the process and quell unrest.

But the possibility of such an outcome was squashed Monday morning when the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer told NPR in an interview there is “no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election. Zero. There is no role there.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed reluctance to conduct a peaceful transition of power should Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden win the presidency.

But Gen. Milley reiterated the military’s vow to serve in an apolitical fashion and said he believes that the court system and Congress would appropriately navigate the event of a disputed election without involving armed forces.

“We have established a very long, 240-year tradition of an apolitical military that does not get involved in domestic politics,” the four-star general said.

“This isn’t the first time that someone has suggested that there might be a contested election,” he added. “And if there is, it’ll be handled appropriately by the courts and by the U.S. Congress.”

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