(USA Features) The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned potential enemies on Thursday not to test the U.S. military during the coronavirus pandemic because it would be a “terrible, tragic mistake” on their part.
Military leaders stressed during a press briefing they can see “light at the end of the tunnel” of the COVID-19 pandemic, and noted that the military remains in peak fighting condition despite about 2,000 cases of coronavirus among troops and sailors.
As such, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley (second from left, above) warned adversaries that it would be a “terrible, tragic mistake if they thought that … [they] can take advantage of any opportunities … at a time of crisis.”
“The U.S. military is very, very capable to conduct whatever operations are necessary to defend the American people,” Milley said. “We will adapt ourselves to operating in a COVID-19 environment. We are already doing that.”
Some 2.3 million U.S. active duty, reserve, and National Guard forces remain ready to defend the nation if attacked despite the pandemic, Milley noted.
He said the services are “ready today and will be ready tomorrow.”
“I’m absolutely confident that we are very ready to handle any mission that comes our way,” added Defense Secretary Mark Esper during the broadcast. “Why is that? It’s because our commanders and NCOs have taken measures to protect our members.”