DURHAM, N.C. — The greatest threat facing the United States today is China, according to the highest ranking uniformed U.S. military officer.


What You Need To Know

Gen. Mark Milley participated in a discussion at Duke University Friday

He also met with local members of ROTC cadres and research agencies to discuss the future of military technology

During the discussion Milley said China is the greatest threat facing the U.S., and that the Afghanistan withdrawal was a strategic failure


In a discussion at Duke University Friday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a group of students, cadets and community members that while the U.S. maintains the greatest global military power, the Pentagon must change how it fights.

“If we, the U.S. military, do not fundamentally change how we fight … and we don’t get on a much faster path, then we will lose our position and dominance militarily,” he said.

China’s recent test of a hypersonic missile marked an “indicator of the direction they are going in,” Milley said, but added that it is not something to “get totally paranoid about.”

The discussion, which was moderated by professor Peter Feaver, came just one day after Veterans Day.

Milley began the discussion by encouraging all veterans to stand and be honored.

Feaver is no stranger to interviewing top U.S. officials, a fact that is obvious by the memorabilia on his office walls.

“I used to collect the photos of all the people I've interviewed over the years, but I didn’t realize how many there would be,” he told Spectrum News 1 in an interview.

Milley’s visit to North Carolina highlighted how deeply rooted the state is in the greater U.S. military.

“We are an important region for military affairs,” Feaver said. “I hope Gen. Milley's visit will crystallize our understanding of just how unique and important this region is and Duke’s role in this region could be.”

During his visit, Milley met with local ROTC cadres and met with researchers in the Triangle to discuss the future of military technology.

Although Feaver has lost count of how many interviews he has conducted, he said it never gets old.

“It is a privilege,” he said, “I hope they leave saying, 'Yeah that was worth it.'”