Historic Military Leadership Change: President Milei Retires 22 Generals

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.03 - 2024 9:13 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
President Javier Milei retires 22 Generals

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In a significant overhaul of Argentina's military leadership, President Javier Milei has initiated the largest shake-up in the country's armed forces in two decades.

The ultra right-wing leader's reforms include assigning the Air Force the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and instigating changes across the leadership of the Argentine Army, Navy, and Air Force. This strategic move saw the automatic retirement of 22 generals, including the appointment of Alberto Presti as Chief of the General Staff​​.

According to El Pais, Political analyst Fabián Calle interprets these changes as a "profound renewal of the army," aligning with Milei's defense and security agenda. He emphasizes that the decision is not ideologically or politically driven, rather a strategic approach for border control and national security​​.

Luciano Anzelini, a social sciences expert, speculates on the potential alignment of Argentina's military under Milei's government with the United States. Milei's past statements about aligning with Washington and Israel support this hypothesis, suggesting a strategic shift in Argentina's international military relations​​.

The military's support for Milei was evident in the November 2023 elections, where they voted overwhelmingly for him. This mandate brings to focus the historical demands of the military, including salary parity with security forces and a larger budget, expectations that are likely to be addressed by Milei's administration​​.

Furthermore, the military's role in the Ministry of Defense under Milei's government is poised to grow, as indicated by the appointment of retired military officers to key positions. This move marks a significant presence of the military in the Ministry of Defense, a change from the past and a potential pivot in the government's approach to national defense​​.