Pentagon Chief Mark Esper ‘Terminated’ by Trump, Chris Miller Named Acting Defense Secretary
How do you feel about Esper’s termination?
by Causes | 11.9.20
What’s the story?
- President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he has fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, following through with a long rumored post-election personnel change, and that he has selected a replacement to serve in an acting capacity:
“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately. Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”
- Esper, who was confirmed by the Senate on a 90-8 vote in July 2019, became Trump’s second permanent defense secretary following the resignation of retired Marine General James Mattis from the role in December 2018. Like his predecessors, Esper spent much of his tenure urging Congress to avoid the budgetary instability caused by relying on continuing resolutions (CRs) instead of full-year appropriations.
- During the civil unrest that occurred over the summer, Esper said publicly that he didn’t support invoking the Insurrection Act to have active duty military forces assist the National Guard in quelling riots. Trump had publicly warned that he would invoke the Insurrection Act if local authorities failed in their responsibility to protect lives and property by restoring order with law enforcement and the National Guard.
- Later in the summer, Esper joined Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in expressing support for a discussion about renaming military bases and assets named after Confederates. Trump opposed the renaming of military bases, saying they have become part of the U.S. military tradition for the troops who have trained there. The House and Senate each passed bills setting up a renaming process but haven’t compromised on a final proposal, which Trump warned he may veto if it seeks to rename the bases.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense via Flickr / Public Domain)
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