Pentagon Chief Esper Drafts Resignation Letter – Hopes To Strip Confederate Base Names On Way Out

Pentagon Chief Esper Drafts Resignation Letter – Hopes To Strip Confederate Base Names On Way Out

Tyler Durden

Thu, 11/05/2020 – 17:20

It was already expected that should Trump take a second term in office a key cabinet post for immediate turnover would be Defense Secretary, especially given Mark Esper and Trump have been known to be publicly at odds. 

NBC on Thursday afternoon cited three unnamed current defense officials to say Defense Secretary Esper has prepared an undated letter of resignation, also ahead of a possible presidential transition, which is common practice at the end of an administration’s term even if they stay on.

However in Esper’s case he’s definitely expected to be pushed out following the election. This also after protests and riots broke out on American streets through the summer. Esper reportedly strongly opposed Trump efforts to send active duty troops to hot spots that had seen widespread rioting and looting.

Via AP

Currently a key issue of contention with the White House is his attempts to rename all US military bases that bear the names of Confederate leaders

President Trump has long been on record as vowing to veto any defense bill that attempts to change such iconic base names as Fort Hood in Texas or Fort Bragg in North Carolina along with at least eight other Army posts.

Last summer at the height of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests the issue got renewed attention, during which time Esper moved to ban the display of Confederate flags or symbols at any DoD site or function. Individual branches such as the Marine Corps also issued orders that personnel could not display them.

Trump has consistently opposed the influence of what he’s blasted on Twitter and in other statements as “Cancel Culture”.

Meanwhile, Esper plans to extend the fight over Confederate base names right up until the end or even after his tenure.

“As his tenure may be coming to an end, Esper is helping members of Congress draft legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases in a move that could put him further at odds with President Donald Trump,” NBC writes.

“While Esper considered issuing a directive that would order the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force to change the names in their respective services — an order that could be overturned by Trump, who has strongly opposed renaming bases — he now plans to work with Congress to put language in the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) so the name changes will be written into law,” the report continues.

Again even though transition resignation letters are somewhat ‘routine’, Esper’s preparations were no doubt intentionally put out there to the press in a well-timed moment while the fate of the election is as yet unknown. It’s perhaps by design to create the impression of Trump’s own officials prepping for an exit.

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Author: Tyler Durden