Category Archives: Esper

Exclusive: Esper, on his way out, says he was no yes man

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As had long been expected, President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, cutting short what would have otherwise been his final months at the Pentagon, in anticipation of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition in January. Delivered via tweet, Trump announced Chris Miller, previously the National Counterterrorism Center director, will step in immediately as […]

Esper fired as defense secretary

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been fired by President Donald Trump. Trump announced the move in a Nov. 9 tweet, just days after the presidential election was called in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has been appointed acting defense secretary, Trump said. […]

Esper, Pompeo drive US anti-China message in India visit

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NEW DELHI (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stepped up the Trump administration’s anti-China message in India on Tuesday. Esper and Pompeo sought to play on Indian suspicions about China to shore up a regional front against increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. They also lauded joint cooperation […]

Esper kicks off North Africa tour in Tunisia

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TUNIS, Tunisia — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with Tunisia’s president Wednesday, kicking off a North African tour amid growing concern about lawlessness in Libya. Esper is expected to travel to Algeria on Thursday and Morocco on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. It is his first trip to […]

Esper punctuates WWII commemoration remarks with a warning to China

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HONOLULU ― As troops, veterans and officials gathered aboard the battleship Missouri on Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to end World War II, Defense Secretary Mark Esper used his keynote speech to put a fine point on where the post-war world order stands today. On the final day of an […]

Esper, first SECDEF to travel to Palau, visits with Seabees and Marines

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PALAU — U.S troops have been rotating in and out of a small Southeast Asian island nation for more than 40 years, and on Friday they got their inaugural visit by a Pentagon boss. Defense Secretary Mark Esper toured a civil affairs compound and met with top government officials as part of the first-ever visit […]

Esper visit to tiny Palau highlights US-China competition

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WASHINGTON — No nation is too small or too distant from Washington, it seems, to be excluded from the Trump administration’s campaign to counter China’s efforts to supplant America as the dominant Pacific power. Evidence of this is Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s decision to fly nearly halfway around the world partly so he can spend […]

Esper says he underestimated how much racial injustice affects service members

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In the wake of the late May killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man prosecutors say was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer, nationwide protests and demonstrations stirred up feelings across the military services, up to and including the Pentagon’s boss. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that the moment was a wake-up […]

Day after Esper expressed support for Taiwan, island nation says China stepping up threats

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — A day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. remains steadfast in its support of Taiwan, that nation’s foreign minister said China appears to be a stepping up of its threat to use force to take control of the island. China is sending military planes near Taiwan with increasing frequency and […]

Esper directs services to review racial bias in grooming standards, training and more

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A team devoted to rooting out racial injustice in the military has come back with its first recommendations. Among them are reviewing whether grooming standards are racially biased, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Wednesday, in addition to reviewing Equal Opportunity programs, creating training for leadership to discuss issues of racial justice within their formations and […]