21 de junio de 2021
English - News

Esper, ex-defense chief who refused Trump on using Army to quash protests

 (FILE) - Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (R) delivers remarks on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic as President Donald J. Trump looks on at the White House in Washington on 18 March 2020 (Reissued 09 November 2020). Trump said on Twitter that he fired Esper on Nov. 9, 2020.  EFE/EPA/KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL *** Local Caption *** 56128905

(FILE) - Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (R) delivers remarks on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic as President Donald J. Trump looks on at the White House in Washington on 18 March 2020 (Reissued 09 November 2020). Trump said on Twitter that he fired Esper on Nov. 9, 2020. EFE/EPA/KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL *** Local Caption *** 56128905

Washington, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was summarily fired on Monday by Donald Trump, will be remembered for having opposed the president's intention to use the Army in suppressing nationwide protests against police brutality in recent months.

In a Twitter message, Trump announced his firing of Esper, saying that he was replacing him on an interim basis with Christopher C. Miller, who has up to now been the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

"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," Trump tweeted.

The ousting of the Pentagon chief, who had been confirmed in his post last July, came two days after Trump's election defeat by Democratic challenger Joe Biden became clear, although the president so far has refused to concede or acknowledge his loss.

Esper's name figured on the list of Trump's potential firings after the defense chief had opposed the president's idea to send military units to suppress disturbances arising from protests of police brutality and racism in various cities this past summer after the death in police custody of African American George Floyd.

Trump had repeatedly threatened to send all kinds of security forces, including the military, to put down those protests, which in some cases had resulted in acts of violence and looting, a situation that led Esper to announce his opposition to the idea at a Pentagon press conference.

At the time, Esper had said that using active duty troops in a law enforcement role should be considered only as a last resort and only in the most urgent and extreme circumstances, adding that the US was not in such a situation.

According to reports at the time, Trump became furious with Esper and had to be convinced by other staffers not to fire him immediately, but Esper - who kept a low profile thereafter - was already seen as someone with one foot out the Pentagon exit door.

Trained at West Point and with experience both in government and in the private sector, Esper had taken over at the Pentagon in July 2019 replacing James Mattis, who resigned as defense chief because he was not in agreement with Trump's plans to withdraw US troops from Syria.

Born in 1964, Esper graduated from West Point at age 23, before joining the army as an infantry officer, a move that resulted in him participating in the first Gulf War.

He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.

Upon his return to the US, still on active duty, he completed a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Harvard University.

After 10 years of military service, he decided to leave the military and began working for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative studies center with great influence in Washington.

From that institution, he moved into public service and joined the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in 2001-2002 he served as public policy director for the House Armed Services Committee.

It was then that he was first called to serve in the executive branch.

In 2002, the George W. Bush administration offered him the Pentagon post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy, and this role gave him the chance to work on matters related to arms control, international security and nuclear non-proliferation.

After his brief stint at Defense, he returned to the private sector to work in institutions such as the Aerospace Industries Association and Raytheon, one of the Pentagon's main weapons contractors.

In 2017, he left Raytheon to return to the Pentagon as Secretary of the Army, a post in which he managed resources for the 1.4 million soldiers serving in that branch of the Armed Forces.

As a result of his service in that post, he became one of the most recognizable Pentagon officials and was frequently seen in the halls of the Capitol as a firm defender of the Army's needs as well as White House policies.

At his Senate confirmation hearings for the post of Defense Secretary, Esper had promised to abide by the law at all times.


Histórico de noticias
Brazil opens Copa America with easy 3-0 win over Venezuela

Brasilia, Jun 13 (EFE).- The Brazilian national soccer team romped to a 3-0 victory in the opening Group B match for the Copa America at the Mane Garrincha...

US downplays expectations for Biden-Putin summit

Washington, Jun 13 (EFE).- Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday downplayed expectations for the summit next week between President Joe Biden and his...

US to maintain presence in Afghanistan after troop withdrawal

Nur-Sultan, Jun 13 (EFE).- The United States will maintain its presence in Afghanistan after withdrawing its troops to help in the fight against violence...

Copa America overcomes legal hurdles, to begin Sunday in Brazil

By Eduardo Davis

Brazil Senate committee probing Covid response focuses on ex-ministers

Brasilia, Jun 10 (EFE).- The Brazilian Senate committee investigating the national government's management of the coronavirus pandemic in the South American...

The challenge of translating Lopez Obrador's remarks into sign language

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

VP Harris promises US to be "safe haven" for asylum-seekers

Washington, Jun 10 (EFE).- Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday eased back on the harsh message she sent to potential migrants during her trip earlier...

Honduras tribe has lost several leaders defending ancestral lands

By German Reyes

Biden: World is at inflection point where democracy must prevail

Plymouth, United Kingdom, Jun 9 (EFE).- US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that the world is at an historic inflection point where democracies must...

Brewer AmBev is 2nd sponsor to back out of Copa America in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Jun 9 (EFE).- Ambev, the Brazilian affiliate of Belgian multinational AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, announced Wednesday that it will not...

"Betty" returns to HBO starring Rachelle Vinberg, Ajani Russell

By David Villafranca

Kamala Harris says Mexico, US are entering new era

Mexico City, Jun 8 (EFE).- US Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday that her country and Mexico are entering a "new era" after meeting with Mexican...

Colombia risks reopening economy amid worst of pandemic

Bogota/Medellin, Jun 8 (EFE).- In a risky attempt to revive the economy amid the worst spike in Covid-19 infections and deaths, Bogota and Medellin - among...

Buenos Aires starts vaccinating people over age 50

Buenos Aires, Jun 8 (EFE).- The city of Buenos Aires on Tuesday began the process of vaccinating all residents over age 50 by allowing interested persons to...

Castillo leading Fujimori in Peru vote with 97.2 pct. of ballots counted

Lima, Jun 8 (EFE).- Leftist Pedro Castillo is holding a 78,737-vote lead over his rightist rival, Keiko Fujimori, in Peru's runoff presidential election...

Salvadoran woman sent to prison for abortion in 2013 released

San Salvador, Jun 7 (EFE).- A Salvadoran woman serving a 30-year prison term for allegedly aborting the fetus she was carrying was released on Monday after...

US taking measures seeking to halt irregular migration from Guatemala

Guatemala City, Jun 7 (EFE).- US Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday held a series of meetings in Guatemala seeking solutions to irregular migration,...

Apple presents iOS 15 operating system, opens FaceTime to Android, Windows

San Francisco, Jun 7 (EFE).- Apple on Monday unveiled its new iOS 15 operating system for iPhones for which it has updated its FaceTime videocalling service...

US approves new therapy for Alzheimer's

Washington, Jun 7 (EFE).- The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Aduhelm, a new medication for the direct treatment of Alzheimer's, the...

Young leads Hawks to 128-124 playoff win, Clippers send Dallas home

Sports Desk, Jun 6 (EFE).- Trae Young notched a double-double on Sunday, scoring 35 points and contributing 10 assists in Atlanta's NBA 128-124 Eastern...

Mexican elections going relatively smoothly despite a few macabre incidents

Mexico City, Jun 6 (EFE).- Mexico's mid-term elections on Sunday, considered to be the largest in the country's history, are proceeding "normally" and just...

Peruvians head to polls to elect new president

Lima, Jun 6 (EFE).- A total of 25.2 million Peruvians are eligible to vote on Sunday for a new president to govern from 2021-2026, the runoff contest...

Blinken, Sullivan welcome Israeli defense minister to Washington

Washington, Jun 3 (EFE).- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, met on Thursday in Washington with...

The people under the highway: Oakland homeless building their own future

By Marc Arcas