Tag: Esper

Esper and Milley appear to adopt different strategies to deal with Trump as election approaches :: WRAL.com

— The Pentagon’s two most senior figures were so angry about President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attack on senior military leadership earlier this month that they got on the phone with the White House chief of staff to express their dismay, according to several defense officials.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley spoke to Mark Meadows after Trump accused Pentagon leadership of waging wars to boost the profits of weapons manufacturers.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me — the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy,” Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Labor Day.


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Esper promised more diversity at the Pentagon. The White House had other ideas.

Ted Johnson, a speechwriter for the Joint Chiefs from 2014 to 2016 and retired Navy commander, criticized the lack of diversity in the Trump administration broadly, noting that “the rhetoric that often accompanies the conversation around this administration makes it clear that if you are a minority serving in it, you’re going to have to contend with a level of discomfort that you would not have had to face in a previous administration.”

The Pentagon declined multiple requests to provide a breakdown of its senior civilian ranks by race, but publicly available data reveals a department run overwhelmingly by white men. Esper and his deputy, David Norquist, are white. Six out of seven members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are white men; new Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown is only the second Black man ever to serve on the Joint Chiefs.

The lower ranks of

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