Trump loyalists replace Pentagon establishment figures after Trump fires Defense chief
November 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A wave of resignations at the Pentagon have cleared the way for a dramatic shift in defense policy going into what may be the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper this week, elevating National Counterterrorism Center director Christopher Miller to Acting Secretary in his place. The president’s relationship with Esper has reportedly been tense for months, stemming from Esper’s public statements declaring he was opposed to the use of military forces to restore law and order to cities consumed by Black Lives Matter riots this summer.
Following the move, NBC News reports that numerous Pentagon officials have resigned following Esper’s ouster, including acting policy undersecretary James Anderson, intelligence undersecretary Joseph Kernan, and Esper chief of staff Jen Stewart. Replacing them will be retired Army Gen. Anthony Tata, Lt. Gen Michael Flynn’s former aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and former National Security Council official Kash Patel.
Many expect the turnover to lead to an expedited withdrawal of remaining U.S. forces from Afghanistan before January 20, fulfilling a promise Trump campaigned on in 2016 but which has been stiffly resisted by the defense establishment. In an interview with Defense One, retiring diplomat Jim Jeffrey admits that while Trump’s policies “are quite popular” among U.S. allies in the Middle East, his team was “always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had” in Syria.
Although most national news networks have called the race for former Vice President Joe Biden, election results have not been officially certified yet. Recounts are pending in Georgia and likely in Wisconsin and potentially additional states, and the Trump campaign is pursuing challenges based on evidence of possible fraud in Michigan and Pennsylvania.