Tag: Esper, Mark T

The Swamp Is Coming From Inside Trump’s Campaign

WASHINGTON — The chief executive of the arms maker Raytheon, under pressure to overcome a congressional hold on major sales in the fall of 2018, wanted to sit down with one of the few people who could solve the problem — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the State Department would not schedule the meeting. […]

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Defense Secretary Faces White House Pressure on Aides and a Military Promotion

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is facing a hemorrhage of talent as senior officials resign amid continued efforts by the White House to purge those perceived as political foes, including the Army lieutenant colonel who testified in the House impeachment hearings. The Army this week forwarded to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper a list of hundreds […]

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Promotion in Jeopardy for Army Officer Who Challenged Trump on Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The promotion of an Army officer who was a prominent witness in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump last year is imperiled in what Pentagon and congressional officials say could be another flash point between the president and the military. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a decorated Iraq war veteran who served on […]

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Trump Speaks at West Point Graduation Amid Tensions With Military Leaders

President Trump told the Army’s newest officers on Saturday that they will not have to serve in “endless wars” being waged in “far away lands,” but made no mention of his thwarted effort in recent days to deploy the active-duty military to the streets of American cities over the objections of Pentagon leaders. In a […]

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Graduating West Point Cadets Isolate for Two Weeks Ahead of Trump Speech

WASHINGTON — The graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point have lived in Covid-19 quarantine for the past two weeks, confined to their dorms, wearing masks and watching Zoom conferences on leadership as they wait for President Trump to speak at their commencement on Saturday. Sent home in March because of […]

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U.S. to Sanction I.C.C. Investigators in War Crimes Inquiry

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will issue economic sanctions against international officials who are investigating possible war crimes by American troops in Afghanistan and bar them from entering the United States, senior officials announced Thursday. President Trump ordered the restrictions as a warning to the International Criminal Court, where investigators have collected evidence of crimes […]

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Trump Rejects Renaming Military Bases Named After Confederate Generals

President Trump responded to waves of demonstrations for racial justice on Wednesday by picking a fight over the legacy of the Confederacy, further inflaming the nation’s culture war at a time when tensions were already high after the killing of George Floyd and widespread street protests against police brutality. On the same day that Mr. […]

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Aggressive Tactics by National Guard, Ordered to Appease Trump, Wounded the Military, Too

WASHINGTON — A white National Guard commander called the standoff in Lafayette Square “the Alamo,” implying that the White House was under siege. Black members of the D.C. Guard objected to turning on their neighbors. Army leaders told pilots to “flood the box with everything we have” as two helicopters buzzed protesters in the streets. […]

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Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C.

WASHINGTON — Top Pentagon officials ordered National Guard helicopters to use what they called “persistent presence” to disperse protests in the capital this week, according to military officials. The loosely worded order prompted a series of low-altitude maneuvers that human rights organizations quickly criticized as a show of force usually reserved for combat zones. Ryan […]

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Milley, America’s Top General, Walks Into a Political Battle

WASHINGTON — Gen. Mark A. Milley was never meant to be President Trump’s top military adviser. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had sent him to the White House in late 2018 to interview for the top American military post across the Atlantic, with its grand title: supreme allied commander Europe. Mr. Mattis wanted someone else, the […]

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Trump Plans to Withdraw Some U.S. Troops From Germany, a Key NATO Ally

WASHINGTON — The United States will cut its troop presence in Germany by more than 25 percent, former American officials said on Friday, as the Trump administration sends a frosty message to a major NATO ally and shrinks a military footprint long resented by the Kremlin. The new cap, approved by President Trump and Defense […]

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Trump Agrees to Send Home Troops From Washington, Easing Tensions With the Pentagon

WASHINGTON — President Trump agreed on Thursday to begin sending home 82nd Airborne Division troops he had ordered to Washington, temporarily easing a contentious standoff with the Pentagon over the role of the armed forces in quelling protests that have broken out across the nation. None of the active-duty forces ever actually deployed in Washington, […]

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Trump and Tom Cotton Are Wrong. Don’t Send the Military to Protests.

American history is littered with ugly examples of politicians using national crises to erode civil liberties. This time is no different. President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have been threatening to bring a particularly authoritarian brand of executive power to the streets of American cities. And although civil unrest in many American cities now […]

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Trump and the Military: A Mutual Embrace Might Dissolve on America’s Streets

WASHINGTON — For the first three years of President Trump’s time in office, his blunt-force view of the military was confined to threatening American adversaries: “fire and fury” if North Korea challenged American troops. A warning that he would “shoot down and destroy” Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. Billions spent to rejuvenate a nuclear […]

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Late Night Asks Why the Orange Chicken Crossed the Road

[embedded content] “He treated it like taking your kid to see Santa at the mall: [imitating parent] ‘You got the picture? OK, let’s get the hell out of here.’” — JIMMY KIMMEL “The condemnation of this is bipartisan. A Republican congressional aide, who’s also a veteran, said that Esper and Milley ‘have squandered the moral […]

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Trump Uses the Military to Prove His Manhood

For two decades, the United States has repeatedly made the mistake of over-relying on the military toolbox to try to solve intractable problems — particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq — without adequately relying on diplomacy. Now President Trump wants to repeat the mistake at home. The United States military is, according to Gallup polling, the […]

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Esper Breaks With Trump on Using Troops Against Protesters

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper broke with President Trump on Wednesday and said that active-duty military troops should not be sent to control the wave of protests in American cities, at least for now. His words were at odds with his commander in chief, who on Monday threatened to do exactly that. Mr. […]

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Trump’s Use of the Insurrection Act May Be a Final Straw for the Military

On Tuesday, a day after mobilizing military policemen and an Army Black Hawk helicopter for aggressive crowd control during a photo op, President Trump deployed elements of the 82nd Airborne Division to Washington. These were down payments on his pledge to use the nation’s armed forces to quash the nationwide protests triggered by the death […]

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The Military’s Newest Target: Protesters

WASHINGTON — Retired senior military leaders condemned their successors in the Trump administration for ordering active-duty units on Monday to rout those peacefully protesting police violence near the White House. As military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital and National Guard units moved into many cities, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Mark […]

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As Virus Toll Preoccupies U.S., Rivals Test Limits of American Influence

WASHINGTON — With the United States preoccupied by the sobering reality of more than 100,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, China has pushed in recent weeks to move troops into disputed territory with India, continue aggressive actions in the South China Sea and rewrite the rules of how it will control Hong Kong. At roughly […]

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Senators Seek Answers on Coronavirus Protections at Guantánamo Bay

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. WASHINGTON — A group of senators has written the defense secretary expressing concern about the potential for a “significant outbreak” of the coronavirus at the Pentagon prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, seeking answers to how the military is safeguarding the 40 prisoners […]

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5 Takeaways on U.S. Involvement in the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

Long before the coronavirus caused human suffering and economic chaos on a global scale, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis was unfolding in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country and one that has been mired in civil war. In all, about 100,000 people — including more than 12,000 civilians — have been killed in the conflict, […]

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A Rocket Attack. Two Narratives. This Is What Happened.

When 16 rockets were fired at a small American base in southern Afghanistan last fall, the Taliban trumpeted the attack as a blood bath, claiming they had killed “tens” of Americans. The U.S.-led mission in Kabul downplayed it. The insurgents were lying, an American military spokesman said on Twitter; there were no coalition casualties. The […]

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An Accidental Navy Chief Steers His Service Through a Storm

WASHINGTON — Adm. Michael M. Gilday landed the top job in the Navy’s uniformed ranks largely by accident. The admiral, who took a bold step last week — recommending that the captain of a virus-stricken aircraft carrier be restored to command after he was removed by the service’s senior civilian — was plucked from the […]

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Navy Secretary Orders Deeper Inquiry Into Coronavirus-Stricken Ship

WASHINGTON — The acting secretary of the Navy on Wednesday ordered a wider investigation into events aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, shelving for now a recommendation by the Navy’s top admiral to restore Capt. Brett E. Crozier to command the virus-stricken warship. “I have unanswered questions that the preliminary inquiry has identified and that […]

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Navy Secretary Orders Deeper Inquiry Into Virus-Stricken Ship

WASHINGTON — The acting secretary of the Navy on Wednesday ordered a wider investigation into events aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, shelving for now a recommendation by the Navy’s top admiral to restore Capt. Brett E. Crozier to command the virus-stricken warship. “I have unanswered questions that the preliminary inquiry has identified and that […]

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How Trump and His Team Covered Up the Coronavirus in Five Days

The strongest critics of the Trump’s administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic point to its flat-footedness and the consequences of time lost. But the full account looks worse. Over the last five days of February, President Trump and senior officials did something more sinister: They engaged in a cover-up. A look at this window of […]

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Trump Commencement Address Summons West Point Cadets Back to Campus

WASHINGTON — For President Trump, who adores the pomp and precision of military ceremonies, this was the year he would finally get one of the special perks of being president — delivering the commencement address at West Point, the only service academy where he has not spoken. But the graduation was postponed because of the […]

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U.S. Military Cutting Medevac Flights for Troops in West Africa

WASHINGTON — The United States military is sharply reducing its emergency casualty evacuation services in West Africa, raising concerns that American troops on missions there could be left vulnerable if they run into trouble at a time when violence is surging in that corner of the continent. The action by the Pentagon’s Africa Command comes […]

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Navy May Reinstate Fired Captain to Command of Roosevelt

WASHINGTON — The Navy is looking into whether it can reinstate Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt after he pleaded for more help fighting a novel coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, Defense Department officials said on Wednesday. Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, has […]

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