Trump Picks New Secretary of Defense
Patrick Shanahan has recently announced his withdrawal from the nomination process for Secretary of Defense. President Trump had chosen him to lead the Pentagon but given certain developments in Shanahan’s past, it was decided that he would withdraw from the process. President Trump has been reluctant to find a new person to fill the position.
In the short term, the president had chosen to place Mark Esper as acting Secretary of Defense.
Mark Esper is currently the Army Secretary. He is a former aerospace executive that has supporters within the military. His key supporters are also supporters of the president. Esper was one that was originally up for the position before Shanahan was picked.
He has supported the president even in controversial decisions and dangerous trips.
Mark Esper is a person that does not have to worry about playing party lines in politics. Some people have argued that deploying troops to the border will not allow them to be ready should there be a need to go into combat.
Esper stated in response “I don’t see any need to assume there will be a degradation in readiness. And in many ways, they can build readiness, depending on the type of work they’re doing.”
There is no doubt that Esper supports Trump. He is one that helped out with 2016 when he could. His military career lets him standout out from his contemporaries. Shanahan had no such career who worked at Boeing for many years.
Mark Esper has an excellent military career. He served in the 101st Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War. Later he would join the Army Reserve. He worked as a national security aid to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and served in the Pentagon when George W. Bush was president.
Lindsey Graham, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, said “I’ve known him for a long time. [He’ll] be confirmable and I think a good leader. There are a lot of good choices for the president but I’d put him high on the list.”
Senator Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma said “I think a lot of Mark Esper. I’ve been with him in the field and I’ve watched his style of working with the troops. He does really a very good job.” Even the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, gave Esper a solid endorsement.
Adam Smith said that he “has a track record of public service both as a soldier and in government. If confirmed, I am confident that Secretary Esper is capable of executing the national defense strategy in a way that is insulated from outside influence and political considerations. I have known Esper for years, both as a staff member on the Hill and in private industry, and believe the Department would benefit from his leadership.”
Esper is also a person that is not afraid to live what he believes to be right. Esper disagrees with the Trump administration on the issue of transgender troops. He believes that they should be allowed to serve.
President Trump and Patrick Shanahan have banned them from being in the military. Esper stated on the matter “We know who they are, and it is monitored very closely because we’re concerned about that and want to make sure that they are in fact treated with dignity and respect and have precisely zero reports of issues of cohesion, discipline, morale and all sorts of things.”
Esper seems to be gaining support from both sides. Some Democrats have questioned his ability to stay neutral in a conflict of interest matters. But Inhofe has said of the issue “I think it will [be an issue] with Democrats because Democrats are going to oppose him anyway. But it hasn’t been a problem so far.”
Esper knows that there are many challenges that the military faces today. He is committed to meeting those challenges head-on and propelling the military into the future.
President Trump should have no problem getting Mark Esper confirmed as the Secretary of Defense.
The only reason Democrats would oppose him is that it was a Republican president that nominated him to the position.