According to a CNN report on the 10th, the Trump administration has completely changed the Pentagon’s civilian leadership structure, replacing several senior positions with personnel considered to be Trump loyalists. 24 hours after Trump announced the dismissal of former Defense Secretary Esper, the Pentagon announced the series of personnel changes in a statement.
According to a report in the U.S. “Capitol Hill”, after Esper was fired, three U.S. Department of Defense officials resigned on the 10th, including the Acting Deputy Secretary for Policy Affairs James Anderson (James Anderson) and the Person in charge of Intelligence Affairs. Deputy Minister Joseph Kernan (Joseph Kernan) and Esper’s office director Jen Stewart (Jen Stewart).
CNN reported that this made officials in the Pentagon nervous and uneasy, and aroused a growing sense of vigilance among military and civilian officials, who were worried about what would happen next.
According to the report, these four top civilian officials were fired or voluntarily resigned, and some who were considered to be loyal supporters of Trump replaced these leaving officials, including a controversial figure-the retired US Brigadier General Anthony Tata He has been preaching conspiracy theories and once claimed that former President Obama is a “terrorist.”
Later on the 10th, a senior defense official said, “It seems that we have ended the beheading operation.” He said that the “beheading operation” refers to the expulsion of civilian senior officials, including Esper. CNN pointed out that these practices may only exacerbate the sense of chaos within the Pentagon after Trump fired Esper. Defense officials are increasingly worried that the chaotic transition period may harm US national security.
According to reports, since Trump took office, senior US officials have been responding to Trump’s unpredictable decisions, but since this US election, this uncertainty has been increasing.
People familiar with the matter said that after Esper was fired, the White House now seems to be focusing on dealing with its team members who remained in the Department of Defense. This may be because Esper and his team delayed their plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan too early. A defense official told CNN: “This is terrible and disturbing. These are the actions of the dictator.”
CNN reported that the U.S. Democratic Party was shocked by the developments. The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Adam Smith (a Democratic congressman) said in a statement on the 10th, “During the presidential transition, the danger of changes in the top personnel of the Department of Defense cannot be overstated. The top policy expert of the Department of Defense is here. The resignation of the Secretary of Defense the day after his dismissal may mark the beginning of a process of destroying the Department of Defense-which should arouse the vigilance of all Americans.”
Smith said: “When the U.S. media announced that former Vice President Biden won the election, Trump and those loyal to him began to sow the seeds of chaos and division. Now the Pentagon seems to be in chaos. If this is a kind of At the beginning of the trend, the president either fires or forces national security professionals to leave and replaces them with those who are believed to be more loyal to him. Then the next 70 days will bring instability on the better side, and on the worst. It’s completely dangerous. This confirms what I’ve been saying for months: President Trump’s dedication to loyalty has severely weakened the American government’s ability to govern and made us more insecure.”
In addition, the report also mentioned that a number of civilian and military officials in the United States Pentagon also raised a question, that is, whether the departure of Esper and other officials in the last few weeks of Trump’s term will be a possible cause for Trump’s resignation. Promoting actions that were previously intended but opposed by the Pentagon cleared the way, including invoking the Insurgency Act, deploying active-duty troops to quell any protests that may arise, and ignoring opposition to a total withdrawal from Afghanistan before Christmas.