Esper Opposes US Troops Being Used to Crush Protests

Republicans backing Esper in growing break from Trump

Defense Secretary Mark Esper stepped up to challenge President Trump on Wednesday, publicly opposing the idea of deploying active-duty US troops into American cities to quell the growing protests. This militarization was a plan President Trump has loudly been advocating.

Esper ordered 200 troops away from Washington D.C. and back to base early in the day, but after a meeting at the White House, he reversed that. White House aides say Esper is rubbing some the wrong way. Esper’s position is rubbing a lot of Congressional Republicans the right way.

Multiple House and Senate Republicans are backing Esper’s position, saying that the use of active-duty US troops on US soil is meant to be a last resort. White House officials say that they don’t plan to fire Esper just yet, but that this could change.

While Trump did get support from a few hawkish senators on sending troops to American cities, there seems to be a substantial number uncomfortable with the idea of such operations. These Congressmen are finding a voice in Esper, and this is likely to make Trump getting rid of him a dangerous proposition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.