first_imgEsper did have a military career, including a brief period of active service in the Gulf War. However, his career also includes a stint running the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation, and as assistant defense secretary for George W. Bush, where he was a proponent of the Iraq invasion. He’s been a policy adviser to three different Republican senators, and a defense industry lobbyist. In fact, The Hill recognized Esper as “the top corporate lobbyist” for both 2015 and 2016. It was his keen work as an industry lobbyist that brought him to the lobbyist-filled Trump White House — where he got to play defense secretary while still sitting on a package of benefits from defense contractors.So it’s not as if Esper has ever demonstrated anything that resembled concern for the troops, concern for national security, or concern for the dignity of his supposed position. He seems to be only concerned with getting away before the screen door hits him in the rear. As NBC News reports, the reason Esper is planning to get out now is simple enough: Trump was about to fire him anyway. So Esper is neither making a moral stand, nor even just clearing out in advance of what he sees as a new administration coming to town. He’s doing a classic “you can’t fire me, I quit” maneuver.Esper’s role in multiple instances has been to put an apparent seal of military approval on Trump’s actions. However, he did eventually break with Trump on two points: When Trump suggested using the Insurrection Act to place active duty military forces in American cities, Esper instead suggest that Trump limit the forces to the National Guard and sent a group of active duty military who had already been brought into the Washington, D.C., area back to their bases. Esper also added tentative support to the idea of renaming military bases still bearing the names of Confederate officers who fought for slavery … though Esper never directly issued an order to change the names.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img