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Trump, Esper show different views on using troops

Trump, Esper show different views on using troops

Jun 04, 2020

Washington DC (USA), June 4: US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he does not support deploying troops to help control civil unrest for now, though President Donald Trump had warned they could be used.
Esper made the remark at a news conference on Wednesday.
Street protests continued on Wednesday in New York, Washington and elsewhere across the United States for the ninth straight day. They were triggered by the death in Minneapolis of a black man who was pinned to the ground by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
The Associated Press says at least nine people have died and 9,300 others have been arrested since the start of the protests.
Earlier this week, Trump said he could use military troops to maintain security after some protests became violent. About 1,600 soldiers have now been moved to the outskirts of the capital to be deployed if necessary.
At Wednesday's news conference, Esper said, "The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations." He added, "We are not in one of those situations now."
Esper was also asked about the criticism he came under for performing what critics saw as a political activity when he accompanied Trump on a visit to a church for a photo session on Monday.
Esper said, "What I was not aware of was exactly where we were going when I arrived at the church and what the plans were once we got there."
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Wednesday that only the president has the authority to mobilize troops, and that Trump will exercise that authority if necessary.
The spokesperson hinted at the possibility of Esper being dismissed as defense secretary following his negative comments on Trump's threats to deploy troops.
She said, "As of right now, Esper is still Secretary Esper and should the president lose faith, people will all learn about that in the future."
Source: NHK World