Fill the Swamp: Trump to Put Military Industrial Complex Lobbyist in Charge of the Army

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

by James Holbrooks
July 24, 2017

Last Wednesday, it was reported that Donald Trump was moving to nominate Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper for secretary of the Army. Raytheon is one of the “big five” defense contractors, and the president’s decision comes at a time when concerns are being raised over the idea of defense industry executives being placed in senior positions at the Pentagon.

Esper, who holds a master’s degree from Harvard and a doctorate from George Washington University, has been Raytheon’s vice president of government relations since 2010. Before that, he held a slew of positions in both the public and private sectors. His resume is extensive, but The Hill managed to succinctly package the high points:

“Esper graduated from West Point in 1986 and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring. His Army career includes a combat tour in Iraq during the Gulf War.

“His Capitol Hill experience includes serving as director of national security affairs for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). He was also policy director for the House Armed Services Committee and a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

“From 2002 to 2004, he was the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for negotiations policy. In that role, he was responsible for arms control, nonproliferation, international agreements and matters with the United Nations.

“Esper’s resume also includes serving as national policy director for Fred Thompson’s 2008 presidential campaign and as chief of staff at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.”

The Washington Examiner, which broke the news in an exclusive after speaking with unnamed D.C. sources, reported that Pentagon officials “privately expressed confidence that Esper, with his military, Pentagon and Capitol Hill experience, will win quick Senate confirmation.”

That would be a change of pace. Esper’s nomination is Trump’s third attempt to fill the position of Army secretary.

The Rest…HERE

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