McRaven Calls Pentagon's Post-Esper Team 'Inexperienced' Former Sec. of Defense Mark Esper in July 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
By Cathy Burke | Sunday, 29 November 2020 11:35 AM
Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, a former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and a critic of President Donald Trump, said Sunday the Pentagon’s new team after Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s firing is “inexperienced.”
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” McRaven said he isn’t questioning the competence of Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, Michael Ellis, a new general counsel at the National Security Agency, and new Pentagon advisor retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor.
But he said they were made with a political agenda in mind.
“The new team, maybe they’re good folks but they are inexperienced,” McRaven said. “And what they are trying to do, of course, is to push forward President [Donald] Trump’s agenda, particularly when it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan, and drawing down the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“What I’ve said before is, look, we can have reasonable policy discussions on how many people we ought to have in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he continued.
“But what we don’t want to do is we don’t want to rush to failure. We don’t want to pull everybody out of Afghanistan and risk putting the troops … in greater harm’s way.”
He added the new team “appears” to be “really rushing to get a lot of Trump’s agenda resolved before a President [Joe] Biden comes on.”