Blurred lines: Anger, outrage at US military’s backing of Trump

World

Blurred lines: Anger, outrage at US military’s backing of Trump

President’s militaristic rhetoric in the face of civil unrest is putting the US’s armed forces at risk, say officials

Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali

“Battlespace” was the word US defence secretary Mark Esper used to describe protest sites in the country. The top general reinforced that image by appearing in central Washington in camouflage during a Monday evening crackdown.

Helicopters that could easily be mistaken for active-duty US military ones staged show-of-force manoeuvres above people protesting against the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

As President Donald Trump increasingly turns to militaristic rhetoric at a time of national upheaval, the US military appears to be playing a supporting role, alarming current and former officials who see danger to the country’s armed forces, one of America’s most revered and well-funded institutions...

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