As the world reckons with its monuments and other forms of honoring historical figures in the wake of global protests against racial injustice, the U.S. military is looking into the possibility of rebranding bases named after Confederate officers who fought to preserve slavery in the American South during the Civil War. The Pentagon on Monday said Defense Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy "are open to a bipartisan discussion" on renaming bases like Fort Benning, Georgia, or Fort Hood, Texas. President Trump, on the other hand, is not on board.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that his administration "won't even consider" renaming the "magnificent and fabled" bases because they are the sites where U.S. soldiers trained before contributing to the country's military victories, including during World War I and World War II.
From the president's point of view such an action would be disrespectful to the military, even though the honored officers were actually known for fighting for an army in open rebellion against the U.S.
Meanwhile, retired Gen. David Petraeus, who — unlike Trump — actually served in the military, penned an essay earlier this week calling for a renaming of the bases. During his 37-year career in the U.S. Army, Petraeus had three assignments at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is named for Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, who Patraeus said "left a great deal to be desired as a military leader." But poor leadership skills aside, Petraeus said it's "imperative" the Army acknowledge the fact that "we do not live in a country to which" these officers "can serve as inspiration." Read more at The Atlantic.