Lt. Gen. James Mattis

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Seoul Responded to Latest Pyongyang Launch Within Minutes

Test shows Guam is now in range, experts say

(Newser) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for "direct actions" against North Korea from oil suppliers China and Russia after the country launched another missile over Japan early Friday. China and Russia "must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,"... More »

Fearing New ICBM Launch, South Korea Turns Up Heat

With activity around N. Korean launch sites, South simulates attack on Kim's nuke test site

(Newser) - With activity around missile launch sites suggesting North Korea planned more missile tests, Jang Kyoung-soo, South Korea's acting deputy defense minister, warned parliament Monday that the North also could be planning to "fire an intercontinental ballistic missile." Seoul wasn't letting grass grow under its feet: South... More »

Mattis Warns of 'Massive' Response to North Korean Threat

Defense Secretary did not mince words on protection of US, allies

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday shot back at North Korea's latest nuclear provocation with a blunt threat, saying the US will answer any North Korean threat with a "massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming." While he said America does not seek the... More »

Pentagon Panel to Consider Trump's Transgender Ban

Experts to weigh fate of transgender service members currently serving

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is assembling a panel of experts to discuss the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving in the US military, the AP reports. President Trump last Friday directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, but he gave Mattis the... More »

Breitbart Slams Trump 'Flip-Flop' on Afghanistan

Generals talked Trump into changing mind

(Newser) - In what some of his critics on the right saw as a decision as bad as looking at the eclipse without glasses , President Trump announced Monday night that he is going against his "original instinct" and reaffirming the US commitment in Afghanistan instead of pulling troops out. Trump had... More »

Top General Hints That Trump Will Continue Afghan Support

'We are with you and we will stay with you'

(Newser) - Signaling that the US military expects its mission to continue, the top US commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army's new special operations corps, declaring that "we are with you and we will stay with you." Gen. John Nicholson's exhortation of... More »

Trump to Reveal New Strategy in Afghan War

President is 'considering options' as Taliban gains ground

(Newser) - President Trump is "studying and considering his options" for a new approach to Afghanistan and the broader South Asia region, the White House said Friday after the president huddled with his top national security aides at Camp David. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a brief statement... More »

Top Military Officer Speaks on Transgender Ban

Gen. Joseph Dunford says no changes will be made to policy until Trump gives 'direction'

(Newser) - The US military will continue to permit transgender individuals to serve openly until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has received President Donald Trump's "direction" to change the policy and figured out how to implement it, America's top military officer said Thursday. In a memo to all military service... More »

How a High School Newspaper Scored an Interview With the Defense Secretary

Aide accidentally leaked his number, students took action

(Newser) - You wouldn't expect to see an interview with the secretary of defense published in a high school newspaper, but there it is in the Islander , the paper published by Washington state's Mercer Island High School students. An aide to President Trump accidentally released Defense Secretary James Mattis' phone... More »

Syria, Iran, Russia Push Back Against US Warning

Syria says it isn't planning to use chemical weapons, which it says it doesn't have

(Newser) - Late Monday, the White House took the unusual step of issuing a preemptive warning against Syria, which it claims is preparing to launch a chemical weapons attack. The Wall Street Journal reports the Trump administration is basing that assertion on evidence from the same air base that the US hit... More »

Pentagon Blew $28M on Iffy Afghan Army Uniforms

Watchdog: US shelled out extra for 'forest' camo in land with almost no forest

(Newser) - Just one week after defense chief James Mattis told a Senate panel the US is "not winning in Afghanistan," a new report reveals that the US wasted $28 million on the wrong kind of uniforms for Afghan army soldiers. In 2007, the Pentagon allowed the Afghan defense minister... More »

US to Send 4K More Troops to Afghanistan

Move comes after defense chief Mattis gets more authority to set levels

(Newser) - The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan, the largest deployment of US manpower under President Trump's young presidency, reports the AP . The decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, said a White House official. It follows Trump'... More »

Mattis to World: 'Bear With Us'

Defense secretary says US not 'turning our back' on world

(Newser) - James Mattis, seeking to calm world leaders Saturday following President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, urged them to "bear with us," the Guardian reports. The Defense secretary, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, said Americans will do the right thing "once we have exhausted... More »

Homeland Security Chief: Leaks 'Darn Close to Treason'

Plus, John Kelly, Clapper weigh in on Jared Kushner's alleged contact with Russia

(Newser) - Whoever is behind the leaks of intelligence Britain shared with the United States in the wake of the Manchester bombing is in dangerous territory, according to the secretary of Homeland Security. "I believe when you leak the kind of information that seems to be routinely leaked—high, high level... More »

Mattis Breaks From Trump on Key Iraq Issue

Defense secretary assures Iraq we want to help beat ISIS, not take its oil

(Newser) - President Trump has noted more than once he thinks we should've taken Iraq's oil when we had the chance (and suggests that option may still be on the table), but his secretary of defense is pushing a different message—what the New York Times characterizes as comments that... More »

Defense Chief Delivers 'Unexpected Present' to South Korea

Gen. James Mattis reassures country in first foreign trip

(Newser) - Gen. James Mattis is in South Korea, and the new defense secretary has delivered what one analyst calls an "unexpected present" from the Trump administration: clarity on US policy. Mattis arrived in the country Thursday on his first foreign trip in his new role; he'll also visit Japan.... More »

Trump's 1st Cabinet Picks Officially Confirmed

Former Marines James Mattis and John Kelly are in

(Newser) - Two of Donald Trump's cabinet picks are officially in place after Senate votes Friday, the AP reports. First, the Republican-led Senate voted to confirm James Mattis to be Defense secretary. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who challenged the idea of a former military leader in a civilian job, voted... More »

Trump Pick Gets Rare Senate Exception to Lead Pentagon

James Mattis expected to be easily confirmed

(Newser) - Retired Gen. James Mattis on Thursday cruised toward likely confirmation as Donald Trump's defense secretary, overwhelmingly prevailing in a Senate vote granting him an exemption to run the Pentagon as a recently retired officer, the AP reports. At his confirmation hearing, he called Russia the nation's No. 1... More »

Trump's Defense Secretary Is 'Mad Dog,' 'Warrior Monk'

Sources say Trump has named James Mattis to the position

(Newser) - Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a "Mad Dog" for secretary of defense. That's just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the "Warrior Monk." Apart from spending four decades with... More »

US Boosting Persian Gulf Forces

America warns Iran that closing Strait of Hormuz would be 'red line'

(Newser) - Some of the US troops who left Iraq last month didn't move very far. As tensions with Iran rise, the US military has been quietly boosting its strength in the Persian Gulf, reports the Los Angeles Times . The move comes as US officials have warned Iran that closing the... More »

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