Mark Esper

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Thousands More US Troops Could Be Sent to Middle East

Esper 'intends to make changes' to counter Iran, official says

(Newser) - The Pentagon is considering sending several thousand additional troops to the Middle East to deter Iranian aggression, amid reports of escalating violence in Iran and continued meddling by Tehran in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region. John Rood, defense undersecretary for policy, told senators Thursday that Defense Secretary... More »

Defense Chief 'Flabbergasted' by Navy Leader on SEAL Case

Mark Esper also confirms that Trump ordered him to protect SEAL Edward Gallagher

(Newser) - The saga of the newly ousted Navy commander and a Navy SEAL continues to unfold. On Monday, defense chief Mark Esper revealed that President Trump ordered him to make sure Edward Gallagher was allowed to retire as a SEAL with full benefits, reports the Hill . "I spoke with the... More »

Pardons, Promotion From Trump, Despite Pentagon Pushback

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he had a 'robust discussion' with the president on this

(Newser) - President Trump has pardoned a former US Army commando set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former Army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire upon three Afghans, killing two, the White House announced late Friday. The commander... More »

US Troops Leaving Syria Will Head to Iraq

In Kabul, Defense Secretary Mark Esper says troops will not be coming home

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that all US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State to prevent its resurgence. Esper, who arrived in Kabul on Sunday, did not rule out the idea that US forces would conduct counterterrorism... More »

SecDef: US Troops Caught Between Advancing Armies

Esper says US 'preparing to evacuate' troops from Syrian north

(Newser) - Amid growing chaos in Syria, the US is "preparing to evacuate" and President Trump has ordered all US troops to withdraw from the country's north to avoid a conflict between Turkey and Kurdish fighters, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday. The approximately 1,... More »

Pentagon: We're Sending Jets, Other Air Defense to Saudis

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announces move after Iran claims 2 missiles struck its tanker

(Newser) - The US will send fighter jets and additional air defenses to Saudi Arabia to defend the kingdom against Iran amid heightened tensions between the two Middle Eastern adversaries, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday. Esper announced the deployment of several dozen fighter jets, along with other aircraft and additional air... More »

Democrats Widen Search for Info About Ukraine

They subpoena Pentagon, OMB for documents related to held-up financial aid

(Newser) - House Democrats issued more subpoenas on Monday about the White House decision to delay aid to Ukraine. The leaders of three House committees sent letters to defense chief Mark Esper and acting Office of Management and Budget director Russell Vought demanding any documents related to the financial aid, reports the... More »

US Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia, UAE

No military strike against Iran yet, though

(Newser) - The Pentagon on Friday announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as President Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. Defense... More »

The Pentagon Finally Gets a Permanent Leader

Mark Esper confirmed by Senate as defense secretary

(Newser) - The Senate has confirmed Army veteran and former defense industry lobbyist Mark Esper as secretary of defense. The 55-year-old won Senate confirmation on Tuesday by a vote of 90-8 and is to be sworn in by day's end. His confirmation ends a stretch of seven months the Pentagon didn'... More »

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