Latest Mark Esper News

FILE - In this photo released by the official website of the Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Gen. Esmail Ghaani, newly appointed commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, weeps while praying over the coffin of the force's previous head Gen. Qassem Soleimani at the Tehran University Campus in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.  On Friday, Nov. 20, two Iraqi officials say Iran has instructed allies in the Middle East to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the U.S. that could give an outgoing Trump Administration cause to launch attacks in his final weeks in office.   (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran's allies on high alert in Trump's final weeks in office

Nov. 20, 2020 11:54 AM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran has instructed allies across the Middle East to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the U.S. that could give an outgoing Trump administration cause to launch attacks in the U.S. president's final weeks in office, Iraqi officials have said. The request — delivered...

FILE - This March 27, 2008 file photo shows the Pentagon in Washington. In a first for the Pentagon's push to develop defenses against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States, a missile interceptor launched from a U.S. Navy ship at sea hit and destroyed a mock ICBM in flight on Tuesday, officials said. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Top Pentagon official tests positive for coronavirus

Nov. 19, 2020 10:48 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon official installed in a top policy job last week has tested positive for COVID-19, the Pentagon said Thursday, just days after he met with the Lithuanian defense minister, who had contracted the virus. Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesperson, said Anthony Tata, who is...

Editorial Roundup: US

Nov. 18, 2020 4:33 PM EST

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ Nov. 17 The Minneapolis Star-Tribune on a recent judicial decision expanding courtroom access in the George Floyd case: Although Minnesota prosecutors are unhappy about the change, Minnesotans should applaud a recent judicial decision to allow...

FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, fired Krebs, the director of the federal agency that vouched for the reliability of the 2020 election. Trump fired Krebs in a tweet, saying his recent statement defending the security of the election was “highly inaccurate.”  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Trump fires agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security

Nov. 18, 2020 6:09 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump fired the nation’s top election security official, a widely respected member of his administration who had dared to refute the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouch for the integrity of the vote. While abrupt, the dismissal...

FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, fired Krebs, the director of the federal agency that vouched for the reliability of the 2020 election. Trump fired Krebs in a tweet, saying his recent statement defending the security of the election was “highly inaccurate.”  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Trump fires agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security

Nov. 17, 2020 10:02 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the nation’s top election security official, a widely respected member of his administration who had dared to refute the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouch for the integrity of the vote. While abrupt, the...

FILE - In this Sept.14, 2020, file photo released by India Government Press Information Bureau, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media as he arrives at the Parliament in New Delhi, India. Modi held his first phone conversation with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, and they agreed to work closely to further advance the Indo-U.S. comprehensive global strategic partnership, India’s External Affairs Ministry said Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (India Government Press Information Bureau via AP, File)

Biden, Modi discuss US-India ties in phone conversation

Nov. 17, 2020 9:35 PM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first phone conversation with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, and they agreed to work closely to further advance the Indo-U.S. comprehensive global strategic partnership, India’s External Affairs Ministry said Wednesday. Modi...

In this Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, image taken from a video provided by Defense.gov Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller speaks at the Pentagon in Washington. Miller said Tuesday that the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills President Donald Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America's long wars even as Republicans and U.S. allies warn of the dangers of withdrawing before conditions are right. (Defense.gov via AP)

Pentagon to cut troop levels to 2,500 in Iraq, Afghanistan

Nov. 17, 2020 5:42 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Tuesday the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills President Donald Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America's long wars even as Republicans and U.S. allies...

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller speaks during a meeting with Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

NATO, acting US Pentagon chief discuss Afghanistan

Nov. 16, 2020 11:59 AM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken to the new acting U.S. defense secretary about the alliance’s commitment to stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary, his spokeswoman said Monday, amid speculation that President Donald Trump might order a rapid withdrawal of U.S....

FILE - This Dec. 7, 2011 file photo shows former U.S. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy, preparing for a bilateral meeting in Beijing, China. Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is regarded by U.S. officials and political insiders as a top choice for President-elect Joe Bide to choose to head the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Biden likely to break barriers, pick woman to lead Pentagon

Nov. 14, 2020 9:15 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a historic step and select a woman to head the Pentagon for the first time, shattering one of the few remaining barriers to women in the department and the presidential Cabinet. Michele Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is...

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, in Washington. Although only a few of America's CEOs have made public statements about President Trump's refusal to accept his election loss, many are worried about it in private. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Top CEOs met to plan response to Trump's election denial

Nov. 13, 2020 5:26 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Only a few of America's CEOs have made public statements about President Donald Trump's refusal to accept his election loss, but in private, many are alarmed and talking about what collective action would be necessary if they see an imminent threat to democracy. On Nov. 6, more than two...