Latest Mark Esper News

Esper: US could alter military drills to boost NKorea talks

Nov. 13, 2019 2:23 PM EST

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that he is open to the possibility of altering American military activities in South Korea if it would help advance a diplomatic deal with North Korea to eliminate its nuclear program. In an interview with reporters flying...

Pentagon chief tries to keep Asia in focus with second trip

Nov. 13, 2019 12:16 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely four months into his tenure, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making his second trek across the Pacific. And yet it is the Middle East - most recently a near-war with Iran and an actual war in Syria - that in Washington commands more attention and demands more American troops....

Border wall opponents in court trying to stop construction

Nov. 12, 2019 7:24 PM EST

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday on a bid to halt military funding for construction of President Donald Trump's border wall as the pace of construction raises questions about whether time is running out for the administration's critics. The administration has begun work on...

Pentagon chief says Vindman should not fear Army retaliation

Nov. 11, 2019 5:51 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that an Army officer has no reason to fear retribution for testifying before Congress in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Esper was asked about potential retribution for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman during a trip to New York City....

Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Nov. 10, 2019 11:20 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. US...

China defense chief defends policy on Hong Kong, Xinjiang

Nov. 5, 2019 11:34 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China's defense minister defended his country's policy on the controversial issues of Hong Kong and the northwestern territory of Xinjiang in a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart. The official Xinhua News Agency said Defense Minister Wei Fenghe also raised the issues of Taiwan...

Trump OKs wider Syria oil mission, raising legal questions

Nov. 5, 2019 5:17 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved an expanded military mission to secure an expanse of oil fields across eastern Syria, raising a number of difficult legal questions about whether U.S. troops can launch strikes against Syrian, Russian or other forces if they threaten the oil, U.S....

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on 'crying' IS leader, whistleblower

Nov. 4, 2019 12:40 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is spreading misinformation about the CIA officer who blew the whistle on his dealings with Ukraine. With Democrats expected to hold public hearings later this month on his impeachment, Trump is calling for release of the name of the whistleblower, who accused Trump...

Trump claim to Syrian oil raises many questions

Nov. 1, 2019 12:52 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — By claiming a right to Syria's oil, President Donald Trump has added more complexity — as well as additional U.S. forces and time — to an American military mission he has twice declared he was ending so the troops could come home. Extending the mission to secure eastern...

Trump presents highest military honor to Green Beret

Oct. 30, 2019 6:40 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest military honor on Wednesday to a Green Beret who helped save four critically wounded comrades and prevented the lead element of a special operations force from being overrun in Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor was presented to Master...