Latest Mark Esper News

Tribe says new border wall harming burial sites; sues Trump

Aug. 12, 2020 4:38 PM EDT

San Diego (AP) — A California tribe whose ancestral lands span across the U.S.-Mexico border is suing the Trump administration to block construction of a section of border wall that the Kumeyaay people say is desecrating sacred burial sites. The La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians filed the lawsuit...

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump again says Lebanon blast might have been attack

Aug. 5, 2020 8:20 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday continued to suggest that the massive explosion that killed at least 135 people in Lebanon might have been a deliberate attack, even as officials in Lebanon and his own defense chief said it’s believed to have be an accident. “Whatever...

FILE - This March 27, 2008 file photo shows the Pentagon in Washington. A Senate committee abruptly canceled a confirmation hearing Thursday on retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata's nomination to a top Pentagon post after a furor over offensive remarks he made about Islam and other inflammatory comments. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Trump loyalist gets Defense post as Senate nomination stalls

Aug. 3, 2020 1:54 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are condemning President Donald Trump's appointing of a staunch loyalist to a senior Pentagon job after it became clear that getting the retired general confirmed to a higher post would be difficult if not impossible. Trump appointed retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata to a job...

FILE - In this July 30, 2020, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the State Department's 2021 budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. and Australian diplomats and defense ministers pledged to renew and strengthen a united front against China and what they termed Beijing’s malign behavior throughout the region and beyond. Pompeo said the U.S. and Australia face “immediate crises” that must be dealt with simultaneously. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

China, Australia spar on Twitter over South China Sea

Aug. 3, 2020 4:15 AM EDT

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. ___...

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)

German defense minister: Planned US withdrawal 'regrettable'

Jul. 31, 2020 6:59 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's defense minister on Friday described the planned withdrawal of some 12,000 U.S. troops from her country as “regrettable,” while suggesting it underlines the need for Europe to do more for its own security. American defense leaders said Wednesday that the U.S. will...

FILE - This March 27, 2008 file photo shows the Pentagon in Washington. A Senate committee abruptly canceled a confirmation hearing Thursday on retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata's nomination to a top Pentagon post after a furor over offensive remarks he made about Islam and other inflammatory comments. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Trump nominee hearing pulled after furor over Islam remarks

Jul. 30, 2020 5:02 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee abruptly canceled a confirmation hearing Thursday on a controversial former general's nomination to a top Pentagon post after a furor over offensive remarks he made about Islam and other inflammatory comments. The nomination of retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata to...

FILE - In this June 6, 2011 file photo, the German and U.S. flags fly on a lamp post in front of the White House in Washington ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit. Defense officials say the U.S. will pull 12,000 troops from Germany, bringing 6,400 forces home and shifting 5,600 to other countries in Europe, including Italy and Belgium. The plan will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

US to bring 6,400 troops home from Germany, move 5,600 more

Jul. 29, 2020 5:47 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred on by President Donald Trump's demand to pull troops out of Germany, the U.S. will bring about 6,400 forces home and shift about 5,600 to other countries in Europe, American defense leaders said Wednesday, detailing a Pentagon plan that will cost billions of dollars and take years...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne at the State Department in Washington, Monday, July 27, 2020. (Alexander Drago/Pool via AP)

US, Australia team up to criticize China in Asia-Pacific

Jul. 28, 2020 2:33 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Australia are teaming up in their criticism of China, taking the country to task for aggressive behavior throughout the Asia-Pacific and not acting quickly to contain the coronavirus. The U.S. and Australian foreign and defense ministers pledged Tuesday to renew and...

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks at Whiteman Air Force Base, Wednesday, July, 22, 2020  in Johnson County, Missouri. Esper is standing in front of a B-2 stealth bomber in a hangar at Whiteman. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)

More military bases increase health protections due to virus

Jul. 24, 2020 4:45 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military has increased health protection requirements in at least 21 bases in recent weeks, particularly across Texas and Florida, as the COVID-19 rate continues to spike among service members, more than doubling in the last month. The escalating numbers mirror the increase in...

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2018, file photo, American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing. On Friday, July 24, 2020, China has ordered the United States to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu in an increasingly rancorous diplomatic conflict. The order followed the U.S. closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. 
 (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Always rocky, China-US relations appear at a turning point

Jul. 24, 2020 9:10 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — Four decades after the U.S. established diplomatic ties with Communist China, the relationship between the two may have reached a turning point. Tensions have reached new heights on what has always been a rocky road, as the ambitions of a rising superpower increasingly clash with those of...