Latest U.S. Department of Defense News

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, as US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper watches during the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The 2020 edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) takes place from Feb. 14 to 16. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool photo via AP)

Esper says Taliban deal is promising but not without risk

Feb. 15, 2020 2:20 PM EST

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday that a truce agreement between the United States and the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is not without risk but “looks very promising." Ahead of a formal announcement of the seven-day...

President Donald Trump displays photos of the border wall under construction as he speaks to members of the National Border Patrol Council at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's wall claim is beyond 'redemption'

Feb. 15, 2020 8:34 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, President Donald Trump told a rally that people who are in the United States illegally are paying for his Mexico border wall. It was the latest iteration of his effort to convince the public that Mexico is covering the cost, just as he promised...

U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

US defense chief slams China as rising threat to world order

Feb. 15, 2020 7:00 AM EST

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday cast China as a rising threat to world order — saying the world's most populous nation steals Western know-how, intimidates smaller neighbors and seeks an “advantage by any means and at any cost.” A frequent critic of China,...

US service member dies in non-combat incident in Djibouti

Feb. 14, 2020 7:01 PM EST

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Pentagon has released the identity of a U.S. soldier who was killed Thursday in a non-combat-related incident in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. A spokesperson says Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, from Mountainair, New Mexico, died Thursday at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The incident...

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. Vindman was escorted out of the White House complex on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, according to his lawyer. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Army: No investigation into Vindman

Feb. 14, 2020 5:01 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday there is no investigation into the Army officer who until last week worked at the White House National Security Council and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. McCarthy said Lt. Col. Alex Vindman has been moved...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, boards a plane as he departs on a multi-country trip, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)

US secretary of state heads to Africa after long absence

Feb. 14, 2020 9:06 AM EST

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Africa this weekend as the first U.S. cabinet official to visit in more than 18 months, and he is certain to face questions about the U.S. military's future on the continent and new U.S. visa restrictions against millions of Africans. Pompeo...

U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a press conference on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)b

Esper defends shifting defense funds for Trump's border wall

Feb. 14, 2020 8:16 AM EST

MUNICH, Germany (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday defended his decision to divert billions of dollars in funding for Navy and Air Force aircraft and other military programs to help pay for President Donald Trump's promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Esper was asked by a reporter about...

FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, leans in to talk with President Donald Trump during Trump's meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  Kelly is defending former White House national security aide, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who raised concerns about President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president that spurred his impeachment. Kelly made the comments at a public forum Wednesday evening in Morristown, New Jersey.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump slams ex-adviser who defended key impeachment witness

Feb. 13, 2020 6:06 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out against former White House chief of staff John Kelly for being disloyal after he came to the defense of a former national security aide who offered key testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The president's comments came after Kelly defended...

FILE - This March 27, 2008, aerial file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. A Federal court has ordered the Pentagon to temporarily halt work with Microsoft on its $10 billion military cloud contract, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, after Amazon sued alleging that President Donald Trump's bias against the company hurt its chances to win the project.  Amazon requested the court issue the injunction last month. Both the documents requesting the block and the judge's decision to issue the temporary injunction are sealed by the court.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

In win for Amazon, judge freezes work on Pentagon contract

Feb. 13, 2020 6:05 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday ordered a temporary halt of Microsoft's work on a $10 billion military cloud contract, a win for Amazon, which sued the U.S. government last year for awarding the contract to its rival. Amazon's lawsuit, filed in November, alleged that President Donald Trump's...

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump to transfer $3.8B from military to fund his wall

Feb. 13, 2020 4:49 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday slashed billions of dollars in funding for 17 Navy and Air Force aircraft and other military programs to free up money for the construction of President Donald Trump's long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall, angering not just Democrats but also GOP defense hawks....