Tag: Esper, Mark T

Trump and the Military Do Not Share the Same Values

“Get back to business!” With this tweet, President Trump directed his secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, to stop the naval officers charged with oversight of the SEALs from disciplining one of their own. That order was confirmed on Monday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and over the weekend, Mr. Spencer was fired. There are […]

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Trump Ordered Pentagon Not to Oust Navy SEAL From Elite Unit

WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered the Pentagon not to remove a Navy SEAL at the center of a high-profile war crimes case from the elite commando unit, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Monday. Mr. Esper’s confirmation of the order from Mr. Trump is the latest turn in an extraordinary series of events that pitted […]

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Esper Demands Resignation of Navy Secretary Over SEAL Case

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Sunday demanded the resignation of the Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, declaring that he had lost “confidence” in the Navy’s top civilian leader after Mr. Spencer diverged from President Trump over the treatment of a member of the Navy SEALs at the center of a high-profile war […]

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At Last Minute, South Korea Holds Off on Leaving Intelligence Pact With Japan

TOKYO — In a sign that relations between Japan and South Korea might be improving after months of escalating tensions, Seoul decided at the last minute on Friday to temporarily extend a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan that South Korea had vowed to abandon in August. South Korea’s planned withdrawal from the three-year-old pact — […]

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South Korea Resists U.S. Pressure to Improve Ties With Japan

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea on Friday adamantly rejected an American request to continue sharing military intelligence with Japan, as the two American allies remained locked in festering disputes over trade and history. Mark T. Esper, the United States secretary of defense, visited Seoul to attend an annual defense meeting and personally implore his […]

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Trump and the Military: A Dysfunctional Marriage, but They Stay Together

WASHINGTON — Days after President Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw 1,000 American troops from Syria, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saw a way to turn it around. The businessman in Mr. Trump had focused on the Syrian oil fields that, if left unprotected, could fall into the hands […]

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Pentagon Can’t Confirm al-Baghdadi ‘Whimpering’

WASHINGTON — The country’s top military officer said on Monday that he does not know where President Trump got his information that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, died “screaming, crying and whimpering.” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference that he […]

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C.I.A. Got Tip on al-Baghdadi’s Location From Arrest of a Wife and a Courier

WASHINGTON — The surprising information about the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s general location — in a village deep inside a part of northwestern Syria controlled by rival Qaeda groups — came following the arrest and interrogation of one of Mr. al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier this past summer, two American officials said. Armed […]

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U.S. Could Send Troops to Guard Oil Fields in Syria, Esper Says

BRUSSELS — Defense officials said on Friday that the Pentagon was considering sending additional troops to guard eastern oil fields in Syria against the Islamic State, another potential lurch in President Trump’s zigzagging military policy in the country. Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said that the United States […]

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Turkish and Kurdish Forces Said to Clash in Syria

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Turkish forces and Turkish-backed militias appeared to have clashed with the Syrian army and the Kurdish-led militia in northeastern Syria on Thursday, raising the temperature in a volatile area where the Syrian government, Turkish forces, Kurdish-led fighters and Russia are maneuvering for position after the abrupt pullout of American troops. Turkish-backed forces […]

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U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States is already reducing the size of its troop force in Afghanistan despite the lack of a peace deal with the Taliban, at a time when President Trump has expressed reluctance to remain engaged in costly wars abroad. In a news conference on Monday, the top American commander in Afghanistan, […]

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Mark Esperanto? Trump Misnames His Defense Secretary in Tweet

WASHINGTON — President Trump shared an update on Sunday from his defense secretary that outlined “minor skirmishes” between Turkish and Kurdish fighters in northern Syria as American troops make their way out of the area. It might have passed by with little notice in the rushing current of Mr. Trump’s Twitter stream, but for one […]

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Pentagon Chief Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper traveled to Afghanistan on Sunday, in his first visit to the country since being confirmed as Pentagon chief amid uncertainty about the administration’s strategy following the collapse of peace talks with the Taliban. His unannounced trip came weeks after the lead American negotiator during the talks, Zalmay […]

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Defense Secretary Announces Withdrawal From Northern Syria

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday that President Trump ordered a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria, a decision that will effectively cede control of the area to the Syrian government and Russia, and could allow a resurgence of the Islamic State. Mr. Esper, appearing on both Fox News and CBS […]

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Trump Orders Troops and Weapons to Saudi Arabia in Message of Deterrence to Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday. The move came only five days after President Trump said that his desire to terminate […]

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Trump Focuses on Defending Saudis, Not Striking Iran, for Now

WASHINGTON — President Trump is sending a modest deployment of American troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with air and missile defense equipment, in response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the administration blames on Iran. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman […]

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Trump’s National Security Officials to Meet on Possible Iran Options

WASHINGTON — Senior national security officials from across the government are scheduled to meet Thursday to refine a list of potential targets to strike in Iran, should President Trump order a military retaliation for missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields last weekend, officials said. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph […]

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U.S. Examining Missile and Drone Parts for Clues in Saudi Oil Attacks

WASHINGTON — American intelligence analysts and military investigators are examining a missile guidance mechanism recovered in Saudi Arabia that may provide clues as to the missile’s origins and flight path, as they continue gathering information to make the administration’s case that Iran was responsible for last weekend’s attack against Saudi oil facilities. Analysts are poring […]

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The First Marine in My Battalion to Die by Suicide

You’re reading this week’s At War newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday. Email us at atwar@nytimes.com. My battalion’s mortar platoon lived on the bottom floor of the barracks at Camp Lejeune and those Marines were always a pain. But they were good at their jobs and on the […]

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Trump Administration Considers a Drastic Cut in Refugees Allowed to Enter the U.S.

WASHINGTON — The White House is considering a plan that would effectively bar refugees from most parts of the world from resettling in the United States by cutting back the decades-old program that admits tens of thousands of people each year who are fleeing war, persecution and famine, according to current and former administration officials. […]

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Pentagon Lists Projects That Will Be Delayed to Fund Border Wall

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to divert funds from military construction projects in nearly half the 50 states, three territories and 19 countries to the southwestern border wall as part of President Trump’s efforts to bypass Congress and redirect spending to his signature campaign promise. Nearly every facet of military life, from a canceled dining […]

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Pentagon to Divert Money From 127 Projects to Pay for Trump’s Border Wall

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will delay or suspend 127 military construction projects so that $3.6 billion can be diverted to shore up President Trump’s border wall, Defense Department officials said Tuesday. Pentagon officials on Tuesday began notifying congressional representatives from areas that house the affected projects, and the decision to divert the funding prompted outcry […]

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