“Well, I’m worried. And as a United States senator and as a voter and citizen, I have learned not to simply take the federal government’s word at face value. I mean, look, we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We were lied to for a couple of decades about what was happening in Afghanistan. We have been lied to about a lot of things,” Lee said.
Esper said that he was not in the room briefing the top intelligence lawmakers, but said he spoke to one of the briefers afterward.
“His assessment was …
Trump has said in recent days that Soleimani was planning to “blow up” the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and also that he was going after “four embassies.”
But Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper revealed on talk shows Sunday that the idea that Soleimani was about to attack four embassies wasn’t based on intelligence. Instead, he said it was simply something Trump and others “believed” to be the case.
„Der Präsident hat nicht auf ein spezifisches Beweismittel verwiesen“, sagte der Verteidigungsminister. „Was der Präsident gesagt hat, ist, dass es möglicherweise weitere Angriffe auf Botschaften geben könnte.“ Auf die Frage, ob Geheimdienstler konkrete Beweise dafür vorgelegt hätten, sagte Esper: „Ich habe keinen mit Blick auf die vier Botschaften gesehen.“
„The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed,“ Esper said Sunday on „Face the Nation.“ „I didn’t see one, with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is that I shared the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies.
Esper also said the so-called Gang of Eight, the top members of Congress’s intelligence committees, did not believe further intelligence on Iran should be shared with Congress.
Esper told CBS’s Margaret Brennan he spoke to one of the officials who briefed the Gang of Eight and that “his assessment was most if not all the members thought the intelligence was persuasive and that the Gang of Eight did not think it should be released to the broader members of Congress.”
But the United States also sent secret messages through Swiss intermediaries urging Iran not to respond so forcefully that Mr. Trump would feel compelled to go even further. After it did respond, firing 16 missiles at bases housing American troops without hurting anyone as a relatively harmless show of force, a message came back through the Swiss saying that would be the end of its reprisal for now. The message, forwarded to Washington within five minutes after it was received, persuaded the president to stand down.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a meeting with reporters Friday that Soleimani was killed after U.S. officials recently became aware of intelligence that showed the “size, scale, scope” of what he was planning, which led them to conclude that there was a greater risk in not taking action than in doing so.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that no lives were lost after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. and coalition forces overnight. Trump said the U.S. would add new sanctions on Iran, but seemed to seek de-escalation. Meanwhile, Trump and his advisers are facing more pressure to provide justification for the airstrike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Soleimani. Senators and congressmembers found a Wednesday intelligence briefing to be wholly insufficient.
Die Regierung habe in der vertraulichen Sitzung in einem abhörsicheren Raum im Kongress kaum Beweise für die Behauptung vorgelegt, dass mit dem Luftangriff ein unmittelbar bevorstehender Angriff verhindert worden sei, erklärte der Senator aus dem US-Bundesstaat Utah, Mike Lee.
Die Regierung habe die Senatoren aufgefordert, „gute kleine Jungs und Mädchen zu sein, einfach mitzulaufen und das nicht öffentlich infrage zu stellen“, sagte der sichtlich verärgerte Lee, der nicht als Kritiker seines Parteifreundes Präsident Donald Trump bekannt ist.
Our own sources in Baghdad confirmed that the letter was genuine and that they too had seen it.
One source said their understanding of the US position was that a partial withdrawal or repositioning of some troops to Kuwait was taking place.
„Nothing rallies people like the deliberate destruction of beloved cultural sites. Whether ISIS’s destruction of religious monuments or the burning of the Leuven Library in WWI, history shows targeting locations giving civilization meaning is not only immoral but self-defeating,“ one of the officials told CNN.
„The Persian people hold a deeply influential and beautiful history of poetry, logic, art and science. Iran’s leaders do not live up to that history. But America would be better served by leaders who embrace Persian culture, not threaten to destroy it,“ they added.
The defense secretary acknowledged that “the laws of armed conflict” prohibited attacking antiquities and said the military had no plans to do so, even though the president declared them targets.
The United States has already dispatched about 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East since May.
Five thousand U.S. troops are already stationed in Iraq assisting the country’s security forces. U.S. forces in the region number around 60,000 troops.
„At the direction of the Commander in Chief @POTUS, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the @82ndABNDiv to the @CENTCOM area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq,“ Esper tweeted.
“We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the embassy,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday.
President Trump made a brief stop at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., in the morning, leaving after less than an hour.
The Pentagon’s deployment of new radar, air defense and other military assets to the Gulf nation was discussed during talks Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held with Saudi officials this week.
Milley, in his first visit to this key U.S. ally since becoming President Trump’s chief military adviser this fall, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other leaders during his visit.
According to Harel, Israel is afraid that the US will desert the Iran issue while America is worried Israel may carry out a unilateral attack against Tehran, forcing Washington into a war.
Harel warned that it is impossible to separate the internal Israeli chaos from the Iran issue; in particular with regards to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment and his failure to form a government.
President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.
Two US Capitol Police sources said the situation is being classified as an „aircon,“ which is an as yet unidentified incoming aircraft.
Der Marinestaatssekretär kam der Rücktrittsaufforderung wenig später nach. In einem im US-Medien veröffentlichten Brief begründete er seinen Rückzug damit, dass er und Trump nicht mehr dasselbe Verständnis von Ordnung und Disziplin hätten und er nicht guten Gewissens einem Befehl folgen könne, der den „heiligen Eid“ zum Schutz der Verfassung der USA verletze.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that President Trump gave him a direct order to allow a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to retire without losing his SEAL status.
Esper told reporters at the Pentagon that Trump’s verbal order was the reason Esper announced Sunday that Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher would be allowed to retire with his trident pin, retaining his status as a SEAL.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday asked for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of a controversial war crimes case.
Esper told The Washington Post in a statement Sunday that he was „deeply troubled“ by reports that Spencer had reached out to White House officials promising that an accused Navy SEAL would be allowed to retire as a SEAL despite his conviction for posing with the corpse of a slain enemy combatant.
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” Trump wrote. “This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
Ein Beamter des südkoreanischen Verteidigungsministeriums teilte am Sonntag mit, dass die Entscheidung in einem Gespräch der Verteidigungsminister Jeong Kyeong-doo und Mark Esper in der thailändischen Hauptstadt Bangkok gefallen sei. Dort findet zurzeit das sechste Verteidigungsministertreffen der ASEAN-plus-Drei statt.
The U.S. and South Korea have been conducting annual military exercises since 1955, months after the end of the Korean War, in order to maintain their combat abilities to defend against North Korea. There are about 28,500 American troops currently stationed in South Korea.
The U.S. has about 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan as part of the American-led coalition. U.S. forces are training and advising Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations against extremists. President Donald Trump had ordered a troop withdrawal in conjunction with the peace talks that would have left about 8,600 American forces in the country.
Trump has not backed down from his pledge to remove U.S. forces from the country and instead has said he will soon implement sanctions that will target government officials in Ankara and “any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.”
“Turkey committed this action. They decide to make an incursion in northern Syria despite our protestations, our urgings not to do it, all of our warnings,” Esper added. “We are doing what’s in the interests of our service members not to put them in harm’s way.”
According to Mr Esper, the SDF are „looking to cut a deal“ with the Syrian government and its Russian allies to counter the Turkish attack.
This, he said, would leave the US forces stuck between „two opposing advancing armies“.
He said he was unable to give a timeframe for the withdrawal and did not specify where the troops would be moved to next.
„I spoke with the President last night, after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria,“ Esper said on CBS‘ „Face the Nation.“ „Which is where most of our forces are.“
At the request of U.S. Central Command, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the deployment of additional U.S. forces and the following equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper had authorized the deployment last month at the request of U.S. Central Command and informed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the country’s defense minister of the action earlier Friday.
President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and other officials watched as Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford swore in his successor.
STUTTGART, Germany — When the new U.S. and German defense chiefs held high-level talks in Washington this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wasted no time getting to his main point — the dollars and cents of defense spending.
A meeting between the U.S. and Iranian presidents is just about a done deal. That is the growing conclusion in Israel’s security establishment after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Asper in London Thursday. As always, one caveat must be added: This summit will happen unless the less predictable member of the pair, Donald Trump, changes his mind at the last minute.
Esper said he planned to update NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the Afghanistan situation at dinner Wednesday in Stuttgart, Germany.
Later in the week Esper is meeting with counterparts in London and Paris.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will visit London on Friday for meetings with top British officials, the country’s ambassador in London said on Wednesday.
“Any and every country that has an interest in freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce needs to really consider (being) involved in this type of monitoring of the strait,” he told reporters Tuesday, while en route to Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya.
During the talks, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke of hopes to deploy missiles in the Asia-Pacific region in coming months following Washington’s withdrawal from a landmark arms control treaty last week.
Mr Pompeo and newly appointed US Defense Secretary Mark Esper were greeted by US Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse and US Consul General in Sydney Sharon Hudson-Dean at Sydney Airport on Saturday evening.
Allerdings dauere es oft länger als man erwarte. Esper ließ offen, wo genau die Raketen stationiert werden sollen. Über „derartige Dinge spricht man zuerst mit den Verbündeten“, so der Minister.
Eine Stationierung von Raketen größerer Reichweite könnte die chinesische Regierung verärgern. Esper geht aber nicht davon aus, dass Peking davon überrascht werde.
The FCC documents show that Southcom’s balloons are carrying small, satellite-like vehicles housing sophisticated sensors and communication gear. One of those sensors is a synthetic aperture radar intended to detect every car or boat in motion on a 25-mile swath beneath the balloon.
The balloons also have advanced mesh networking technologies that allow them to communicate with one another, share data and pass it to receivers on the ground below.
Einen Tag nach seiner Ernennung sagte der Pentagon-Chef am Mittwoch vor Reportern, es sei nicht neu, dass Russen Routen in Richtung Süden fliegen würden. Neu sei aber, dass sie südkoreanischen Luftraum durchflogen.
Esper sagte aber auch, dass er den Vorfall noch nicht im Detail studiert habe und dies in persönlichen Gesprächen in Tokio und Seoul tun wolle.
The Pentagon added that Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had spoken with his Turkish counterpart for about 30 minutes on Friday, but did not provide details on the discussions.
The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, including regional security concerns, defense modernization, and the continued access Uzbekistan provides in support to our military operations in Afghanistan.
According to sources, the UNC is seeking to include Japan as one of the UNC’s „sending states,“ a move likely to inflame public sentiment in South Korea amid renewed historical tensions with Tokyo.
Should Japan obtain the membership, it would pave the way for its military involvement in the event of an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula — a scenario unthinkable for many Koreans who harbor grievances stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
Der Sprecher sagte weiter, als betroffene Partei habe Seoul dringend appelliert, eine solche Maßnahme ohne vorherige Diskussionen oder seine Zustimmung nicht akzeptieren zu können. Es sei bekannt geworden, dass Deutschland Südkoreas Einwand akzeptiert und seinen Plan für die Entsendung eines Offiziers zurückgezogen habe.
U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper, who becomes the acting defense secretary on Monday, will travel to Brussels next week for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
Es gibt keinen Grund zu der Annahme, dass der Übergang von Shanahan zu Esper ein Zeichen dafür sein wird, dass wichtige Änderungen in der US-Politik stattfinden werden, obwohl es wahrscheinlich mehr Umsatzwachstum für Raytheon bedeuten wird, nachdem der Mann, der erst vor kurzem für die Genehmigung dieser Verkäufe durch das Pentagon verantwortlich war, nun die Show leiten wird.
Neuer kommissarischer US-Verteidigungsminister wird der bisherige Verwaltungschef des Heeres, Mark Esper, teilte Trump auf Twitter mit.