Pentagon

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. President Donald Trump

The Pentagon’s Invisible Man Is Winning Washington’s Power Game

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is quiet, deferential—and on his way to becoming the Trump administration’s most influential player.

Ukrainian serviceman rides atop an armored personnel carrier in Kyiv

Far From the Front Lines, Javelin Missiles Go Unused in Ukraine

Military support to the Eastern European country is at the center of a scandal that threatens to engulf the Trump administration.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton listen to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2018.

Trump’s National Security Team Splinters Over Taliban Meeting

Bolton’s pushback and Pentagon concerns over a potential deal with the Afghan insurgents helped convince the U.S. president to cancel the contentious summit.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks during a bilateral meeting with Vice Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia Prince Khalid bin Salman at the Pentagon August 29, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Hollowed-Out Pentagon Begins to Staff Up

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is pushing to get key officials confirmed, but significant gaps remain.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Aug. 29.

Mark Esper’s Biggest Challenge

The new U.S. secretary of defense needs to undo the damage Mattis and his predecessors did to transparency in the department.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is presented a horse by Mongolia's defense minister, Nyamaagiin Enkhbold, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Aug. 8.

In Rare Mongolia Stop, U.S. Defense Secretary Gets an Unusual Gift

Esper’s visit is designed to send a pointed signal to Mongolia’s neighbors: Russia and China.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters participate in a training maneuver using an armored vehicle provided by the Turkish army, near the town of Tal Hajar in Aleppo province, on Jan. 16.

Tensions Spike as Turkey Threatens Syria Offensive

U.S. defense secretary says a Turkish incursion would be “unacceptable.”

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren arrives at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 1, 2018.

Warren Hammers Trump’s Pentagon Nominee—Despite Her Own Industry Ties

The presidential contender is leading the charge against the Defense Department’s revolving door but has a history of pushing the interests of firms in her home state.

U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Sept. 19, 2017.

Pentagon to Get Its Fourth Leader in Six Months

With the U.S. facing crises on multiple fronts, U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer will take over as acting secretary of defense while Trump’s latest nominee enters the confirmation process.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, speaks to media next to debris from a downed U.S. drone in Tehran on June 21.

The World This Weekend

Trump backs down from Iran strikes, the Pentagon gets a new chief, and Istanbul returns to the polls.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks during his meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, at the Pentagon in Washington on June 14.

Shanahan Out as Pentagon Chief as Reports Emerge of Family Disputes

In a tweet, Trump named Mark Esper, the secretary of the Army, as the new acting secretary of defense.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, left, gestures as International Institute for Strategic Studies CEO John Chipman looks on in Singapore on June 1.

In a Male-Dominated Administration, Pentagon Chief Seeks More Women

But critics are skeptical that Patrick Shanahan will fill senior Defense posts with female nominees after a series of resignations.

The House Budget Committee displays copies of U.S. President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 budget in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 11.

U.S. Defense Department’s Top Budget Strategist to Step Down

The departure adds more uncertainty at the Pentagon, where Trump has yet to appoint a permanent secretary of defense.

A coalition airstrike in the western Daraiya neighborhood of the embattled northern Syrian city of Raqqa on Sept. 5, 2017.

How the U.S. Miscounted the Dead in Syria

Rights groups say U.S.-led coalition killed many more civilians than previously disclosed in the battle against the Islamic State.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington on March 26. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Shanahan’s Bid for Top Pentagon Job on Hold

The White House seems to have cooled on the acting defense secretary, but he might get the post by default.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan attends a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington on March 14. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Pentagon’s Empty Throne

Patrick Shanahan, America’s longest-serving acting defense secretary, faces an increasingly hostile Senate.

Then-U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence listen while President Donald Trump speaks to the press before a meeting in the Pentagon in Washington on Jan. 18, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

At Trump’s Pentagon, Empty Offices Are the New Normal

The problem has worsened since James Mattis left the U.S. Defense Department.

A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber flies over the Indian Ocean after completing a mission over Iraq on March 27, 2003. (Cherie A. Thurlby/U.S. Air Force/Getty Images)

Air Force’s $166 Billion Budget Would Help Revamp U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

The service would get a significant increase in research and development dollars.

The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test in the United States on Sept. 10, 2013. (Ralph Scott/Missile Defense Agency)

Despite Trump’s Tough Talk, No Boost for Missile Defense Agency

The administration will instead increase investments in offensive missile defense capabilities, such as hypersonic technology.

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