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.
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.
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.
Hollowed-Out Pentagon Begins to Staff Up
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is pushing to get key officials confirmed, but significant gaps remain.
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.
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.
Tensions Spike as Turkey Threatens Syria Offensive
U.S. defense secretary says a Turkish incursion would be “unacceptable.”
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.
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.
The World This Weekend
Trump backs down from Iran strikes, the Pentagon gets a new chief, and Istanbul returns to the polls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pentagon’s Empty Throne
Patrick Shanahan, America’s longest-serving acting defense secretary, faces an increasingly hostile Senate.
At Trump’s Pentagon, Empty Offices Are the New Normal
The problem has worsened since James Mattis left the U.S. Defense Department.
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.
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.