Mark Esper - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Mark Esper

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Pentagon chief opposes using active duty troops to quell protests

Jun 03, 2020 - 10:26 PM

'I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,' US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says, two days after President Donald Trump said he could do so to call up the army to quash protests

MARK ESPER. In this file photo, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds a media briefing at the Pentagon on August 28, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

U.S. defense chief: Terminating VFA 'a move in the wrong direction'

Feb 12, 2020 - 12:37 PM

(UPDATED) Losing the Visiting Forces Agreement would be a setback in countering China’s aggression in the Asia Pacific region, says US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

PENTAGON CHIEF. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper during the wreath-laying ceremony at the American Cemetery in Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Pentagon contradicts Trump, says attacking Iran cultural sites would be war crime

Jan 07, 2020 - 11:38 AM

Trump tweets the US would attack sites 'very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture'

ANCIENT GRANDEUR. An Iranian family look at the 'Gate of All Nations' at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis near Shiraz in southern Iran on September 26, 2014. Behrouz Mehri/AFP

Letter on U.S. pullout from Iraq sent by 'mistake'

Jan 07, 2020 - 8:40 AM

The head of the US military's Task Force Iraq informed his Iraqi counterparts in a letter dated Sunday, January 5 that troops were preparing to leave

A mock US flag is painted on the ground for cars to drive on in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 3, 2020, following news of the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards top commander Qasem Soleimani in a US strike on his convoy at Baghdad international airport. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP)

In Manila, U.S. defense chief says ‘assert sovereign rights’ in West PH Sea

Nov 19, 2019 - 8:46 PM

Although the US maintains it does not take sides in the sovereignty dispute between the Philippines and China, its defense chief wants smaller countries to pressure the rising power into respecting their rights

PRESSURE CHINA. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper calls on the Philippines and other claimant states in the South China Sea to pressure China into respecting their sovereign rights. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

U.S. defense chief favors review of 1951 treaty with Philippines

Nov 19, 2019 - 7:25 PM

The nearly 70-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US needs to reflect current security threats, including an increasingly powerful China, say both countries' defense secretaries

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper (R) agree that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty needs to be updated. Esper visited Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

U.S. defense chief to visit Philippines, meet Lorenzana

Nov 14, 2019 - 4:50 PM

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana are expected to discuss 'regional security cooperation to uphold international rules and norms'

US DEFENSE CHIEF Mark Esper. File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

U.S. to keep around 600 troops in Syria – Pentagon chief

Nov 14, 2019 - 1:17 PM

Pentagon chief Mark Esper says the numbers could fluctuate, particularly if European allies strengthen their presence in the country

MARK ESPER. In this file photo taken on August 28, 2019 US Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

ISIS chief Baghdadi buried at sea by U.S. military

Oct 29, 2019 - 8:35 AM

The US military basks in success after the eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 28: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley hold a news conference at the Pentagon the day after it was announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria October 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi reportedly blew himself up with explosives when cornered by a U.S. Special Operations team at his compound in Syria. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

U.S. troops exiting Syria to stay 'temporarily' in Iraq – Esper

Oct 23, 2019 - 10:13 PM

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the US forces are pulling out in phases, and have moved from the 'immediate zone of attack' to a northeastern corridor out of the country

ESPER IN IRAQ. A handout picture released by the Iraq's Defense Ministry shows US Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Najah al-Shammari upon the Pentagon chief's arrival in Baghdad on October 23, 2019 for talks as Washington pulled out its remaining troops from northern Syria through Iraq. Photo by Iraqi Defense Ministry/AFP

Pentagon chief visits Iraq as U.S. quits northern Syria

Oct 23, 2019 - 3:54 PM

Pentagon chief Mark Esper is due to meet his Iraqi counterpart Najah al-Shammari to address concerns among some in the government that the troops might stay in Iraq

MARK ESPER. In this file photo taken on August 28, 2019 US Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP

No Syria-type pullout planned for Afghanistan – Pentagon chief

Oct 21, 2019 - 9:33 PM

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper also hints that some sort of residual US force might remain in Syria to protect oil fields, but stresses no decision has been taken

MARK ESPER. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds a media briefing at the Pentagon August 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

In bombshell, Trump calls off secret summit, talks with Taliban

Sep 08, 2019 - 8:25 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The US President hits the Taliban for claiming responsibility for a deadly car bombing in Kabul amid ongoing peace negotiations

PEACE DEAL NO MORE? US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to the press while departing the White House in Washington, DC, on August 23, 2019, for the G7 Summit in France. Photo by Alastair Pike/AFP

In first press brief, Pentagon chief aims to keep Trump happy

Aug 29, 2019 - 1:13 PM

Mark Esper makes clear he will not rock the boat, even given the president's unorthodox policymaking and sharp turns in longstanding US defense principles

MARK ESPER. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds a media briefing at the Pentagon August 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Pentagon chief confirms death of Qaeda's Hamza bin Laden

Aug 23, 2019 - 12:31 AM

'That's my understanding,' US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says when asked if Hamza bin Laden is dead

Trump's Pentagon nominee quits; Iran targets CIA network

Jun 19, 2019 - 8:12 AM

Foreign powers are watching the situation in the Middle East with growing concern as Tehran and Washington exchange warnings about an escalation in their conflict

QUITS. In this file photo taken on April 3, 2019 US President Donald Trump (right) is briefed by senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 3, 2019, including Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP