Tag Archives: Pentagon

Acting Pentagon chief makes surprise Baghdad visit

Acting Pentagon chief makes surprise Baghdad visitActing Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan made an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital on Tuesday for talks on the sensitive issue of a continued US troop presence after Washington withdraws from neighbouring Syria. Shanahan is keen to reassure Iraqi leaders after President Donald Trump angered many by saying he wanted to maintain some troops at the Al-Asad airbase, northwest of Baghdad, to keep an eye on Iran.



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Pentagon to review certification of Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles

Pentagon to review certification of Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles“Our objective is to determine whether the U.S. Air Force complied with the Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide when certifying the launch system design for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles,” U.S. Department Of Defense Deputy Inspector General Michael Roark said in the memo. The review will begin this month, the memo stated.



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Acting Pentagon chief supports Kabul role in peace talks

Acting Pentagon chief supports Kabul role in peace talksShanahan, making his first trip to Afghanistan in his new role, met U.S. troops and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Ghani’s government has been shut out of the peace talks between Taliban negotiators and U.S. envoys, with the hardline Islamist movement branding it a U.S. puppet. “It is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan,” Shanahan told reporters traveling with him on the previously unannounced trip.



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Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan

Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in AfghanistanActing Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit Monday as the United States leads a push for peace talks with the Taliban. Shanahan will meet President Ashraf Ghani, who has warned against rushing into a deal after Washington held major talks with Taliban officials in Qatar last month that negotiators hope could herald a breakthrough in the grinding 17-year conflict. US President Donald Trump is pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed, raising Afghan fears that Washington could exit before securing a lasting peace between the Taliban and the Kabul government.



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Pentagon Sends Troops to Texas Border as Trump Again Raises Fears About Caravans

Pentagon Sends Troops to Texas Border as Trump Again Raises Fears About CaravansThe Defense Department said Wednesday it sent about 250 troops to the southern border in Texas ahead of the arrival of a migrant caravan.



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Pentagon refuses to rule out US military deployment on Venezuela's border

Pentagon refuses to rule out US military deployment on Venezuela's borderThe Pentagon has refused to rule out military intervention on Venezuela’s border, a day after John Bolton, the US national security adviser, was photographed carrying a notepad that read: “5,000 troops to Colombia”. Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, was asked repeatedly whether Mr Bolton’s notes indicated a deployment. "I’m not commenting on it,” he said. “I haven't discussed that with Secretary Bolton." Mr Bolton on Monday would not rule out the use of US troops in Venezuela. "The president has made it clear on this matter that all options are on the table," he said. John Bolton, carrying the notepad on Monday The US military currently has about 200 troops in Colombia, which was among the first to follow the US lead last week and recognise “interim president” Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate ruler, and Colombia and the US have developed close security ties over past decades. Colonel Rob Manning, Pentagon spokesman, said the number of US military personnel in Colombia remained unchanged, and Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Colombia’s foreign minister, said Bogota had not been informed of any increase in the US military presence. "We are not aware of the significance or the reason" for Mr Bolton's notes, he said. The drum beat began on January 23 with Donald Trump’s recognition of Mr Guaido, and has only got louder in the intervening six days. Over the weekend Australia and Israel joined the 20-odd countries that now accept Mr Guaido as the interim president, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, told the UN security council that “the time is now” to move to oust the “illegitimate mafia state” of Mr Maduro. On Tuesday the drums got louder as the US raised the state department’s travel warning to “do not travel” – putting Venezuela in the same category as only 12 countries worldwide, among them Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Mr Pompeo also announced on Tuesday that Mr Guaido had full control of Venezuelan assets in US federal banks. Juan Guaido, the "interim president" of Venezuela Mr Guaido is currently petitioning the Bank of England to prevent Mr Maduro getting his hands on $ 1.3 billion (£1 billion) in gold held in London vaults. Venezuela, which is struggling to provide basic services, has some $ 8 billion in foreign reserves around the world. On Monday the US placed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company – a move designed to cripple Mr Maduro’s regime financially, and sway the military to defect. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Vladimir Putin – one of the main backers of Mr Maduro – said the Kremlin shares the view of the Venezuelan government that the sanctions are "illegal" and sees them as a tool of unfair competition on part of the United States. In Venezuela, meanwhile, the attorney-general – a Maduro loyalist – slapped a travel ban on Mr Guaido and froze his assets – both seen as symbolic gestures unlikely to have a significant impact. "More than a new threat against me, against this parliament, against the acting president of this republic, there's nothing new," said Mr Guaido. "I'm not dismissing the threats, the persecution at this time, but we're here, we're continuing to do our jobs."



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Pentagon won't rule out sending troops to Colombia

Pentagon won't rule out sending troops to ColombiaWASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan on Tuesday would not rule out sending U.S. military forces to Colombia or the region in connection with the ongoing political upheaval in Venezuela.



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Trump promises system to shoot down missiles ‘anywhere, anytime’ after Pentagon defence strategy review

Trump promises system to shoot down missiles ‘anywhere, anytime’ after Pentagon defence strategy reviewThe vast vision Mr Trump articulated – which included shielding every city in the country and protecting against all types of missile threats, regardless of type or origin – went far beyond the more modest plans the Pentagon set out in a new missile defence strategy released at the same time. In his remarks, Mr Trump promised an expansive and likely impossible system that harked back to Reagan’s initial goal of rendering missiles essentially obsolete with technologies that would intercept and destroy them.



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Pentagon to send more active-duty troops to southwest border

Pentagon to send more active-duty troops to southwest borderThe Pentagon will send more troops to the border at the request of Homeland Security officials.



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From Trump tweets to Pentagon leaks, infighting leaves US Middle East policy in tatters

From Trump tweets to Pentagon leaks, infighting leaves US Middle East policy in tattersUS Middle East policy was plunged into fresh chaos on Monday following a pair of confusing, menacing tweets on Syria and Turkey by Donald Trump and a string of leaks from State Department and Pentagon officials targeting the hardline White House national security adviser John Bolton over Iran. In a pair of Sunday afternoon tweets, Trump threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if it were to attack Syria’s Kurds, advocated the creation of a 20-mile buffer zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, and seemed to imply that Russia, Iran and the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad will take up the anti-Isis fight as the US withdraws troops from northern Syria.



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