Robert Burns, The Associated Press

  • U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a press conference on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
    Official says US, Taliban reach Afghan truce agreement

    A senior U.S.official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

  • U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper, center, speaks with military representatives as he attends a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Virginia Mayo/AP)
    While US worries about China, Europe stays focused on Russia

    China and its increasingly sophisticated and far-flung military sit atop U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s list of international security worries, but in Europe a bigger concern is closer to home: Russia.

  • Task Group Taji X members gather for a capabilities brief for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Mission Iraq command team at Camp Taji, Iraq, Feb. 7, 2020. (Spc. Caroline Schofer/Army)
    US to seek more help from NATO to counter Islamic State

    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday he is looking to NATO allies for more help countering the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and in bolstering U.S. defense efforts in the Middle East more broadly.

  • Iranian riot police stand guard as protesters gather in front of Tehran's Amir Kabir University on Jan. 11, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)
    US points to dissent in Iran in wake of deadly drone strike

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other administration officials joined President Donald Trump in trying to draw attention to dissent in Iran instead of lingering questions about the scale of the threat used to justify a drone strike on Iran’s top military leader.

  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to the press during a press conference at the Pentagon Briefing Room in Washington on Jan. 7, 2020. (Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia/DoD)
    Esper: US does not expect more Iranian retaliatory attacks

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday the Trump administration foresees no more Iranian military attacks in retaliation for the U.S. strike that killed the Islamic Republic’s most powerful general. The Pentagon chief suggested that Iran’s government is under internal threat following its downing of a Ukrainian civilian airliner.

  • This March 27, 2008, file aerial photo shows the Pentagon in Washington. (Charles Dharapak/AP)
    US tried, failed to take out Iranian Quds leader in Yemen

    The officials said a military airstrike targeted Abdul Reza Shahla’i, a high-ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Republican Guard Corps but the mission was not successful. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission.

  • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, left, and Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, listen as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a statement on Iraq and Syria at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (Evan Vucci/AP)
    Killing of Iran general risks US gains against Islamic State

    President Donald Trump’s national security team knew that killing Iran’s most powerful general could hurt efforts to mop up and head off any revival of the Islamic State militant group — and that is just what has happened.