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Articles written by Robert Burns

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Trump strains to balance diplomacy, military threat to Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration tried to balance diplomacy with fresh talk of military action Tuesday in response to the fiery missile and drone attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry — a strike marking the most explosive...

 

Trump declares new Space Command key to American defense

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring space crucial to the nation's defense, President Donald Trump said Thursday the Pentagon has established U.S. Space Command to preserve American dominance on "the ultimate high ground." "This is a landmark day," Trump...

 

Though comments veiled, Mattis repudiates former boss Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Try as he might, Jim Mattis can't seem to hide his real feelings about Donald Trump - that the president is leading the world's most powerful nation down a dangerously wrong path. Mattis, the retired Marine general who resigned...

 

US to test new missile as arms treaty with Russia ends

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the scrapping of a landmark arms control agreement Friday, the U.S. announced plans to test a new missile amid growing concerns about emerging threats and new weapons. U.S. officials said they are no longer hamstrung and...

 

US officials: Iran test-launched a medium-range missile

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran test-launched a medium-range ballistic missile inside its borders, U.S. officials said Friday, defying Trump administration demands that it curtail the weapon program and demonstrating its intent to further push back against...

 

American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. warship on Thursday destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said. The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month...

 

US kicking NATO ally Turkey out of fighter program

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major break with a longtime ally, the Trump administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of an American-led fighter aircraft program because it is buying a Russian air defense system that would aid Russian...

 

Pentagon nominee regrets Turkey's 'drift' from West

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Secretary Mark Esper, President Donald Trump's nominee to become secretary of defense, told his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday he is troubled by Turkey's decision to defy the United States by acquiring Russian-made air d...

 

Trump nominates Esper to be defense chief, succeeding Mattis

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday asked the Senate to confirm Mark Esper as the successor to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whose resignation last December opened an unprecedented period of senior-level instability at the...

 

US deciding how to punish ally Turkey over Russian arms deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. edged closer to crisis Friday with NATO ally Turkey, which began receiving components of a Russian-made air defense system in defiance of Trump administration warnings that the deal would mean economic sanctions and no...

 

A breakdown of what's at stake in US-Iran crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides in the U.S.-Iran standoff say they don't want war. But unless one or the other changes course - the United States from its harsh economic sanctions or Iran from its risky pushback - the confrontation appears headed for...

 

US carrier in Persian Gulf region sends clear signal to Iran

ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (AP) — Under a starry sky, U.S. Navy fighter jets catapulted off the aircraft carrier's deck and flew north over the darkened waters of the northern Arabian Sea, a unmistaken signal to Iran that the foremost symbol...

 

US commander says Mideast buildup prompted Iran 'step back'

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran has chosen to "step back and recalculate" after making preparations for an apparent attack against U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region, but it is too early to conclude the threat is gone, the top commander of American forces...

 

Pentagon proposing troop reinforcements in Mideast

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday outlined proposals to the White House that would send military reinforcements to the Middle East to beef up defenses against Iran amid heightened tensions in the region. President Donald Trump, speaking...

 

US officials: Plan may send up to 10,000 troops to Mideast

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday will present plans to the White House to send up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East, in a move to beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The officials...

 

Trump sows confusion on Iran as tensions appear to ease

WASHINGTON (AP) — It started with a surprise statement on a Sunday night that the U.S. was rushing military forces to counter alleged Iranian threats. What followed were two weeks of bombastic rhetoric and swells of fear and confusion over whether...

 
 By Robert Burns    Regional    May 12, 2019

Shanahan says military won't leave until border is secure

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan visited a border city in Texas on Saturday and said he intends to accelerate planning to secure the border and bolster the administration's ability to accomplish that without the...

 

US official: Intel indicates Iran moved missiles by boat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The decision to send an aircraft carrier and a group of Air Force bombers to the Middle East was based in part on intelligence indications that Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles by boat in waters off its shores, an...

 

AP source: Possible attack on US forces led to deployments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House decision to dispatch an aircraft carrier and other military resources to send a message to Iran followed "clear indications" that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the...

 

US still pondering military options in Venezuela

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration ended a week of pointed but vague threats of a military response to the Venezuelan political crisis Friday with a meeting at the Pentagon to consider its options, though there was still no sign any action...

 

Key senator urges White House to fill top Pentagon post

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is coming under increasing pressure to nominate someone to lead the Pentagon, nearly three months after President Donald Trump's first secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, resigned in a policy dispute....

 

Lawmakers denounce plan to divert military money for wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers on Tuesday denounced Defense Department plans to use military funds to pay for President Donald Trump's border wall, telling Pentagon leaders the "unbelievably irresponsible" maneuver will threaten the agency's...

 

Analysis: Victory over Islamic State may be short-lived

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a campaign that spanned five years and two U.S. presidencies, unleashed more than 100,000 bombs and killed untold numbers of civilians, the U.S. military engineered the destruction of the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed...

 
 By Robert Burns    Regional    March 8, 2019

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is resigning

WASHINGTON (AP) — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, once seen as a candidate to succeed Jim Mattis as defense secretary, said Friday she is resigning to become president of the University of Texas at El Paso. A former U.S. House Republican member...

 

The precarious perch of a potential Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Patrick Shanahan, the former Boeing executive, was in a familiar place — aboard an airplane — when he got word of a bolt-from-the-blue political shot across his bow, an apparent blow to his chances of being nominated as the...

 

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