Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
The meeting focused on deterrence plans against Iran after U.S. officials blamed the country for two recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
"We are there to deter aggression," Pompeo said. "President [Donald] Trump does not want war."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that his country would not "wage war with any nation" but will stand against U.S. pressure.
Pompeo also addressed the decision by former Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to send 1,000 additional U.S. troops to the region for defense.
On Monday, a day before Shanahan stepped down from his Defense post citing personal reasons, Shanahan ordered the additional troops "to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests."
"We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats," he added in a statement.
On Tuesday, Trump named Army Secretary Mark Esper as the new Acting Secretary of Defense, replacing Shanahan about an hour after USA Today reported on a federal investigation into violence between Shanahan and his ex-wife.
At MacDill, Pompeo's message to families awaiting news about the new round of deployment was to thank them for their service and commitment to the country without going into further detail.
The Department of State declined to comment on how coordination with the Department of Defense will go in the wake of Shanahan's departure.
©2019 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
The U.S. military dropped more munitions on targets across Afghanistan in 2019 than during any other year stretching back to at least 2019, according to Air Force data.
What it was like to liberate the Nazi death camp of Dachau, according to an Army veteran who was there
At age 23 in the spring of 1945, Guy Prestia was in the Army fighting his way across southern Germany when his unit walked into hell on earth — the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
"It was terrible. I never saw anything like those camps," said Prestia, 97, who still lives in his hometown of Ellwood City.