Pentagon photo.

Sometimes, a moment is so ironic that it makes you stop for a minute to wonder who the hell is running this universe. A classic example from the annals of U.S. military history: The first atomic bomb dropped on Japan was named "Little Boy," and the B-29 that carried it was named for the pilot's mother.

A far less historic but equally strange event took place on Thursday when Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan acknowledged that the Pentagon is considering a request from the head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., to deploy more U.S. troops to the Middle East in response to purported threats from Iran.

"What we're looking at is: Are there things we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East," Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon. "It may involve sending additional troops."

That may not sound ironic at all until you realize that Shanahan was about to have a meeting with an official from Vietnam, home of the conflict that proved big things have small beginnings.

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