Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The New York Times reports that U.S. officials believe Russia intentionally delayed a medical flight to evacuate an ill U.S. military attache earlier this year.

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The Department of Defense has signed off on a $34 billion contract to buy 478 F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

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The chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday expressing concern about staffing vacancies in the office overseeing special operations — the same day that the head of that office resigned.

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There's a new book detailing the inside story of what it was like during Defense Secretary James Mattis' tenure, and it's safe to say that he'd prefer you not read it.

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U.S Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari outside Iraq's defense ministry in Baghdad on Wednesday (Associated Press/Hadi Mizban)

The 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will be allowed to stay in Iraq for at most four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday, in an embarrassing rebuff to President Donald Trump's plans for withdrawing from Syria.

Najah al-Shammari's comments to the Associated Press came shortly after his meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who went to Baghdad to negotiate the redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq after they withdrew from Syria.

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The Defense Department is exploring its options to completely withdraw all U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan, in the event President Donald Trump abruptly makes the decision, according to NBC News.

The ongoing planning, which was not explicitly directed by the White House, includes procedures for a completely withdrawal of U.S. forces within weeks, current and former officials reportedly said.

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