An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.

While the U.S. government has publicly blamed Iran for recent attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Oman, not a single U.S. official has provided a shred of proof linking Iran to the explosive devices found on the merchant ships.

At an off-camera briefing on Monday, Navy officials acknowledged that nothing in imagery released by the Pentagon shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards planting limpet mines on ships in the Gulf of Oman.

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Photo: Sgt. Amber I. Smith/U.S. Army

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Pentagon has told the White House that the U.S. military will not be politicized, a U.S. official said on Sunday, in response to a controversy after officials directed the United States Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of sight during a recent speech by President Donald Trump in Japan.

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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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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur.)

Defense officials will brief President Donald Trump's national security team on a plan that involves sending 5,000 more troops to the Middle East to deter Iran, Task & Purpose has learned.

So far, no decisions have been made about whether to send the reinforcements to the region, unnamed U.S. officials told CNN's Barbara Starr.

"The military capabilities being discussed include sending additional ballistic missile defense systems, Tomahawk cruise missiles on submarines, and surface ships with land attack capabilities for striking at a long range," CNN reports. "Specific weapons systems and units have not been identified."

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If the Pentagon had to take Consumer Math class in high school, they'd flunk.

The U.S. military—correction, the U.S. taxpayer—is spending more money to buy fewer weapons. The reason? Poor acquisition practices, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

"DOD's 2018 portfolio of major weapon programs has grown in cost by $8 billion, but contains four fewer systems than last year," GAO found.

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Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speak to the media at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved the transfer of $1.5 billion to build more than 80 miles (130 km)of barriers on the border with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Friday, including taking about $600 million from an account meant for Afghan security forces.

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