U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks during a joint news conference with Japan's Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2020. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper suggested on Thursday he could be ready to start a highly anticipated global force repositioning this year as part of an effort to refocus the Pentagon on challenges from China and Russia.
Esper said he did not want to put a firm timeline on the completion of his so-called "defense-wide review," which is expected to trigger those troop movements.
"If I had to put an end-date (on the review), I want to make sure we are in some type of better posture by the beginning of the next fiscal year," Esper told reporters, referring to the government's calendar year for spending, which begins on Oct. 1. "So I want to move fairly quickly."
People attend a protest against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government at Plaza Bolivar in Lima, Peru February 2, 2019. (Reuters/Guadalupe Pardo)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is prepared to protect U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities in Venezuela if needed, the U.S. admiral in charge of American forces in South America said on Thursday.
At least 33 U.S. troops, including a pregnant woman, have tested positive for the Zika virus, U.S. military spokesmen said Wednesday. Ten of those troops are men who answer to the Southern Command, the Pentagon subsidiary with oversight of troops in Latin America and the Caribbean.