Beloved readers: It's been a rough week inside the Five-Sided Fun House as it looked like the United States and Iran were on a collision course until President Donald Trump aborted planned air and missile strikes at the eleventh hour.

As your beleaguered friend and narrator writes this, the Pentagon has not scheduled any briefings about how close the U.S. military was to attacking Iran, or even if those strikes have been called off or are on hold.

It would be nice to know whether we are at war or not. One would think the headquarters of the U.S. military would be a good place to find out. But the Trump administration has one spokesman: the president himself. His tweets have replaced Pentagon's briefings as the primary source for military news.

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(U.S. Air Force/TSgt. Dana Flamer)

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.

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(U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson)

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

A senior U.S. general says that ISIS remains a "very worrisome" presence in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to mount an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, on June 12 told reporters the extremist group "in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States."

"It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that," he said.

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The owner of one of the two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman said the crew saw "flying objects" just before the ship was hit, seeming to contract a narrative from the U.S. government suggesting mines were involved.

Yutaka Katada, the chief executive of Japanese shipping company Kokuka Sangyo, discussed the incident with reporters in Tokyo on Friday.

He said sailors on the Kokuka Courageous saw the objects above the water, and suggested they could be bullets, The Associated Press reported.

This seems to contradict the account given by the U.S. military, which said it saw what it suspects is an unexploded limpet mine on the side of the ship.

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

The U.S. military has released a video it says implicates Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the latest violent incident the United States and its allies blame on Tehran.

The U.S. Central Command on June 13 said the video shows crews from IRGC boats removing what looks like an unexploded mine from the side of one of the two attacked oil tankers.

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Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers fly over the Pacific Ocean during a routine training mission Aug. 2, 2018.(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Gerald R. Willis)

DOHA (Reuters) - American B-52 Stratofortress bombers sent to the Middle East over what Washington describes as threats from Iran have arrived at a U.S. base in Qatar, U.S. Central Command said.

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