Trump: War Games In South Korea Cancelled. Pentagon: WTF?


The Pentagon is still trying to figure out what President Trump meant when he said on Tuesday that the United States would cancel its war games with South Korea.

Task & Purpose roamed the halls of the five-sided funhouse all day, trying to get clarity on the president’s comments, but it only became apparent that nothing is clear.

After meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump told reporters the United States would no longer hold war games on the Korean peninsula, which he decried as “tremendously expensive” and “very provocative.”

“So under the circumstances that we are negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to be having war games,” the president said at a news conference. “Number one: We save money – a lot. And number two: It really is something that I think they very much appreciate it.”

Trump later echoed that sentiment in an interview with ABC News:

Trump did not specify whether the “war games” he referenced include all regularly scheduled training exercises between U.S. and South Korean Forces, including Foal Eagle/Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

“Six and a half hours – that's a long time for these big massive planes to be flying to South Korea to practice and then drop bombs all over the place, and then go back to Guam. I know a lot about airplanes; it's very expensive. And I didn’t like it.”

A spokeswoman for U.S. Forces Korea told Military Times that the command had not been told to cancel this year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which is scheduled for September.

“In coordination with our ROK [Republic of Korea] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense and/or Indo-Pacific Command,” Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett told the newspaper.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the U.S. military agreed not to involve B-52s in the Max Thunder exercise due to concerns raised by the South Korean government. North Korea had specifically objected to the bombers being part of the exercise.

“We fly in bombers from Guam,” Trump said on Tuesday. “I said: ‘Where do the bombers come from?’ ‘Guam. Nearby.’ I said: ‘Oh, great, nearby. Where's nearby?’ ‘Six and a half hours.’ Six and a half hours – that's a long time for these big massive planes to be flying to South Korea to practice and then drop bombs all over the place, and then go back to Guam. I know a lot about airplanes; it's very expensive. And I didn’t like it.”

Officials at the Pentagon, State Department and White House did not respond to T&P;’s questions about which exercises the president was referring to. When the Defense Department issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, it did not mention the war games.

“The Department of Defense welcomes the positive news coming out of the summit and fully supports the ongoing, diplomatically-led efforts with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,” said chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White. “Our alliances remain ironclad, and ensure peace and stability in the region.”

Adding to the confusion: Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., tweeted on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers that “regular readiness training and training exchanges will continue.”

A White House official told T&P; that Pence was referring to regular readiness training, not semi-annual war games, which would end if North Korea meets its obligations under an agreement.

Until the president explains what he meant, it seems, trying to get clarity on his statements will be as pointless as pearl-diving in the Potomac.


It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.

A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.

In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.

Read More Show Less
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley from 1979's 'Alien' (20th Century Fox)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.

The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.

Read More Show Less
NEC Corp.'s machine with propellers hovers at the company's facility in Abiko near Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Japanese electronics maker showed a "flying car," a large drone-like machine with four propellers that hovered steadily for about a minute. (Associated Press/Koji Sasahara

'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.

But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.

Read More Show Less
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

Task & Purpose is looking for a dynamic social media editor to join our team.

Our ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter who can handle a variety of tasks without breaking a sweat. He or she will own our brand's social coverage while working full-time alongside our team of journalists and video producers, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (feed, stories, and IGTV), YouTube, and elsewhere.

Read More Show Less