U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. (Reuters/Erin Scott)

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.

Read More Show Less
Reuters/Leah Millis

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that European nations should consider funding projects in their countries after the Pentagon diverted money to pay for a border wall with Mexico.

Read More Show Less
A soldier assigned to the National Guard is silhouetted while keeping watch near a section of the border fence between Mexico and United States, as pictured at Anapra neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 120 U.S. military construction projects will be adversely affected as the Pentagon prepares to use $3.6 billion to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) of the border wall with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The emergency declaration allows the Trump administration to use money from the military construction budget and the Pentagon has said it could use $3.6 billion from the budget.

In March, the Pentagon provided Congress with a broad list of projects that could be affected, but did not provide details.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force officer passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen's Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defenses had brought down a U.S. drone.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Luke Hoogendam)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There has been a sharp drop in the size of Afghanistan's National Defense Security Forces in the past few months due to changes in the way troops are counted and an effort to reduce the number of so-called "ghost" soldiers, a U.S. government watchdog said on Thursday.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a report that ANDSF personnel size had gone down by nearly 10 percentage points in the most recent quarter compared to the previous trimester.

The number of ANDSF troops fell by nearly 42,000 compared to roughly the same period, between April and the end of June last year, the report said.

Read More Show Less
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.