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Mark T. Esper

This is Mark Esper, the Gulf War Army veteran and defense lobbyist who Trump has tapped to lead the Pentagon

After Patrick Shanahan stepped down from the post, President Donald Trump nominated Mark Esper for the job. Here's what we know about him so far.

One of the last decisions for the acting Defense Secretary was to hang up Jim Mattis’ official portrait in the Pentagon

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is shown wearing cufflinks emblazoned with the Marine Corps' eagle, globe, and anchor emblem.
President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that reinstates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC.

How the Trump administration got into a showdown with Iran that could lead to war

The Trump administration has rejected suggestions it's moving toward war after deploying military assets in response to unspecified threats.

Trump’s Pentagon pick is out after reports detailed brutal domestic violence incidents involving his ex-wife

Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan is calling it quits as his family's troubled past has come back to haunt him.

Trump’s pick for Pentagon chief has unexpectedly pulled his name out of the running and stepped down

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from the confirmation process and is stepping down to spend more time with his family.
U.S. Army Pfc. Jacob Paxson and Pfc. Antonio Espiricueta, both from Company B ("Death Dealers"), 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, attached to Task Force 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, provide security from a street corner during a foot patrol in Tameem, Ramadi, Iraq.

The US plans to send more troops to confront a threat from Iran it won’t even explain

The White House has notified Congress that it intends to deploy 1,500 more US troops to the Middle East, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Trump’s Pentagon is patting itself on the back for putting a ‘hold’ on unexplained Iran threat

The acting defense secretary said that US resolve and the deployment of strategic assets have led Iran to recalculate and not attack Americans.
US soldiers conduct breaching operations in a mock-urban environment.

The US military is exploring a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran intensify

The plan reportedly called for the deployment in the event that Iran either attacks US forces or ramps up its nuclear-weapons program.
A Helicopter from the Customs and Border Protection Office flies over the US-Mexico Border wall on April 5, 2019 in Mexicali, Mexico.

The Pentagon is reportedly shifting funds from ballistic missile and surveillance plane programs to fund Trump’s border wall

Pentagon officials have explicitly stated that the diverted funds will not negatively affect military readiness.
After five months as acting secretary, Patrick Shanahan will be nominated as President Trump's secretary of defense.

Trump picks former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan as secretary of defense

Trump has nominated Patrick Shanahan, who has led the Pentagon since James Mattis stepped down five months ago, as the new secretary of defense.