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Hours after a general said the threat from Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria hadn't risen, US Central Command issued an unusual rebuke.
The US is sending a warship and a missile battery to join the carrier strike group and bomber task force sent to the region earlier this week.
The position has been empty since Trump took office. The nomination comes as US-Saudi relations are tested after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The last B-52 bomber left US Central Command's area of responsibility on April 7 after being the go-to bomber for operations against ISIS and the Taliban.
James Clapper reportedly knew that assessments of the fight against the militant group ISIS were skewed to give a more positive view of the conflict.