Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had authorized $1 billion to build part of the wall sought by President Donald Trump along the US-Mexico border.
The Pentagon said there were 6,053 reports of sexual assaults last year, according to an anonymous, bi-annual survey. It is a record number and the highest since the US military began collecting this kind of survey data in 2004.
The meeting in Riyadh, where Esper arrived late on Monday after an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, also took in defence issues and the current situation in the region.
A senior Pentagon official who oversees US defence policy on Ukraine and Russia testified privately on Wednesday in the Democratic-led US House of Representatives inquiry against Republican President Donald Trump.
The United States announced the deployment of additional American military forces to Saudi Arabia on Friday to bolster the kingdom’s defences after the Sept.14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran.
The No.1 cloud computing company had indicated last week that it would file this motion, which asks the Pentagon and Microsoft to hold off beyond any initial activities related to the "JEDI" contract.
Esper said that the numbers could fluctuate, particularly if European allies strengthen their presence in the country. Trump's abrupt announcement last month that he had ordered a full troop withdrawal drew angry rebukes at home and abroad.
It’s no small thing when grotesque mistakes and lies about them cost 2,300 lives and a trillion dollars, but that’s what we got from US officials who have kept us at war
The split between the president and his Pentagon chief came amid heightened tensions with Tehran following a US drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Trump had twice warned that he would hit Iranian cultural sites if Tehran retaliates against the US.