U.S. defense secretary securing military bases after Florida shooting

U.S. defense secretary securing military bases after Florida shooting

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper delivers remarks before ringing the closing NASDAQ bell for Veterans Day in New York, New York, November 11, 2019. Picture taken November 11, 2019. DoD/Lisa Ferdinando/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he has instructed the armed forces to review both security at military bases and screening for foreign soldiers who come to the United States for training after a shooting in Florida.

A Saudi Air Force lieutenant killed three people and wounded eight others in a shooting rampage Friday at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. Esper said on “Fox News Sunday” that he had asked top defense officials to “make sure we’re taking all necessary precautions” to make sure military installations were secure.

Esper said he had asked the Pentagon to “review what our screening procedures are” before soldiers from other countries come to the United States for training. He described those programs as “very important to our national security.”

Esper also said the “only way forward” for the long-running war in Afghanistan “is through a political agreement” with the Taliban and the Afghan government. And he said the United States had reached a point in the Middle East that “we have deterred Iranian bad behavior.”

Reporting by Brad Heath; Editing by Lisa Shumaker


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