IRAQ EMBASSY EVACUATION: The State Department has ordered “non-emergency government employees” to leave Iraq. The statement from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad says those impacted by the order should “depart…as soon as possible.” The evacuation comes amid tension with Iran and a purported threat from the country that’s resulted in American ships and bombers sent to the Persian Gulf. NY TIMES
WAR OF WORDS: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is attempting to cool down escalating rhetoric between the U.S. and Iran, saying “we fundamentally do not see a war with Iran.” Pompeo made the comment while on a visit to Russia, following a report in the New York Times that the Pentagon had drawn up a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran were to strike U.S. forces or “accelerate work on nuclear weapons.” President Trump said he had no plans for a military build-up, but added: “Would I do that? Absolutely.” USA TODAY
Things with China suddenly seem a lot better.