Kevin Baron

Executive Editor, Defense One Kevin Baron is executive editor of Defense One. He is also national security/military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Baron has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, and Stars and Stripes. He previously ran investigative projects for five years at the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau, and cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron is twice a Polk Award winner and former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. He earned his M.A. from George Washington University and B.A. from the University of Richmond. Raised in Florida, Baron lives in Northern Virginia with his three sons.
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Mosul’s new phase; McMaster to the Situation Room; WH confuses Europe; Mattis says no to Iraqi oil theft; Gorka, in context; Drone suicide boat in Yemen; And a bit more.

10:17 AM ET McMaster to the White House. The president will hold a National Security Council briefing in the Situation Room today with his new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. With the 3-star general in place, “President Donald Trump added one of the most talented officers the U.S. Army has ever...

Trump: I’m Not Being Tough On Russia Because I Want to Make A Deal

February 16, 2017 President Donald Trump joked that he might order the U.S. military to sink the Russian spy ship traveling south off the Atlantic coast, then later said he wouldn’t, and then said he hoped he would not have to retaliate in any form. Whatever option he chooses, he said, he won’t...

Trump’s Empty Ultimatum to NATO

February 15, 2017 President Donald Trump’s "ultimatum" to NATO is, at best, as clear as mud and, at worst, an empty threat that will harm U.S. security interests. It's a vague call for European member nations to increase their individual defense spending, which is the same thing four previous defense secretaries under President...

Trump’s Dangerous 'Dishonest' Message to the Troops

February 9, 2017 If you’re a soldier -- say, an elite U.S. special operator at U.S. Central Command headquarters, maybe with some battle buddies from U.S. Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command -- answer me this: When your commanding general tells you that the reporters covering your work are important and...

Afghanistan Needs ‘Thousands’ More Troops, U.S. General Says in New Assessment

February 9, 2017 Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, Afghanistan is in a “stalemate” that will require several thousand more Western troops to break, the war’s top U.S. commander told Congress. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson’s testimony laid on Donald Trump’s desk the first major war decision — surge troops or not? — just...

Afghanistan Needs ‘Thousands’ More Troops, US General Says

February 9, 2017 Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, Afghanistan is in a “stalemate” that will require several thousand more Western troops to break, the war’s top U.S. commander told Congress. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson’s testimony laid on Donald Trump’s desk the first major war decision — surge troops or not? — just...

Trump’s big natsec day; More US troops to Afghanistan?; China incensed; Iraq wants clarity on ‘take the oil’; and just a bit more...

January 25, 2017 Today is President Donald Trump’s big day on national security as he moves forward with U.S.-Mexico border wall plans (unclear this early in the announcement exactly how) and a shake-up of U.S. immigration policy. According to “congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter,” the president “is expected to...

CinC Trump takes command; The state of defense in 2017; ships eye North Korea; Army picks a new gun; And a bit more.

January 20, 2017 Inauguration Day: President Donald J. Trump. The Obama and Trump families are having tea at the moment we hit send for today’s D Brief. And Trump will place his hand on the Lincoln Bible, and his own childhood Bible, in a little more than an hour, if everything is on...

Carter warns against ISIS war buildup; B-2s bomb Libya; Assad teases reconciliation; Most ISIS commanders in Mosul are dead; Private air force for sale; And a bit more.

January 19, 2017 U.S. airstrikes resumed in Libya, CNN reports this morning less than a month after AFRICOM announced an end to attacks on the ISIS-held town of Sirte. Drones and B-2 bombers hit two ISIS camps, killing “several dozen” ISIS fighters roughly 45 km southwest of Sirte overnight in an operation coordinated...

Trump’s ISIS war plans are in the works; The determination of Russian hackers; Manning and Cartwright get early release; Gabbard goes to Syria; And a bit more.

January 18, 2017 Military readies ISIS war options for Trump. While Iraqi special forces celebrate retaking the eastern half of Mosul from Islamic State fighters this morning, the Pentagon is set to present more aggressive war plans to defeat the group, which could include sending additional U.S. troops into direct combat, CNN’s Barbara...

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