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Kevin Baron

Executive Editor, Defense One Kevin Baron is executive editor of Defense One. A 15-year veteran of Washington’s defense, national security and foreign affairs scene, Baron has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, Stars and Stripes, the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau, and the Center for Public Integrity. Baron is vice president of the Pentagon Press Association.
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The D Brief: Landmark shift in US-Cuba relations; The spies in the middle; Rubio rising; A view from inside Langley; What Hollywood gets wrong about North Korea; And a bit more.

December 18, 2014 Cuba?? Sure, why not. President Obama pulled off a stunner on Wednesday announcing the U.S. would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 50-year American embargo failed to oust Fidel Castro and his regime, or do much else. The deal was 18 months in the making; a complicated mashup involving ...

Flournoy Pulls Out of Defense Secretary Race

November 25, 2014 Michele Flournoy has pulled herself out of the race to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Flournoy notified members of the board at the Center for a New American Security, the Washington think tank she co-founded, that last night she informed the White House she had taken herself out of the ...

Political Dysfunction Is a Worse Threat Than Putin, Say National Security Workers

November 18, 2014 The Obama administration has no strategy for ISIS, the Pentagon is not leaving enough troops to protect Afghanistan and Congress isn’t qualified to keep watch over the military and intelligence services, according to survey of federal workers and troops at the Pentagon, and other national security agencies. It’s a grim ...

Ebola Scare Comes to the Pentagon

October 17, 2014 This article has been updated. Fearing a possible case of Ebola at the Pentagon, officials shut down a parking lot and building entrance for much of the day after a woman was found "ill and vomiting" Friday in the Pentagon parking lot. The woman later said she had "recently visited ...

Obama Has a Strategy for the Islamic State But He Better Have a Plan B

September 11, 2014 “This is our strategy.” If only President Barack Obama had said that two weeks ago, the conversations and arguments from bar rooms to situation rooms, in the Pentagon and the Middle East, may have been a lot different. The tone, at least, the politics, certainly. The pervasive doubt in the ...

Islamic State Militant Beheads U.S. Journalist Steven Sotloff in Video, Group Says

September 2, 2014 This story has been updated. American journalist Steven Sotloff has been executed and beheaded by the Islamic State group, according to a new video posted on Monday. The killing fulfills the Islamic State’s threat to President Barack Obama that Sotloff also would be killed as journalist Jim Foley was two ...

Is There a Plan to Attack in Syria or Not?

August 29, 2014 So, to recap, there is no U.S. plan to strike the Islamic State or any other targets inside Syria because the Pentagon is still drawing them up, except that the Pentagon and the president have been reviewing military plans of attack for a while. That’s the message White House and ...

Obama: 'We Don’t Have a Strategy Yet'

August 28, 2014 President Barack Obama said he has asked Pentagon leaders for additional strike options on the Islamic State group, but cautioned that he is still consulting with his National Security Council and Congress to develop a strategy for defeating the terrorist group across Iraq and Syria. The president put the brakes ...

Mother of Kidnapped Journalist Sotloff Pleads to Baghdadi for Son’s Life

August 27, 2014 The mother of American journalist Steven Sotloff issued a somber plea to the Islamic State to spare his life, as U.S. airstrikes continue to defy the terrorist group’s warnings they would kill Sotloff next. “I'm sending this message to you, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi al-Qureshi Al-Husseini, the caliph of the Islamic ...

Airstrikes Not Enough to Defeat ISIL, Hagel Says

August 21, 2014 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Islamic State group is “beyond just a terrorist group,” and has become a 9/11-level threat to the United States, but the U.S. military’s mission to defeat them will remain limited – for now. “ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we ...