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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What One Joint Chief Of Staff Thinks of Trump

March 22, 2017 So, what is Trump like when he meets with the generals? We’ve heard a lot of hand-wringing outside the White House Situation Room that President Donald Trump is giving too much deference to “the generals.” After all, he appointed newly retired generals as civilian secretaries of the Pentagon and Department...

THAAD arrives in Korea; How Iraq got off the travel-ban list; Has the F-35 already seen combat?; US SOF is still hunting Kony; and just a bit more...

March 7, 2017 THAAD arrives in South Korea. The first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system have been deployed, U.S. Pacific Command announced Monday evening. The move comes less than two days after North Korea launched four likely SCUD missiles toward Japan (video here), and less than a day after...

'Winning' or Not, Trump Doesn't Seem to Be Listening To His Generals

February 28, 2017 Is Trump going to listen to his generals or not? Are they the best or the worst? Is he with them or against them? In the past month, President Donald Trump has met with four of the most important U.S. generals in the military to discuss terrorism and the war...

Coalition troops storm into west Mosul; USAF’s new weapons to kill ISIS drones; POTUS and the nukes; VX in Malaysia; When ‘military’ isn’t ‘military’; And a bit more.

February 24, 2017 Obama’s last order: U.S. troops finally allowed to fight on Iraqi front, we’ve learned overnight. “The United States has adjusted its rules of engagement as American and other international troops are now closer to front-line fighting than before,” AP reports this morning south of Mosul. What’s new? “During the push...

Coalition takes Mosul airport; McRaven lectures Trump on the 'enemy'; Turkey’s rebels ‘liberate’ Al-Bab; McCain to Syria; And a bit more.

February 23, 2017 Iraqis (and Americans) take Mosul airport. Iraqi forces fought Islamic State militants from two directions along a “sprawling military base outside of Mosul and onto the grounds of the city's airport, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire,” AP reports in the latest from the months-long offensive...

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.

February 21, 2017 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...

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