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Molly O'Toole

Molly O'Toole is the politics reporter for Defense One. O'Toole previously worked as a news editor at The Huffington Post. She has covered national and international politics for Reuters, The Nation, the Associated Press and Newsweek International, among others, from Washington, New York, Mexico City, and London. She received her dual-masters degree in journalism and international relations from New York University and her bachelor's from Cornell University.
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The Obama Doctrine Has No Heir in Hillary Clinton

January 24, 2016 When Hillary Clinton declared herself defender of President Barack Obama’s legacy in the last Democratic debate, it marked a change in the careful balance she has sought between taking credit for the national security successes she orchestrated for his administration and distancing herself from its failures. National security was always...

Defense Sends White House Plan to Close Guantanamo, Move Detainees to the United States

January 15, 2016 Defense Secretary Ash Carter has at last sent President Barack Obama a plan to close the U.S. military detention center in Cuba and move remaining detainees to a U.S. alternative. “Not everyone in GTMO can be safely transferred to another country, so we need an alternative,” Carter said Thursday in...

Pentagon Sends Obama Plan to Close Guantanamo, Move Detainees to US

January 14, 2016 Defense Secretary Ash Carter has at last sent President Barack Obama a plan to close the U.S. military detention center in Cuba and move remaining detainees to a U.S. alternative. “Not everyone in GTMO can be safely transferred to another country, so we need an alternative,” Carter said Thursday in...

In Final State of the Union, Obama Fights the Fear that Threatens His Legacy

January 12, 2016 President Barack Obama took the podium Tuesday night in his last State of the Union looking to take back his legacy. An array of polls show the American public is as anxious about terrorism and national security — and the government's ability to provide it — as it has been...

Here’s What America’s Longest-Serving General Most Fears

January 11, 2016 “This will sound strange to you,” said Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, the U.S. military’s longest-serving general. “My greatest fear was that I would be offered another job.” The four-star head of U.S. Southern Command will hand over his final command on Thursday and retire at the end of the...

Defense Department Transfers Two Guantanamo Detainees to Ghana

January 7, 2016 The Pentagon has transferred two Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo to Ghana, the first of 17 expected transfers to come in the early days of 2016. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, as identified by the Defense Department in its Wednesday afternoon announcement, have each been held...

Pentagon Transfers Two Guantanamo Detainees to Ghana

January 6, 2016 The Pentagon has transferred two Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo to Ghana, the first of 17 expected transfers to come in the early days of 2016. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, as identified by the Defense Department in its Wednesday afternoon announcement, have each been held...

Saudi Arabia-Iran Break Threatens Syrian Peace Process

January 5, 2016 It took a little over two weeks for a diplomatic breakthrough on Syria to break down. After Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric on Saturday, Iranian protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran, leading Riyadh and several other Sunni-majority Muslim governments to cut diplomatic ties with Shiite Iran. The rivalry...

U.S. Syria Policy Shifts From ‘Assad Must Go’ to ‘Not Right Now’

December 23, 2015 NEW YORK — Even as Secretary of State John Kerry heralded a fresh U.N. Security Council resolution aimed to end the nearly-five-year civil war in Syria, he grimly acknowledged the U.S. has scaled back its demands of “Assad must go” to “just not right now.” “We’re not kicking it down...

Guantanamo Set to Transfer 17 Prisoners

December 22, 2015 The Pentagon is set to transfer 17 detainees from the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the first weeks of the new year, which will bring the remaining total under 100. “We continue to press forward,” a senior defense official told Defense One Friday, speaking on condition...