Author Archive

Ben Watson

Senior Multimedia Editor

Ben Watson is lead author of The D Brief and senior multimedia editor at Defense One. Since arriving in Washington in 2012, Ben has written and produced award-winning features, videos and podcasts on politics, international security, technology, and military history for NPR, The Atlantic and Defense One. Prior to that, he served for five years in the U.S. Army.
Ben Watson is lead author of The D Brief and senior multimedia editor at Defense One. Since arriving in Washington in 2012, Ben has written and produced award-winning features, videos and podcasts on politics, international security, technology, and military history for NPR, The Atlantic and Defense One. Prior to that, he served for five years in the U.S. Army.
Defense

Pentagon Launches Post-Insurrection Extremism Review

Secretary Austin directs new steps, studies to keep extremists out of the ranks and better protect outgoing troops from being recruited into extremist groups.

Defense

Army Disciplines 14 Soldiers, Creates New Duty Status After Murder

The steps follow the conclusion of one of several inquests into the April murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

Defense

Ban by Omission: US Military Leaves Confederate Flag Off Approved List

Esper’s order seems designed to bar the flag from display without provoking the president.

Defense

Pentagon’s Esper Was Too Slow With Coronavirus Response, Senate Democrats Say

In a letter, lawmakers accuse the secretary of Defense of causing confusion, showing "dangerous misunderstanding" of the virus, and harming readiness.

Management

Trump Ousts Would-Be Acting Spy Chief

Deputy DNI Susan Gordon was statutorily required to be elevated after DNI Coats resigned in July.

Defense

These Are the U.S. Military Bases Most Threatened by Climate Change

The belated lists arrived just ahead of a GAO report that says the Pentagon is failing to use climate projections in planning.

Defense

American Military Duties Grow at the Mexico Border

Service members will have permissions that go beyond "observe and report," the Defense Department announced late Monday.

Defense

Defense Secretary Mattis Denies Comparing Trump to 'a Fifth- or Sixth-Grader'

Defense chief says the statements attributed to him in Bob Woodward's new book are fictitious.

Management

Air Force Buys Mysterious Israeli Weapon to Kill ISIS Drones

What is this secret weapon? Pentagon officials aren’t saying, but here are some clues.

Management

Can a ‘Comparable’ Super Hornet Steal Orders from the F-35C?

Two aircraft are on President Trump’s radar. Here’s how they’re different, and why it matters to more than just power players in Washington.

Defense

Will Trump Keep Obama’s Top Mideast General?

As candidate, he vowed to demand a new anti-ISIS war plan in 30 days. Here’s the top commander who could answer the call—or be fired.

Defense

Trump vs. the Generals

As president, he says he would create a Syrian safe zone and swiftly draft a plan to defeat ISIS 'fast.' Here are the flag officers who say: not so fast.

Defense

This is the War Against al-Qaeda the Next President Will Inherit

Fifteen years after invading Afghanistan in pursuit of the 9/11 attackers, the U.S. is bombing a half-dozen more countries.

Defense

Obama Orders Air Campaign Against ISIS in Libya, Escalating ‘No-Boots War’

There’s no projected end to the strikes, which U.S. officials say have been requested by the new Libyan government.

Defense

What's New in Obama's Plan to Close Guantanamo

The White House’s plan gives Congress 13 different sites to choose from—and just added a lot of fuel to an already heated topic in a national security election year.

Defense

ISIS Threatens Attack on Washington

Video warns other countries dropping bombs in Syria that they will suffer the same fate as France with the Paris attacks.

Defense

Pentagon to Send Special Operations Troops to Syria

After months of looking at new options, the Obama administration will send in ground forces

Defense

Pentagon Wraps Up Colorado Search for Guantanamo Alternative

Pending report to go to the Defense Secretary before the White House, then on to Congress.