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Ben Watson

News Editor Ben Watson is news editor for Defense One. He previously worked for NPR's “All Things Considered” and “Here and Now” in Washington, D.C. Watson served for five years in the U.S. Army, where he was an award-winning combat cameraman and media advisor for southern Afghanistan's special operations command during the 2010-11 surge.
Results 1051-1060 of 1060

‘Comprehensive Review’ of Military Medals to Begin in June

March 21, 2014 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a full appraisal of military decorations and awards, with particular emphasis on how to recognize contributions from troops conducting drone and cyber warfare, to begin in June. The order follows more than a year of controversy over the Distinguished Warfare Medal, or DWM, a new...

Russians Tell Hagel 'No Intention' of Crossing Into Ukraine

March 20, 2014 Russia’s defense minister told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian troops will not march further into Ukraine, during a nearly hour-long telephone conversation on Thursday. Hagel called on Sergei Shoygu to get his counterpart to “explain Russian intentions with respect to forces they have aligned near Ukraine’s eastern and southern...

Hagel Orders 'Troubling Gaps' Closed in DOD Background Checks, May Cut Clearances

March 18, 2014 Defense Department personnel with secret clearances soon will face tougher "continuous evaluation," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, heeding the recommendations of three separate investigations into last year’s Washington Navy Yard shooting. The department’s actions, Hagel said, fulfill his pledge to correct “gaps or inadequacies in the department's security” that facilitated...

Obama Sanctions 11 Pro-Russian Officials Over Crimea as Militaries Posture

March 17, 2014 President Barack Obama authorized what a senior administration official called “by far the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War,” on Monday, following Sunday’s referendum in Crimea to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. White House officials released the names of 11 Russian...

U.S. Navy Diverts Ship to Indian Ocean in Hunt for Malaysian Flight MH370

March 13, 2014 The search for any sign of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has expanded to the Indian Ocean and the U.S. is “consulting with international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday. Officials at the Pentagon said it would take about 24 hours before...

Kerry Warns Crimea Not to Hold Vote on Sunday

March 13, 2014 The U.S. and Europe will not stand by as passive observers should the current pro-Russian Crimean parliament proceed with a referendum vote on Sunday to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers Thursday. “There will be a response of some kind to the...

How the Navy's 7th Fleet Is Combing the Seas Near Malaysia for the Missing Airliner

March 13, 2014 With U.S. intelligence and defense officials saying that terrorism remains a possible explanation for the unknown fate of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, nearly 40 ships and 40 aircraft from 12 different nations continue to scour the waters on either side of the Malaysian peninsula for any trace of the Boeing...

Special Ops Moves from ‘Perpetual War to Perpetual Engagement’

March 11, 2014 After more than a decade of costly, direct combat for the nation’s elite troops, cozying up with friendly nations is likely the best way to cope with emerging extremist threats, U.S. Special Operations Command's Adm. William McRaven said on Tuesday. “This will mean strengthening our existing allied relationships and building...

Pentagon Says Its Strategy Addresses Threat from Russia

March 10, 2014 The Pentagon sees no need to alter its long-term strategy despite the latest developments around the Russia-Ukraine border, a senior defense official said Monday. “Two of the strategic pillars in the updated QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) strategy—building security globally and projecting power—are very much applicable to the situation that we...

Dempsey Reassures NATO Allies on Ukraine

March 7, 2014 The U.S. military is prepared to back up NATO if the unrest in Ukraine escalates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Friday. American diplomats are working around the clock to come to a solution to Russia’s takeover of Crimea in eastern Ukraine. Dempsey said he’s been talking to his...