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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.
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Trump's advice about rock-throwing migrants; Europe tests AI border guards; Is US redefining ‘denuclearization’?; A lesson from Saruman; And a bit more.

November 2, 2018 President Trump wants U.S. troops to shoot migrants who throw stones at them near the Mexican border. That’s the latest from a president who wants perhaps more than anything this election season to be seen as tough on all things immigration-related. Said POTUS45 on Thursday: “If they want to throw...

15K troops to the border?; Koreas set up no-fly zone; Minehunting master plan; What the John Doe case means; And a bit more.

November 1, 2018 Trump: 15,000 troops could be heading south. One day after Pentagon officials pushed back on word 14,000 U.S. troops would be sent to America’s southern border, President Trump told reporters that number of deployed could go even higher — putting a topline estimate at 15,000 troops, the Associated Press reported...

US wants Yemen ceasefire; Spike in DoD’s intel spending; Social-media firms could fight domestic terror; Self-flying Black Hawks by next year? And a bit more.

October 31, 2018 Mattis wants Yemen ceasefire. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday called for a ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days. He wants an end to the Saudi-led, U.S.-supported bombing campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and ultimately a negotiated peace, Defense One’s Katie Bo Williams reports. Mattis spoke Tuesday at the United...

Military vs. migrants; CENTCOM speaks out on Saudi, Yemen; $200M for anti-laser goggles; China is getting brittler; And a bit more.

October 30, 2018 The U.S. military versus migrant caravans. In about four days, America will have more troops on its southern border than it does in Iraq and Syria fighting the terrorists of the Islamic State group. The quick read: “By the end of this week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to...

Terror in Pittsburgh; John Doe goes free; How alleged pipe-bomber was radicalized; Big cut for DoD? Not so fast; and just a bit more...

October 29, 2018 Homegrown terrorism strikes Pittsburgh. The man who assaulted a Jewish synagogue in a murderous rage Saturday morning is due in court today, the Associated Press reports from Pittsburgh. "The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States” is how the Anti-Defamation League described Saturday’s attack....

BREAKING: Trump orders topline cut; More soldiers to the border?; New pipebombs found; US needs a civilian cybersecurity corps; And a bit more.

October 26, 2018 Trump cuts DoD’s budget. With just weeks left in the 2020 budget planning process, Pentagon leaders have been told that their topline will be $700 billion — not the $733 billion they had been told to expect, and not even the $719 billion they are receiving in fiscal 2019. That’s...

Trump uses a tapped phone; Two more mailbombs found; 19 civilians die in Yemen airstrike; What will Mattis say in Manama?; And a bit more.

October 25, 2018 American spies have learned President Trump’s iPhone is tapped by China and Russia, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Beijing is reportedly using the info intercepted to influence U.S. trade policy. And the president, who has been told he's being monitored, has apparently refused to stick to a secure line....

Space Force timeline; Trump-Putin summit; America’s Syrian firebase; How to stop a cyber attack from escalating; And a bit more.

October 24, 2018 How quickly will Space Force come together? There’s no agreement yet among the Air Force, Navy, Army, and the Pentagon as to how and when various space-related missions and interests should be swept into the planned new service branch, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said after a Tuesday’s National Space...

Trump vows nuclear buildup; Exclusive look at Space Force plan; CIA chief in Istanbul; CyberCom DMs Russian agents; And a bit more.

October 23, 2018 Trump: U.S. will enlarge its nuclear arsenal. “Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” the president told reporters outside the White House on Monday, one day before his national security advisor John Bolton was due to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to discuss the planned...

DMZ de-escalation deal; INF pullout; Saudis’ new Khashoggi story; Wounded US general, ID’d; And a bit more.

October 22, 2018 Two Koreas agree to de-escalate along the DMZ, the South Korean defense ministry announced this morning. Involved (via Reuters): “...withdraw[-ing] 11 guard posts within a 1-km (0.6-mile) radius of the Military Demarcation Line on their border by the end of the year;” “They also plan to pull out all firearms...