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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 11-20 of 1062

9/11, remembered; al Qaeda, still dangerous; Syrian ‘Roundup’; The military’s new tooth mics; And a bit more.

September 11, 2018 A hallowed morning at the Pentagon: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva are speaking publicly on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon Memorial — and in the presence of distinguished guest Vice President Mike Pence. Some...

US show-of-force in Syria; No nukes in NorK parade; Face recognition deployed at Dulles; The weaponization of everything; And a bit more.

September 10, 2018 The U.S. military in Syria held an air-and-ground force exercise on Friday, and immediately told the world about it. Here’s the announcement from U.S. Central Command. The point of it all: To “demonstrate the capability to deploy rapidly, assault a target with integrated air and ground forces, and conduct a...

Civilians flee Idlib as battle nears; DARPA’s telepathy drones; Trump to run UN’s Iran meeting; Yemen peace talks; And a bit more.

September 7, 2018 “The bloodiest conflict yet in [Syria’s] long and painful civil war” could be just around the corner, ABC News reports from neighboring Turkey. Turkey happens to be right up against Syria’s Idlib province, where some 1 million rebels have been quarantined by Assad regime troops over the last several months....

Bombs kill 20 in Kabul; Kim suggests more nuke talks; Wildfire chases Marines away; Wetsuit hacking for Arctic war; And a bit more.

September 6, 2018 Two ISIS-claimed bombs detonated in Kabul on Wednesday — the first (a suicide bomber) to kill civilians; the second (a car bomb) to kill first responders and journalists. At least 20 people were killed in the attacks (including two Afghan journalists reporting on the initial blast), and another 70 were...

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

September 5, 2018 In his new book, investigative journalist Bob Woodward recounts a meeting in which President Trump wondered why the United States was working to maintain security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. “We’re doing this in order to prevent World War III,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responded. Woodward writes that after...

Dunford in Pakistan; Soldier killed in 13th deployment; DOD: Russia is lying about Syria; Mattis denies Woodward report; and just a bit more...

September 5, 2018 Searching for substance in Pakistan. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dunford and SecState Pompeo are in Islamabad today, Military Times reports, traveling with the general. But will they finally be the ones to persuade Pakistan to do more, as American officials have wanted for years, to help improve security on Afghanistan’s...

Good & bad news in Afghanistan; Airstrikes in Idlib; ISIS, still in Iraq; Best war films; And a bit more.

September 4, 2018 Good news, bad news for Afghanistan. First the good news: The founder of the Afghan militant Haqqani network — Jalaluddin Haqqani — has “passed away after a long battle with illness,” according to the Afghan Taliban. Details so far (like date or place) are scant; and it’s worth noting, as...

Lockheed quietly pitching a new fighter jet; From Raqqa to your radio; Boat load of weapons off Yemen; Careful spooks on LinkedIn; ‘Top Gun’ delay; And a bit more.

August 31, 2018 Is this America’s next fighter jet? With the F-35 still in tryouts and the super-elite F-22 Raptors frozen, defense giant Lockheed has been working on something new — a combination of both, Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber reported Thursday, in an exclusive. The gist: “Lockheed Martin is quietly pitching the U.S....

Trump hits China on N. Korea; US spent $1.5 trillion on wars; Russian live-fire drill in Med; Joy in Raqqa as women rebuild; and just a bit more...

August 30, 2018 President Trump has apparently cancelled U.S. military “war games” on the Korean peninsula. The message came in a broad window into the president’s thinking about the North Korean denuclearization problem facing the White House. In a self-referential tweet early Wednesday evening, Trump wrote “President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that...

Mattis: No near-term Syrian drawdown; China flaunts carrier; Iran boosts psyops; More Venezuelans flee; And a bit more...

August 29, 2018 When is the U.S. leaving Syria? Not for a while. Speaking at his first formal Pentagon press conference in months, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that a U.S. drawdown must wait for more diplomatic progress toward a United Nations-negotiated peace in Geneva that deposes Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. (Recall that...