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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 21-30 of 1154

Venezuela tries to break off US relations; Shutdown, Day 34; Saudi missile factory?; And a bit more.

January 24, 2019 Venezuela breaks off relations after U.S. recognizes opposition leader as rightful president. On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest President Nicolás Maduro, twice re-elected in elections of dubious legitimacy. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the “interim president,” and the Trump administration quickly issued...

Trump ups demands on S. Korea; ODNI sets new strategy; More shutdown problems; Drones disrupt Newark airport; And a bit more.

January 23, 2019 President Trump wants South Korea to pay the U.S. 50 percent more for American protection — more formally referred to as the “Special Measures Agreement” to pay the cost of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula. The problem: South Korean officials do not want anything to do with a 50...

Taliban kill dozens of Afghan troops; Shutdown, Day 31; 2nd Trump-Kim summit set; Zap: SEALs try new PTSD therapy; And a bit more.

January 22, 2019 Taliban fighters killed at least 65 Afghan security forces during a complex attack Monday morning on an Afghan spy training base west of Kabul, Reuters reports. One defense ministry official put the death toll well above 100. Location: a training center for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security forces at Maidan...

Cooking up the next US-DPRK summit; Trump’s Pentagon visit; POTUS yanks lawmakers’ plane; Army’s Iraq War lessons; And a bit more.

January 18, 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol in Washington at 11 a.m. EDT to continue their work toward a second Trump-Kim summit, the Associated Press reports. Also: Kim could drop by the White House and maybe even see President...

New push for space lasers; How shutdown hurts national security; Milley confirms Syrian handoff; US drills in South China Sea; And a bit more.

January 17, 2019 The Pentagon wants lots of new missile-defense technologies, including weapons in orbit. That’s what defense officials told reporters Wednesday ahead of today’s planned release of the first comprehensive missile-defense report in nine years. It calls for new efforts “on a scale not seen since President Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ initiative,”...

4 US troops believed dead in Syria; DIA’s China report; Shutdown, Day 25; DPRK negotiator in DC; And a bit more.

January 16, 2019 Developing: four Americans are believed to have been killed along with nearly a dozen nearby Syrians in an ISIS-claimed suicide attack today in Manbij, Syria, at about 1 p.m. local time. Initial reports of the attack surfaced on social media shortly before the sun rose in Washington. According to the...

Trump talked about leaving NATO; Shutdown, Day 25; Ukraine buys Turkish drones; Troops’ border duties extended; And a bit more.

January 15, 2019 President Trump discussed pulling the U.S. from the “most successful military alliance in history,” The New York Times' Helene Cooper and Julian Barnes reported Monday. The short read: NATO allies do not seem to have spent significantly more on their militaries in 2018, all but ignoring President Trump’s demands to...

Trump threatens NATO ally; POTUS investigated as Russia asset; Shutdown and the damage done; SpaceX layoffs; And a bit more.

January 14, 2019 President Trump promised to “devastate Turkey economically” if Ankara’s military attacks U.S.-backed Kurdish troops fighting ISIS inside Syria. (Turkey, a NATO ally, responded that the threat changes nothing.) The tough talk came in a tweet on Sunday amid a snowstorm that dumped about 10 inches on the White House lawn....

Syrian drawdown starts; Shutdown, Day 21; Drone attack in Yemen; Pompeo’s partisan Cairo speech; And a bit more.

January 11, 2019 The U.S. military has begun exiting Syria, Pentagon officials confirmed to multiple news agencies overnight. The Wall Street Journal got word of U.S. equipment movement out first, followed shortly afterward by CNN, AP, Fox News and other outlets. The quick read: “Scores of ground troops are headed toward Syria to...

Shutdown nears record; Ginning up a “crisis”; Another Syria-policy reversal; DOD’s phantom real estate; And a bit more.

January 10, 2019 The U.S. government shutdown has entered its 20th day, and tomorrow is critical for many furloughed workers. That’s because for the first time during this shutdown, hundreds of thousands of the furloughed won’t receive a full paycheck on Friday, CNN reports. “This is the second longest government shutdown since 1976,”...