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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 31-40 of 1192

China hacking US research universities; NATO general on F-35, Turkey; DHS Secretary to testify; ICE releases some infants; And a bit more.

March 6, 2019 The U.S. military now has about 6,000 troops at the border, including 2,100 members of the National Guard. Here’s NORTHCOM’s list of the 56 units deployed there. “Additional units are expected but will not be named until they have deployed,” command officials told Military Times’ Tara Copp. The number of...

Dramatic firefight in Syria; Russia’s AI supercomputer; China wants 6 carriers; Top US, Russian generals meet; And a bit more.

March 5, 2019 The “final battle” against ISIS in Syria features huge balls of fire in broad daylight as the group’s final clutch of fighters hide away in “a warren of tents and tunnels,” the Washington Post’s Louisa Loveluck reported Monday from Baghouz. ICYMI over the second half of last year, the Pentagon...

US scales back South Korea wargames; Army’s robot PR woes; Security clearance overhaul; ‘Hybrid war’ really isn’t; And a bit more.

March 4, 2019 The U.S. military is replacing large-scale joint exercises with South Korea with smaller drills, NBC News reported Friday — extending the news partly broken first late on Thursday by Stars and Stripes — in a move seen “as part of the Trump administration's effort to ease tensions with North Korea.”...

What happened in Hanoi?; An Afghan withdrawal schedule?; US largely MIA in India-Pakistan crisis; Space Command, delayed; And a bit more.

March 1, 2019 What happened in Hanoi? Hours after the second U.S.-North Korean summit broke up early, Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho gave what the Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Cheng called an “extraordinary midnight press conference” in which he directly contradicted President Trump’s account of how the talks collapsed. Ri said North...

No deal at Trump-Kim summit; India, Pakistan tensions ease; Russian drone swarm demo; US to retire carrier 20 years early; And a bit more.

February 28, 2019 Trump, Kim walk away from nuclear deal with North Korea. “Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” President Donald Trump told reporters in Hanoi after his second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. North Korea’s delegation “wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and...

India, Pakistan exchange fire; Trump, Kim share dinner, laughs; No military threat on border, says NORTHCOM; STRATCOM on New START; And a bit more.

February 27, 2019 India and Pakistan claim to have shot down each other's warplanes, and now the two nuclear-armed countries’ leaders are kinda-sorta looking for ways to save face before stumbling into greater conflict. What’s going on: Pakistan’s airspace is closed and an Indian pilot is in Pakistani custody after his MiG-21 was...

India bombs militants in Pakistan; ‘War fund’ set to balloon; Army’s 5-year spending plan; Beijing’s big-brother tech; And a bit more.

February 26, 2019 “Retaliation theater” near the Indo-Pakistan border. India and Pakistan-watchers are on edge after Indian airstrikes on militants across India’s border in Pakistan. This morning Reuters reports New Delhi citizens are celebrating the strikes — framed as retaliation for militants who bombed an Indian police convoy almost two weeks ago. That...

Lowering the summit bar; US will keep some troops in Syria; Satellites that can dodge incoming fire; Bipartisan natsec leaders slam ‘emergency’; And a bit more.

February 25, 2019 Trump tries to lower the bar for summit success. President Trump has spent months talking up the possibility that another meeting with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un might bring denuclearization closer to reality. But on Sunday, ahead of this week’s summit in Hanoi, he tried to set the bar...

WH reversal on Syria; Best/worst cases for Trump-Kim II; Iran plans submarine-missile tests; NATO should rethink 2%; And a bit more.

February 22, 2019 Not a full withdrawal from Syria. The U.S. will keep 200 or so troops in Syria instead of a full exit for now, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders announced Thursday evening. It's music to Kurds’ ears (Reuters) and a key reversal from repeated claims from senior officials working to implement...

A lieutenant’s murder plot; AFRICOM’s new hub; Russia’s Arctic UAVs; Europe rejects US’ Syria request; And a bit more.

February 21, 2019 Coast Guard lieutenant planned mass murder, federal prosecutors say. In a court filing, they called Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson, arrested Friday on gun and drug charges, a “domestic terrorist” and self-described white nationalist who intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” His letters and...