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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 1062

Assault on Ghazni, day 5; Russian spyware in your router; Open Skies, closed; Car attack in London; and just a bit more...

August 14, 2018 The Taliban attacked another base in Afghanistan, killing 17 more of Kabul’s troops, the Associated Press reports this morning from the capital. Another 19 troops were reportedly wounded in the Taliban assault — which extended for three days, but really gained steam Monday night after the Afghan troops ran out...

4-day battle for key Afghan city; Army’s newest AI; Info-sharing, California style; Suicide scramble; and just a bit more...

August 13, 2018 At least 100 Afghan troops have been killed in an ongoing four-day battle with the Taliban in Ghazni City. Reporting from the capital 75 miles away, the Associated Press writes that the Taliban’s “multi-pronged assault overwhelmed [Ghazni’s] defenses and allowed insurgents to capture several parts of it” since Friday. Bigger...

Space Force is coming; The future of ISIS in Africa; Taliban assault an entire city; Mattis to South America; Economic, trade war with US friends, allies; And a bit more.

August 10, 2018 Space Force by 2020! Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday unveiled a plan to ask Congress for the authority and funds to set up the U.S. Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed forces, calling the proposal “an idea whose time has come,” Defense One’s Katie Bo Williams...

VP Pence to the Pentagon; ‘Shadow rulers of the VA’; Marines surprised down under; Getting Iran to talk to Trump; And a bit more.

August 9, 2018 “Space Corps” inbound? Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver a “major policy announcement” inside the Pentagon shortly after you receive today’s edition, around 1115 ET. We reviewed the latest known-knowns in Wednesday’s D Brief. But if you missed it, here are the highlights: President Trump wants a Space...

Mattis backs Space Command; Airmen of the future; Bolton admits the obvious; Spain lost a missile; And a bit more.

August 8, 2018 Mattis backs Space Command (but not necessarily a #SpaceForce), the defense secretary told reporters outside the Pentagon Tuesday. Said Mattis: “We need to address space as a developing warfighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can we can establish. This is a process we’re in,”...

DoD bans some GPS use; 200 troops to fight California wildfires; Iran sanctions, reimposed; Open Qs on Space Force; and just a bit more...

August 7, 2018 Drop that FitBit, soldier! The U.S. military has ordered its personnel to immediately stop using geolocation services — on both personal and government-issued devices — in all “operational areas.” That covers smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers, smartwatches and all other applications with geolocation features, Nextgov reports. ‘Operational areas’? “The Pentagon defines...

Drone attack on a head of state; Trump: my campaign sought Russian info; Space superpower, declining; Estonia’s warbots; and just a bit more...

August 6, 2018 First drone attack on a head of state. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was giving a speech on the country’s economy Saturday in Caracas when an explosion erupted in the sky, The New York Times reports. “One general ducked. Cilia Flores, the first lady, stumbled and reached to clutch the arm...

Pompeo questions Kim’s ‘commitment to denuclearize’; USAF wants supply bases in space; Senate GOP axes election-security funds; How Russia fueled a conspiracy theory; and just a bit more...

August 3, 2018 SecState Pompeo is unhappy with North Korea, calling into question Chairman Kim's "commitment to denuclearize" at the June Trump-Kim summit in Singapore in light of U.S. intelligence reports that North Korea is still manufacturing missiles, according to Reuters this morning. Venue: Association of Southeast Asian Nations, meeting today in Singapore....

Taliban ‘destroy’ ISIS in N Afghanistan; Final fight against ISIS in Syria?; Iran's naval drills; 2 ways to read intel on North Korea; Terror attacks have become less frequent, deadly; And a bit more.

August 2, 2018 The Taliban has “destroyed” ISIS in northern Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Wednesday citing “officials on all sides.” The scene would appear to be very memorable, if the Times’ reporting is true —that “Hundreds of ISIS fighters surrendered to the government” on Wednesday, “with many others killed or taken...

3D-printed guns, on hold; Hostile Facebook op, stopped; Space Force report, delayed; NK repatriation, incomplete; and just a bit more…

August 1, 2018 The Space Force report isn’t going to Congress today. One day after Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber reported details from a 14-page draft report to Congress in which Defense Department leaders laid out a surprisingly quick plan to reorganize the military’s space activities, a Pentagon spokesman says the report’s anticipated Aug....