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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 1019

What's next in the war on ISIS; AI sent to hunt nukes; Army vet charged as Chinese spy; USAF scraps $24M fridge plan; and just a bit more...

June 5, 2018 The next step in the war against ISIS. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are advancing on the Islamic State group’s “stronghold in northeast Syria,” in the town of Dashisha, the U.S. State Department announced this morning in a statement. That followed this separate announcement Monday that the U.S. and Turkey...

End to Korean War?; India tests ICBM; Navy works on drone motherships; Google won’t renew AI work for Pentagon; and just a bit more...

June 4, 2018 An end to the Korean War could be on the horizon, South Korea’s JoongAng Daily reported this weekend after President Trump met with North Korea's Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol in the White House. Where that comes from: An unnamed “diplomatic source” told JAD “Preparations are already underway for President Moon...

Trump hits allies’ exports; Seoul wants to crash the summit; Industry requests an export czar; Assad threatens US forces; and just a bit more...

June 1, 2018 Trump imposes tariffs on allies, deepening Western rift. In March, the president cited “national security” as the reason for imposing surcharges on steel and aluminum imported from EU nations, Canada, and Mexico. A temporary waiver allowed negotiations, which failed, and on Thursday, the tariffs went into effect. Immediate impact: “America’s...

China accelerates nuke work; Summit scramble; PACOM renamed; How spies tap your cellphone; and just a bit more…

May 31, 2018 China is simulating an average of five nuclear tests a month in order to develop an “arsenal of usable next-generation weapons,” Politico reported this week off a report from a Chinese weapons research institute which eyes the work from “tunnels deep under mountains in Mianyang, southwestern Sichuan province,” where “loud...

‘Worldwide scramble’ for summit; CIA says DPRK won’t denuke; USAF waiting a year-plus for parts; Iran suggests Yemen ceasefire; and just a bit more...

May 30, 2018 “Worldwide scramble.” U.S. diplomats are fanned out across three locations working to iron out the details of the on-again, off-again, now maybe on-again summit on June 12 between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, The New York Times reported Tuesday from Tokyo. The three sites: New York...

Summit, back on?; Israel, Gaza fighters exchange heavy fire; US, Chinese warships go eye-to-eye; FBI to you: reset your router; and just a bit more...

May 29, 2018 Let’s call the whole thing…back on? North Korean officials are headed to New York City for a visit Wednesday with U.S. officials, Reuters reports, as all parties seem intent on making the June 12 summit between the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. actually happen. In transit: “Kim Yong...

Think again, North Korea tells US; Dollars flowed to Afghan warlords; New law would reframe command at sea; Let’s talk about food; and just a bit more...

May 25, 2018 "The land of morning surprise." That's what America's military chief in Korea, Gen. Vincent Brooks, called the peninsula in the wake of President Trump cancelling the big U.S.-North Korean summit in mid-June. "We all had high expectations that there will be a successful summit on the 12th of June," Brooks...

Trump cancels summit; Pentagon accelerates arms exports; Syrian women join the fight; China disinvited from RIMPAC; and just a bit more...

May 24, 2018 Trump cancels summit with North Korea — and tosses in a threat of nuclear war. The official White House statement communicating as much (entitled “Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un”), can be read in full (PDF), here. How that threat was lobbed: "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours...

Summit plans hit a snag; How China steals US military tech; Secret Iranian missile lab, revealed; Russia is back in Africa; and just a bit more...

May 23, 2018 Record scratch: “There’s a very substantial chance that [the June 12 summit with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-u] won’t work out,” Trump told reporters Tuesday (video, via Politico, here) while seated beside South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “That doesn’t mean it won’t work out over a period...

Pence threatens North Korea; Pompeo lists Iran demands; F-35’s combat debut; Houthi rebellion ‘softening’; and just a bit more...

May 22, 2018 Big-stick diplomacy. North Korea “will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal" with the Trump administration, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Monday in an interview with Fox News. Asked if that’s a threat to the Kim regime, Pence replied, “I think...