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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 41-50 of 1095

NATO in DC; To Syria, or not to Syria; Predicting nuclear war with North Korea; Taliban overrun another Afghan base; Hurricane Florence; And a bit more.

September 14, 2018 This morning: NATO SecGen Jens Stoltenberg visits Washington. He’ll be taking the stage at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank this morning just before lunch. The livestream of his remarks and following panel discussion begins at 11 a.m. EDT, here. Yesterday, Stoltenberg dropped by the Pentagon “to discuss the implementation...

US troops in contact in Somalia; Turkey reinforces Idlib; DARPA is hunting botnets; Kids in cages update; Afghanistan’s Chaplin; And a bit more.

September 13, 2018 In Somalia, with American troops on the ground, U.S. military aircraft hit suspected al-Shabab positions on Tuesday, killing two fighters and wounding another, U.S. Africa Command announced Wednesday morning. Location: the central Somali village of Mubaraak, approximately 37 miles west of Mogadishu. The strike came during a clearance operation in...

Japan downs ballistic missile in test; Al Qaeda ‘very much alive’; The regrets of spy chiefs; And a bit more.

September 12, 2018 How are America’s allies in Yemen doing? Just fine, thanks for asking. As the U.S. Congress requested, SecState Mike Pompeo “certified” the Saudis and Emiratis are “working to avoid harming civilians in Yemen, a determination required by this year’s defense spending bill,” Reuters reports this morning from the State Department....

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...