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Caroline Houck

Staff Correspondent Caroline Houck is a staff correspondent at Defense One. She previously was an Atlantic Media fellow.
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What a Small ISIS Cell in Trinidad is Teaching SOUTHCOM

June 7, 2018 Earlier this year, working with its partners on the ground, the U.S. military helped disrupt an alleged ISIS-inspired attack that would have targeted a festival — in Trinidad and Tobago. The raid grabbed headlines immediately afterward. But it — and U.S. Southern Command’s ongoing efforts to help the Trinidad security...

The U.S. Military Has a New Tool to Connect Its Far-Flung African Bases

May 31, 2018 In another sign of the American military’s expanding operations in Africa, U.S. Africa Command is spending nearly $25 million to bring secure, nearly fiber-speed communications to its remote outposts across the continent. Last month, the command bought access to SES Government Solutions’ O3b constellation — a network of medium-earth-orbit satellites...

Pentagon Rebrands PACOM as ‘Indo-Pacific Command’

May 30, 2018 U.S. Pacific Command, the military’s largest geographical area command, has a new name: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday. The change follows a year of Pentagon signals about stretching beyond East Asia and into the subcontinent, in part to better compete with China and Iran. “In recognition...

The US Military Has a New Tool to Connect Its Far-Flung African Bases

May 30, 2018 In another sign of the American military’s expanding operations in Africa, U.S. Africa Command is spending nearly $25 million to bring secure, nearly fiber-speed communications to its remote outposts across the continent. Last month, the command bought access to SES Government Solutions’ O3b constellation — a network of medium-earth-orbit satellites...

What the Long, Corruption-Enabling, Mostly Failed Afghanistan-Stabilization Effort Tells Us

May 29, 2018 A damning report on the United States’ attempts to stabilize Afghanistan has two lessons that resonate in the nearly-post-ISIS landscape of Syria and Iraq: Arrogant reconstruction timelines will doom the effort from the start, and meeting the local populations’ expectations about governance and services is key. More than 17 years...

What the Long, Corruption-Enabling, Mostly Failed Afghanistan-Stabilization Effort Tells Us

May 25, 2018 A damning report on the United States’ attempts to stabilize Afghanistan has two lessons that resonate in the nearly-post-ISIS landscape of Syria and Iraq: Arrogant reconstruction timelines will doom the effort from the start, and meeting the local populations’ expectations about governance and services is key. More than 17 years...

Show of Unity: US’ NATO Ambassador Says ‘We Are One’

May 24, 2018 After a month of European leaders publicly questioning the U.S.’s commitment to its partners on the continent, America’s ambassador to NATO told a Washington, D.C., audience that “we are one, together for our security.” In a show of unity, Kay Bailey Hutchison appeared at the Atlantic Council with her two...

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...

Trump Touts Increased NATO Spending, But That Sort of Misses the Point, Experts Say

May 18, 2018 As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the White House Thursday, President Trump returned to a favorite talking point: how much the alliance’s other members are spending on defense. By working with NATO, “we’ve increased and, really, raised a lot of money from countries that weren’t paying or weren’t paying...

Congress Wrestles with Foreign Infiltration of US Universities

May 15, 2018 Identifying a problem is just step one — solving it is a whole other beast. So Congress is trying a few things to counter potential adversaries’ attempts to undermine and co-opt America’s research and innovation. The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the annual defense policy bill, reported to the...