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Kevin Baron

Executive Editor Kevin Baron is the founding executive editor of Defense One. Baron has lived in Washington for 20 years, covering international affairs, the military, the Pentagon, Congress, and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, Stars and Stripes, and the Boston Globe, where he ran investigative projects for five years at the Washington bureau. He is a frequent on-air contributor and previously was national security/military analyst at NBC News & MSNBC. Baron cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity and he is twice a Polk Award winner and former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. He earned his M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University, his B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond, and studied in Paris. Raised in Florida, Baron now lives in Northern Virginia.
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Meet the Believers: The Afghanistan War’s US Commanders are Ready For a Reboot

February 5, 2018 KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – There’s a new faith among the latest U.S. generals who have come to win the war in Afghanistan, but plenty of old realities. U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Joseph Votel, who is overseeing the Trump administration’s Afghanistan War reboot, came here to see its beginning and its promise...

U.S.-Backed Syrian Force Holding ‘Hundreds’ of ISIS Foreign Fighters

February 2, 2018 AMMAN, Jordan – The top U.S. commander of forces in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, predicted on Monday that “hundreds” of ISIS foreign fighters captured by U.S.-backed Syrian forces would be sent back to their home countries for prosecution. But on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said in his State...

US-Backed Syrian Force Holding ‘Hundreds’ of ISIS Foreign Fighters

February 1, 2018 AMMAN, Jordan – The top U.S. commander of forces in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, predicted on Monday that “hundreds” of ISIS foreign fighters captured by U.S.-backed Syrian forces would be sent back to their home countries for prosecution. But on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said in his State...

US General to Turkey: We’re Not Pulling Back

January 29, 2018 AMMAN, Jordan — Gen. Joseph Votel said the United States has no intention of withdrawing coalition forces from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, as Turkish leaders had demanded this weekend. As Turkish forces continued the assault on Afrin, the lead of U.S. Central Command on Monday urged Turkey and...

Turkey’s Attack on Kurds Tops U.S. Concerns in Syria, Even as ISIS Keeps Fighting

January 26, 2018 CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait ­– Turkey’s assault on Kurdish fighters around the northwest Syrian town of Afrin is now the top concern for U.S. military leaders in the region, who have sounded increasingly alarmed over the past three days. “Yeah, it certainly is. Definitely,” Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters Wednesday aboard...

Turkey’s Attack on Kurds Tops US Concerns in Syria, Even as ISIS Keeps Fighting

January 24, 2018 CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait ­– Turkey’s assault on Kurdish fighters around the northwest Syrian town of Afrin is now the top concern for U.S. military leaders in the region, who have sounded increasingly alarmed over the past three days. “Yeah, it certainly is. Definitely,” Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters Wednesday aboard...

SPECIAL REPORT: In Shattered Raqqa, Top US General Calls for the World’s Help

January 22, 2018 FIRE BASE RAQQA, Syria – The calm. When Gen. Joseph Votel emerged from the dank tunnels where ISIS tortured its victims before executing them in the soccer stadium above, he walked somberly back to his convoy of grimy pickup trucks. The leader of U.S. Central Command was struck, he said,...

Mattis: Pentagon Shifting Focus to Great Power Competition — ‘Not Terrorism’

January 19, 2018 The Trump administration’s long-awaited National Defense Strategy declares a decisive shift in America’s security priorities, away from the age of ISIS-level terrorism and toward a return to great-power competition with regional giants China and Russia. This shift, Pentagon planners say, will require a “more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating” military...

Where We're Headed in 2018

January 1, 2018 In lieu of reviewing the top stories of the year gone by, Defense One presents a look ahead. Here’s what to expect in 2018. Commander in Chief Trump At 7:21 a.m. on New Year’s Day, you were probably still knocked out from the champagne after kissing 2017 goodbye. President Donald...

Turkey Tells US To Withdraw Weapons, Support for Syrian Rebels

November 8, 2017 Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the United States should withdraw its weapons and support for the Kurdish and Arab forces that just routed ISIS in Syria, calling them a post-war threat to the region and Israel. Yildirim, who is visiting Washington this week, said that the U.S. justification for...