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Kevin Baron

Executive Editor, Defense One

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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‘We're Not Taking Sides,’ Trump Tells Clashing Kurds, Iraqis

October 16, 2017 President Donald Trump said the U.S. was not “taking sides” in the clash between Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers and Iraqi Security Forces who, after fighting ISIS side-by-side for two years, turned against each other this weekend in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The Iraqi government’s armed movement into oil-rich, Kurdish-controlled...

Mattis to Generals: Start Talking to the Press

October 9, 2017 It’s time to talk. In the age of Trump, senior U.S. military leaders have generally kept a lower public profile than usual, seeking to avoid the hyperactive state of politics and the press. That’s about to change. On Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis instructed top commanders to speak to the...

from govexec

McMaster: I’m Here to Serve, Not ‘Control the President’

September 27, 2017 Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster became the latest general on President Donald Trump’s national security team to explain publicly that his job, as he sees it, is to help execute the commander-in-chief’s policies, not “keep him on the reservation,” as some critics hope. McMaster, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and...

McMaster: I’m Here to Serve, Not ‘Control the President’

September 26, 2017 Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster became the latest general on President Donald Trump’s national security team to explain publicly that his job, as he sees it, is to help execute the commander-in-chief’s policies, not “keep him on the reservation,” as some critics hope. McMaster, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and...

Pyongyang threatens US aircraft; McMaster speaks up; Region braces as Kurds approve independence; Troops help in Puerto Rico; and just a bit more...

September 26, 2017 North Korea’s anti-aircraft threat. Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho “threatened on Monday to shoot down American warplanes even if they were not in the country’s airspace,” the New York Times reports, the latest development in the months-long war of words between 71-year-old President Donald Trump and 33-year-old North Korean dictator...

In Fiery UN Speech, Trump Delivers The Far-Right Goods

September 19, 2017 President Donald Trump just delivered the United Nations speech that ultra-conservatives have been hoping to hear for years. John Bolton’s spirit was bigger than Nikki Haley’s presence as Trump held forth in the General Assembly on Tuesday. Haley, the U.S. ambassador who has been welcomed by fellow UN diplomats as...

Trump Directly Counters Mattis, Military, In Tweet on North Korea

August 30, 2017 With one tweet, President Donald Trump seemed to undercut Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior military leaders from the Pentagon to the Pacific who for months have said diplomacy, not military strikes, were the preferred way to stop North Korea’s nuclear missile advances. After a United Nations Security Council...

from govexec

Will Anyone Care About Trump's Barely-Different Afghanistan War Plan?

August 22, 2017 In one tweet, back in 2013, Donald Trump summed up his view of the Afghanistan War, and pretty much any U.S. military intervention overseas. Get out, he said. “We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick....

Will Anyone Care About Trump's Barely-Different Afghanistan War Plan?

August 21, 2017 In one tweet, back in 2013, Donald Trump summed up his view of the Afghanistan War, and pretty much any U.S. military intervention overseas. Get out, he said. “We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick....

from govexec

Trump’s Transgender Troop Ban Sparks An Instant Opposition of Unusual Allies

July 27, 2017 As fast as President Donald Trump upended the U.S. military on Wednesday morning by tweeting his intent to ban transgender Americans from the armed forces, he faced intense blowback from members of Congress, advocacy groups, and national security leaders calling the move discriminatory, unnecessary, and alarmingly out of touch with...