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Maggie Ybarra

Maggie Ybarra

Maggie Ybarra is military affairs and Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Times. She can be reached at

Articles by Maggie Ybarra

The Libyan parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last week over anger at the failure to stop rebels from independently exporting oil. (Associated Press)

Pentagon: Libya to get seized tanker within days

The U.S. Navy will hand over the hijacked oil tanker with 21 multinational sailors on board to the Libyan government in the next few days, a Pentagon spokesman said, adding the transfer is slated to take place in international waters. Published March 19, 2014

Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Commander, International Security Assistance Force, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the situation in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has threatened to withdraw all American forces from Afghanistan if a new security agreement is not signed by the end of the year, but there is no legal reason the U.S. has to resort to the "zero option," as administration officials have repeatedly claimed.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S. general sees trouble for Afghan forces after pullout

The four-star general in charge of helping the Afghan military deal with tribal conflicts and Taliban attacks has painted a grim picture of how that military will look in 2015 in the wake of the departure of foreign troops. Published March 13, 2014

President Obama expresses appreciation to Marines for their service last summer. His administration's proposed budget, however, seems to send a different message. (Associated Press)

Military families would take a $5,000 hit in benefits with Obama budget

If President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel get their way, a typical U.S. Army sergeant stands to lose up to $5,000 in annual benefits, according to a leading veterans group that is mobilizing for battle over the proposed cuts to the retirement, health care and other compensation offered to those who serve. Published March 12, 2014

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Air Force, Homeland Security step up to fight malware

The Air Force and Homeland Security Department have teamed up to create a new test kit that imitates cyber malware, the better to train government analysts to fend off attacks from hostile sleeper viruses. Published March 6, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, briefs reporters at the Pentagon, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, where he recommended shrinking the Army to its smallest size since the buildup to U.S. involvement in World War II in an effort to balance postwar defense needs with budget realities. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Hagel, Dempsey defend proposed cuts in military strength

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the Pentagon’s proposal to trim military strength on Wednesday, while also asking lawmakers for additional funding for training and weapons upgrades. Published March 5, 2014

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, told the Washington Times that he and other governors want reassurance that active-duty Army and Army reserve components have been "balanced appropriately." (Associated Press)

Governors, National Guard community push back against defense cuts

State governors and key players in the Army National Guard community are pushing back against the Obama administration's proposed defense cuts, saying they will hurt the number of guard members available to respond to emergencies inside the U.S. Published March 3, 2014

** FILE ** Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Sen. Inhofe: Obama's military too weak to help Ukraine

A powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee says that President Obama's mismanagement of the military's defense budget is the reason why the U.S. has limited options for assisting Ukraine while it is under siege. Published March 3, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addresses the media after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. NATO defense ministers, in a second day of meetings, discussed the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Governors unite against National Guard cuts

In a rare case of unanimity, the nation's governors said Friday they are prepared to fight a Pentagon plan that would greatly reduce the number of Army National Guard soldiers available to respond to national emergencies. Published February 28, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the annual State Department Human Rights report, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at the State Department in Washington. The U.S. says a chemical weapons attack in Syria that the Obama administration says killed more than 1,000 people was the world's worst human rights violation of 2013. An annual State Department report released Thursday also highlights government crackdowns on peaceful protests in Ukraine and Russia's refusal to punish human-rights abusers.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Pentagon: Syrian request for chemical weapons extension 'unacceptable'

The Pentagon on Thursday dismissed the Syrian government's recent request for a 100-day extension to meet a U.N.-backed deadline for destroying the nation's chemical weapons stocks, asserting that any further delays by Damascus would be "unacceptable." Published February 27, 2014

**FILE** Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asks a question of the panel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Angry McCain puts hold on Obama Defense Dept. nominees

McCain's frustration with Bob Work and Christine Wormuth mounted during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday morning when they failed to provide adequate responses to questions he was asking. Published February 25, 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at the inauguration ceremony of the Afghan National Agriculture Science and Technology University accompanied by Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, in Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. A total 4.5 million U.S. dollars has been spent by the government of India in building the university. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Obama plans complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by year's end

Tuesday brought a fresh reminder that the more-than-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan will not conclude on U.S. terms, with the Obama administration revealing it’s planning for a complete withdrawal from the troubled country at the end of the year. Published February 25, 2014

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, right, speak at a press conference at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Monday, February 24, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Hagel plans Pentagon cuts that would take Army to pre-WWII levels

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday that the Army must shrink to pre-World War II troop levels to preserve funding for elite counterterrorism operations and maintain the cybersecurity programs needed to counter threats by emerging rivals such as China. Published February 24, 2014