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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

A group of selected Marines representing Camp Pendleton listen as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel answers their questions during his short visit to the base Tuesday Aug. 12, 2014. Hagel announced the deployment of another 130 U.S. troops to Iraq in remarks to Marines at this Southern California base on the final stop of a weeklong, around-the-world trip that also took him to India, Germany and Australia. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Paul Rodriguez)

Obama deploys 1,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq

President Obama is sending up to 1,500 more U.S. military personnel to Iraq to serve as non-combat advisers in the fight against Islamic State terrorists, the White House said Friday. Published November 7, 2014

Organizers of Portland's Hempstalk Festival have been told they can't hold the 2015 event on city property. (Associated Press)

Marijuana presents dilemma for military as more states legalize

Two years after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use, the military community is struggling to reconcile the state laws with its outright ban while falling short of its own standards for drug testing in some areas where pot is now freely available. Published November 6, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the sixth annual "Washington Ideas Forum" in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Hagel has approved a recommendation by military leaders that all U.S. troops returning from Ebola response missions in West Africa be kept in supervised isolation for 21 days. The move goes beyond precautions recommended by the Obama administration for civilians, although President Barack Obama has made clear he feels the military's situation is different from that of civilians, in part because troops are not in West Africa by choice.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Hagel OKs three-week quarantine for troops in Ebola fight

Going beyond the White House's recommendation for civilians, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Wednesday approved a mandatory 21-day quarantine for all military members who return to U.S. military bases after participating in an anti-Ebola operation in West Africa. Published October 29, 2014

An F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft takes off for a night mission at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 30, 2012. The aircraft is assigned to the Weapons School Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis)

U.S., allies scramble jets almost daily to repel Russian incursions

Russian military provocations have increased so much over the seven months since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine that Washington and its allies are scrambling defense assets on a nearly daily basis in response to air, sea and land incursions by Vladimir Putin's forces. Published October 23, 2014

In this image made available by 331/332 Squadron of the Norwegian Air Force a Russian TU-95 Bear H flies over International waters off the coast of Norway on Friday Aug. 17, 2007. Eleven Russian military planes exercised West of Norway on Friday in the biggest show of Russian air power in the Norwegian Sea since the early 1990s, a military official said. The planes included strategic bombers, airborne early warning aircraft, fighter jets and refueling planes, said Brig. Gen. Ole Asak, chief of the Norwegian Joint Air Operations Center. (AP Photo by 331/332-Squadron of the Norwegian Air Force/Scanpix, HO) ** NORWAY OUT **

Russian spy plane encroaches on NATO-patrolled airspace

A Russian spy plane briefly entered NATO airspace Tuesday, the first reported incident of a Russian military aircraft encroaching on territory patrolled by the alliance since the Ukraine crisis began. Published October 22, 2014

John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hearing on Examining U.S. Reconstruction Efforts in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Afghanistan anti-corruption task force shuttered amid U.S. troop drawdown

The Pentagon this month will terminate a critical task force responsible for combating corruption in Afghanistan as it tries to reach President Obama's target force of 9,800 U.S. troops in the country — adding to concerns about oversight and accountability in a government rife with waste, fraud and abuse. Published October 20, 2014

Turkish officials on Monday denied the existence of a deal to allow U.S.-led forces battling the Islamic State to conduct operations from bases inside Turkey, such as Incirlik. This made for an awkward situation for National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice, who announced such a cooperation ahead of an international strategy session. (associated press)

Turkey denies U.S. base deal in place for battle against Islamic State

Turkish officials on Monday denied the existence of a deal to allow U.S.-led forces battling the Islamic State to conduct operations from bases inside Turkey — an awkward blow for the Obama administration after National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice announced the cooperation ahead of an international strategy session in the fight against the extremists. Published October 13, 2014

An MV-22 Osprey attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 approaches for a landing aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship Anchorage. (U.S. Navy)

Marine crew member declared lost at sea

A U.S. Marine who jumped into the North Arabian Gulf after his aircraft appeared poised to crash into the ocean "is presumed lost at sea," a Navy spokesman said Thursday. Published October 2, 2014