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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

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

The seal of the Department of Homeland Security

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

FILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Afghanistan's Taliban said in an emailed to the Associated Press Sunday Feb. 23, 2014 it has suspended "mediation" with the United States to exchange captive U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban prisoners held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, halting _ at least temporarily _ what was considered the best chance yet of securing the 27-year-old's freedom since his capture in 2009.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)

Taliban says it suspends talks on held U.S. soldier

Afghanistan's Taliban said Sunday they had suspended "mediation" with the United States to exchange captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, halting - at least temporarily - what was considered the best chance yet of securing the 27-year-old soldier's freedom since his capture in 2009. Published February 23, 2014

** FILE ** Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a speech on climate change on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Jakarta. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, Pool)

Lawmakers want Kerry to take a stand on Georgia's NATO membership

While political unrest in Ukraine dominates headlines, lawmakers in Washington are quietly pressuring the Obama administration to take a more aggressive stand toward allowing NATO membership for Georgia — another former Soviet republic and source of contention between the U.S. and Russia. Published February 20, 2014