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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

** FILE ** In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)

Army has not advised Bergdahl of his legal rights

The Army has yet to explain to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl his legal rights even though the soldier has been talking to medical staff who are helping him reintegrate into society and anything he says during their conversations can be used against him in a military court. Published June 25, 2014

U.S. airmen prepare an MQ-9 Reaper for flight during exercise Combat Hammer, May 15, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force)

Air Force generals will face off over difficult budget, job cuts

A group of top Air Force generals will gather behind closed doors at Andrews Air Force Base on Thursday to hash through ways to cut 3,400 positions from the service as part of a proposal to shave $1.6 billion from the Pentagon's budget over the coming five years, defense officials said this week. Published June 24, 2014

Members of an Iraqi volunteer force put on their newly issued boots in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq Tuesday. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has put on hold plans for a counteroffensive to retake Iraqi cities captured by Sunni insurgents in the north and west of the country, instead deploying elite forces in Baghdad to bolster its defenses. (Associated Press photographs)

Kurdish leader cites 'new reality' in Iraq, meets with Kerry

Secretary of State John F. Kerry extended his sweep through Iraq Tuesday, stopping in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, where a top Kurdish leader warned that a recent advance of Sunni extremists has created "a new reality and a new Iraq." Published June 24, 2014

Federal prosecutors won a new 18-count indictment against accused Benghazi attacker Ahmed Abu Khatallah on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2014. (Associated Press)

Benghazi suspect will face civilian court

The Obama administration is looking at expediting the movement of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspected ringleader of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, onto U.S. soil from the Navy ship where he is currently being held in the Mediterranean Sea, Defense Department officials said Thursday. Published June 19, 2014

Volunteers in the newly formed "Peace Brigades" participate in a parade near the Imam Ali shrine in the southern holy Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, after called for by the radical Shiite cleric Muqtatda al-Sadr to form brigades to protect Shiite holy shrines against possible attacks by Sunni militants. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo)

Obama will send 300 'advisers' to Iraq, open to ‘targeted’ action

President Obama said Thursday that he is sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to aid in the urgent fight against advancing Sunni militants, ramping up U.S. involvement in the country less than three years after he withdrew all American troops. Published June 19, 2014

Two Iraqi divisions dissolved, Gen. Dempsey tells Senate panel

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told lawmakers Wednesday that two entire Iraqi military divisions — roughly 60,000 troops — once trained by U.S. soldiers, simply dissolved in northern Iraq last week and in some cases even joined forces with advancing Sunni extremists militants in the nation. Published June 18, 2014


Fellow soldiers testify Bowe Bergdahl endangered lives

The Obama administration mishandled the process of retrieving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after allegedly deserting his comrades at an outpost in Afghanistan, according to a former member of the captured soldier's unit and the father of a soldier who died during initial searches for the sergeant in 2009. Published June 18, 2014

*FILE** A Predator B unmanned aircraft taxis at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Nov. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

U.S. upping drone missions in Iraq to combat insurgency

The Pentagon is increasing the number of missions U.S. drones are flying over Iraq to at least once a day in response to this week's surge in the nation by al Qaeda-inspired Sunni extremists, a senior Defense Department official said Friday. Published June 13, 2014

This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

Bowe Bergdahl returns to U.S. Friday

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was imprisoned by the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan five years and has been at a hospital in Germany for the past two weeks, will return to the United States on Friday, a senior Pentagon official said. Published June 12, 2014

FILE - In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban on May 31, 2014, in exchange for five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Two American values, never leave a man behind and never negotiate with terrorists, collided in the Bergdahl calamity with each ethos running deep in the American conscience. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)

Bowe Bergdahl washed out of Coast Guard before joining Army

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard prior to joining the Army, according to a Coast Guard memo to Congress that sheds new light on the career back story of the soldier at the center of the controversial five-for-one U.S.-Taliban prisoner swap. Published June 11, 2014

U.S. Air Force Capt. Philip Gunn participates in a flyover during the internment ceremony of Brig. Gen. Robinson Risner, Jan. 23, 2014, at Arlington National Cemetery. Risner was the Air Force's 20th ace and survived more than seven years of captivity as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. Gunn is a 336th Fighter Squadron weapons system officer assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (Courtesy photo)

Air Force misses crucial deadline in base consolidation plan

A fast-tracked plan to consolidate Air Force base support functions has hit a significant bump, with planners missing a crucial deadline to rollout the cost-cutting proposal to members of Congress amid heated opposition from the service's top generals. Published June 9, 2014

Dale Wen-Chieh Jieh, head of the department of policy planning within the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meets with editors and reporters at The Washington Times. (Lloyd Villas/The Washington Times)

U.S. missile defense plans in Taiwan face rising opposition

A delegation of high-level Taiwanese diplomats said Thursday that many of their own people oppose a major trade deal with mainland China, and also made a rare public acknowledgment of rising domestic resistance to U.S. pressure to expand a radar system for detecting long-range missile threats from Beijing. Published June 5, 2014

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki pauses while speaking at a meeting of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Washington. President Barack Obama says he plans to have a "serious conversation" with Shinseki about whether he can stay in his job.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

VA suspected of punishing whistleblowers

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations of whistleblower reprisal from more than 30 Department of Veterans Affairs employees. Published June 5, 2014

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during his news conference at the conclusion of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NATO) in Brussels, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. NATO defense ministers gathered for the first time since the Ukraine crisis, and top of the agenda was how to react long-term to Russia's new military capabilities and its willingness to use them. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

Hagel to testify on Hill on Bergdahl deal

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has been called to testify at a House hearing next week on the controversial swap of five leading Taliban fighters for captured U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last week. Published June 4, 2014