Skip to content

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's Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter is signaling to lawmakers that instability in such countries as Libya and Yemen may require additional counterterrorism operations similar to the ones being conducted by the U.S. military on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. (Associated Press)

Ashton Carter will prioritize terrorist safe havens, foreign fighters

President Obama's nominee for defense secretary will tell Congress on Wednesday that he is wary of Islamic State militants trying to establish a foothold in Afghanistan and leery of foreign fighters that are spilling out of North Africa to support the extremist group. Published February 3, 2015

In this Thursday Jan. 29, 2015 photo, fighters of the Turkey-based Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) walk in the damaged streets of Sinjar, Iraq. Kurdish forces in recent weeks have retaken parts of the strategic Iraqi town of Sinjar, whose Yazidi population was driven out in a humanitarian disaster last year that triggered U.S. intervention. But disagreements among Kurdish factions makes the hold on the town seem shaky and is threatening the wider fight against Islamic state militants. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Pentagon blasts rare Islamic State attack on Kirkuk

The Islamic State on Friday killed a senior Kurdish commander and several of his fellow fighters during a surprise attack on a Kurdish-controlled city in northern Iraq, evoking the ire of the Pentagon. Published January 30, 2015

Afghan security forces attend a ceremony in Laghman province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. The 13-year international mission led by the United States and NATO ended on Dec. 31 with Afghan forces now in charge of national security in the midst of an intensified Taliban insurgency. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Top military brass classifies amount of U.S. tax dollars spent on Afghan security

A top military commander has decided to classify data that previously allowed a federal watchdog to track the billions of dollars the U.S. government is spending on Afghanistan's security forces, rendering investigators incapable of accounting for taxpayer funds for the first time in six years. Published January 29, 2015

John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, says six telecommunications towers were built in Afghanistan without usage plans. (Associated Press)

Top commander moves to classify data used to track Afghan spending

A top military commander has moved to classify data that previously let a federal watchdog track the billions the U.S. government is spending on Afghanistan's security forces, leaving investigators incapable of accounting for taxpayer funds for the first time in six years. Published January 29, 2015

Yemeni soldiers guard convicted al Qaeda militants in San'a, Yemen, on July 11, 2010. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Yemeni terrorists' interrogations ignite Republican ire

Several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee want the Department of Justice to explain why it relied on foreign governments to detain and interrogate two Yemeni men who conspired to kill Americans overseas. Published January 27, 2015

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the Pentagon in this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

GAO auditors question Pentagon plan to reduce expenses

Federal auditors are questioning the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's plan to scale back on postwar spending by reducing the number of senior military personnel working for the Pentagon. Published January 26, 2015

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., bangs the gavel to start the committee's hearing to examine global challenges and U.S. national security strategy, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

John McCain to question lack of U.S. ground troops in Middle East

Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, plans to ask three of the military's former top commanders whether U.S. ground forces are needed in Syria, questioning the administration's approach of limiting U.S. boots on the ground in conflict areas such as the Middle East. Published January 26, 2015

Military police patrol near Fort Hood's main gate, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. A soldier, Spc. Ivan Lopez, opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Army probe shows gaps in threat identification system

An Army investigation into last year's deadly shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, found that the base lacked a system capable of identifying and tracking a shooter who killed four and injured 16. Published January 23, 2015

Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican. (Screen grab from

Congress to Obama: Update Russian defense policy

Two of Washington's most influential lawmakers are asking the defense chief and secretary of state to update their plans for keeping troops in Europe in the wake of a "dangerous escalation" in Russian aggression. Published January 22, 2015

In this Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, photo Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan exchange signed documents in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/ Vadim Savitsky, Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Russia lines up counter-terrorism allies

Russia is trying to strengthen its counter-terrorism ties with partner nations India and Iran just as the U.S. government is increasing pressure on terrorists in the Middle East.Russia is trying to strengthen its counter-terrorism ties with partner nations India and Iran just as the U.S. government is increasing pressure on terrorists in the Middle East. Published January 22, 2015

Chuck Hagel exposes rift between U.S. and Iraq

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday exposed a growing rift between the United States and Iraq when he blasted its new prime minister for publicly complaining that the international community has left his country in a lurch. Published January 22, 2015

In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, Polish soldiers, background, and and British soldiers  take part in joint military exercise  in Swietoszow, Poland. The British-led exercise  involved more than 1,000  British  troops   making it the largest British  commitment sent to Eastern Europe since 2008 and  is part of NATO’s reaction to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

U.S. Army commander in Europe heads to Ukraine

The U.S. Army's commander in Europe will meet with Ukrainian defense officials to the discuss their military-to-military relationship just as the war-torn country wrestling with Russian supporters for control over a key airport in Donetsk. Published January 20, 2015