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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


Lax guidance feeds Afghan corruption; report says billions in aid wasted

The government's top watchdog for Afghan reconstruction says the State Department's failure to provide guidance over the use of billions of dollars in U.S. funds for rebuilding projects is exacerbating problems with rampant corruption ahead of the much-anticipated U.S. troop pullout. Published April 2, 2014

FILE - In this May 3, 2004 file photo, security personnel wait to inspect vehicles entering Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. A sailor was fatally shot at the world's largest naval base late Monday, March 24, 2014, and security forces killed a male civilian suspect, base spokeswoman Terri Davis said. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Mort Fryman)

Navy shooting raises questions on credentials

The civilian man who boarded a guided-missile destroyer, disarmed a guard and then used the guard's pistol to fatally shoot a sailor at Norfolk Naval Station on Monday night used federal government credentials issued by the Department of Homeland Security to gain access to the ship, Navy officials say. Published March 25, 2014

Lockheed Martin Corp. security personnel guard the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a workhorse aircraft for the Navy, Air Force and Marines, which received the funding President Obama requested, as well as $465 million for an alternate engine the Pentagon does not want. (Associated Press)

Lockheed's troubled F-35 fighter jet wins big S. Korean order

South Korea has agreed to buy 40 of the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, good news for a plane that has been plagued by cost overruns and persistent software problems, U.S. weapons industry sources said on Monday. Published March 24, 2014

S. Korea worries over Pentagon's budget woes

South Korean officials are increasingly concerned that uncertainty surrounding the Pentagon's defense budget may disrupt the country's ability to plan for joint military training exercises. Published March 21, 2014

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who admitted to inappropriate relationships with three subordinates, avoided jail in one of the military's most closely-watched court-martials. (Associated Press)

Officer discount: General's lenient sentence in sex-assault case sparks debate

Lawmakers and legal experts Thursday questioned the seemingly lenient sentence given to an Army general in a high-profile U.S. military sexual-assault case, saying it smacked of being an "officer discount" that will bolster widespread perceptions of unfairness in the nation's military justice system. Published March 20, 2014

Families of three fallen Navy SEALs are suing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, his security forces and Iran. The lawsuit accuses Mr. Karzai of accepting bribes for the deaths of U.S. servicemen and of leaking details of a SEAL mission to the Taliban. (Associated Press)

IG on hunt for Afghan 'ghost workers'

The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said Wednesday he has begun a search for bogus "ghost workers" on the Afghan National Army's payroll as U.S. forces prepare to leave the country. Published March 19, 2014

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

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