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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the Pentagon, military and foreign affairs for The Washington Times.

Previously, he covered energy and the environment, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016, and also spent two years as a White House correspondent during the Obama administration.

Before coming to The Times in 2011, Ben worked as political reporter at The Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, flames and smoke billow from a big fire in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Wednesday on Syrian Kurdish fighters to leave a designated border area in northeast Syria 'as of tonight' for Turkey to stop its military offensive. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkey's NATO status complicates U.S. response to Erdogan's Syria incursion

Its behavior in recent years may have left Turkey a NATO ally "in name only," but some analysts say there is virtually no appetite -- and no legal mechanism -- to kick the country out of the 70-year-old alliance even as its military offensive in Syria further divides Ankara from the U.S. and its Western partners. Published October 16, 2019

President Donald Trump bows his head down as they say their prayer at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump's bid to end 'forever wars' undercut by Saudi troop deployment

President Trump has stoked his political base by touting the withdrawal of more than 1,000 U.S. troops from Syria as keeping his 2016 campaign promise to end American involvement in foreign "forever wars." The problem is that the Pentagon's near-simultaneous deployment of some 3,000 troops and advanced missiles to Saudi Arabia is likely to trigger an escalation with Iran that could undercut Mr. Trump's determination to get the U.S. military out Middle East entanglements. Published October 14, 2019

Turning point: Assad's forces come to rescue of Kurds in desperate battle against Turkey

Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops returned to northern Syria on Monday to back up Kurdish forces in their increasingly desperate fight with the Turkish military, marking a major geopolitical turning point for the region and sparking a fresh wave of bipartisan criticism over President Trump's decision to pull U.S. forces out of the fight. Published October 14, 2019

People standing on a rooftop in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria, watch as in the background smoke billows from fires caused by Turkish bombardment in Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.  Turkey's official Anadolu news agency says Turkey-backed Syrian forces have advanced into the center of a Syrian border town, Tal Abyad, on the fifth day of the Turkey's military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

U.S.-backed Kurds seek alliance with Syria, Russia to fend off Turkey

President Trump on Sunday ordered another pullback of U.S. troops inside Syria as a Turkish military invasion gains steam and the geopolitical situation deteriorates, with American-backed Kurdish forces now pursuing an alliance with Moscow and the government of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Published October 13, 2019

A Kurd living in Cyprus shouts slogans and holds a banner showing the U.S President Donald Trump, in front of the U.S. embassy to protest Turkey's offensive into Syria, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. The protesters, waving Cypriot and Kurdish flags as well as placards pledging support for Syria's Kurdish population, chanted slogans condemning Turkey's military action and urged for the withdrawal of Turkish forces. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Kurds slam Trump: 'I want him to know he's responsible' for deaths, ISIS resurgence

President Trump is personally responsible for deaths and injuries sustained by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria as a Turkish military assault advances, and he bears the blame for a looming resurgence of the Islamic State terror group, a spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told The Washington Times on Thursday. Published October 10, 2019

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Turkey launched a military operation Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after U.S. forces pulled back from the area, with a series of airstrikes hitting a town on Syria's northern border.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkey launches attack in northern Syria

Turkey on Wednesday launched a military offensive into northern Syria with the goal of crushing U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and eliminating a "terror corridor" on its border. Published October 9, 2019

A Turkish army officer jumps from his tank moving to its new position on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Tensions have risen at the border between Turkey and Syria, on expectation of a Turkish military incursion into Syria. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Kurds resort to human shield 'sit-ins' as Turkey amasses forces on border

Turkey amassed troops and moved heavy weapons to its border with Syria on Tuesday in apparent preparation for a major assault on U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, with Ankara steamrolling over an international outcry and pledging to eliminate what it calls a "terror corridor" in its backyard. Published October 8, 2019

President Donald Trump, joined by from left, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, speaks to media during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Pentagon leaders insist they were in the loop on Trump's Syria move

The Defense Department insisted Tuesday that top military officials were consulted and fully in the loop about President Trump's surprise decision to pull dozens of U.S. special forces from the Syria-Turkey border ahead of a Turkish military incursion. Published October 8, 2019

In this Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, photo, Turkish forces artillery pieces are seen on their new positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province, Turkey. U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing Monday from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against the Islamic State group. (DHA via AP)

World leaders ready for war as Turkey set to clear 'terrorists' from border

World leaders were "preparing for the worst" Monday as Turkey moved quickly toward a sweeping military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria after President Trump's surprise announcement that he would pull American forces out of a crucial buffer zone along the border between the two nations. Published October 7, 2019

In this Aug. 22, 2019, file photo, provided by the U.S. Army, shows A U.S. service member watches as Syrian Democratic Forces remove military fortifications during the implementation of the security mechanism along the Turkey-Syria border in northeast Syria. (Spc. Alec Dionne/U.S. Army via AP ) ** FILE **

Kurds accuse Trump of 'stab in the back' as U.S. forces leave northeast Syria

American-backed Kurdish-led fighters in northeast Syria accused President Trump of a "stab in the back" on Monday, hours after the White House announced U.S. troops would vacate the area, giving a greenlight to Turkey to begin a long-awaited military operation against the group. Published October 7, 2019

Capt. Philip Gunn participates in a flyover during the interment ceremony of retired Brig. Gen. Robinson Risner on Jan. 23, 2014, at Arlington National Cemetery. (Image: Air Force) ** FILE **

Pentagon takes over federal background checks

The Pentagon on Tuesday officially took over the federal background-check system, with a new agency inside the Defense Department now charged with reducing a massive backlog of clearances for employees and contractors. Published October 2, 2019

Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-17 ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Trucks carrying weapons including a nuclear-armed missile designed to evade U.S. defenses rumbled through Beijing as the Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in power with a parade Tuesday that showcased China's ambition as a rising global force. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

China's military display forces Pentagon to confront end of American dominance

The rest of the world was watching the pomp, circumstance and speeches celebrating China's 70th anniversary Tuesday, but military analysts were glued to another spectacle in the heart of Beijing: the arsenal of cutting-edge weaponry capable of challenging U.S. military might for decades to come. Published October 1, 2019

In this Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, photo, Afghan security forces stand guard in front of an election poster for presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan. Millions of Afghans are expected to go to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president, despite an upsurge of violence in the weeks since the collapse of a U.S.-Taliban deal to end Americas longest war, and the Taliban warning voters to say away from the polls. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

No 'good options' left for U.S. as emboldened Taliban threatens Afghan elections

The collapse of peace talks in Afghanistan has left the U.S. with few military options as intense fighting resumes, while the near complete lack of public and political support for an influx of ground troops means the Trump administration must search for new ways to put pressure back onto the Taliban. Published September 26, 2019