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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the Pentagon 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

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the talks in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Sochi, Russia, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets for the second time in 10 days with Russia's Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Syrian missile accidentally brings down Russian plane, killing 15; Moscow blames Israel

Just 24 hours after a last-minute deal stopped a looming government assault on the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib, the inadvertent downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane over the Mediterranean Sea provided a stark illustration of how difficult it will be to forge a lasting peace deal, as Russia and Israel traded blame for the incident and the deaths of all 15 crew members on board. Published September 18, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after their joint news conference following the talks in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Sochi, Russia, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets for the second time in 10 days with Russia's Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Putin-Erdogan deal on Syria demilitarized zone heads off showdown, pending bloodbath

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he had struck a deal with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to table a planned offensive against the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib, a last-minute agreement that led all sides of the 7-year-old conflict to breathe a sigh of relief despite a host of unanswered questions about whether the so-called demilitarized zone will hold. Published September 17, 2018

In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Kim Jun-bum/Yonhap via AP, File)

U.S. to resume Korea military exercises after 'good faith measure' fails to yield results

The U.S. military will move ahead with all future military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Tuesday, suggesting that America's brief suspension of the drills as a show of "good faith" toward North Korea has not paid dividends in the struggling denuclearization talks with Pyongyang. Published August 28, 2018

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Friday, July 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) ** FILE **

Defense Secretary James Mattis: U.S. urges Russia to stop looming chemical weapons attack in Syria

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Tuesday the U.S. is in close consultation with Russia in the hopes of preventing a looming chemical weapons attack in Idlib, Syria -- an attack that could lead to new American military strikes against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's government and surely would add a new spark to an already volatile situation on the ground. Published August 28, 2018

FILE - In this Sunday, July 15, 2018 file photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Talks next month in Moscow to discuss a peaceful end to 17-years of war in Afghanistan that includes a place at the table for the Taliban has ruffled feathers in Washington and Kabul, who are refusing to attend, and resurrected Cold War memories. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) **FILE**

Russia calls off planned Afghan peace conference

Russia on Monday officially called off a major peace conference on Afghanistan scheduled for next week after both the U.S. and Afghan governments said they wouldn't attend, leaving the Taliban as the only key player left on the guest list. Published August 27, 2018

In this Tuesday, June 12, 2018, photo, U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. Mr. Trump has already met twice with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he is eager to re-create in Finland the heady experience that he had last month with Mr. Jong-un. That Singapore summit became a mass media event complete with powerful presidential images. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

North Korea blasts U.S. for canceling talks

The Trump administration's decision late last week to cancel another round of in-person talks with North Korea was met with harsh reaction over the weekend, with a state-run newspaper in Pyongyang accusing the U.S. of "hatching a criminal plot" against the reclusive country and Chinese officials blasting the White House as "irresponsible." Published August 26, 2018

"The landowners must not be afraid to embrace this process," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told critics. "You say the landowners want certainty. I can tell you the people who are hungry for land also want certainty." (Associated Press)

South Africa risks economic destruction in seizing white-owned farms, analysts warn

South Africa faces potential economic calamity if it moves ahead with the seizure of largely white-owned farmland, analysts warned this week, as global investors reacted to a plan that government leaders say is necessary to correct decades-old wrongs of apartheid that left deep, systemic wealth inequalities and land ownership disparities along racial lines. Published August 22, 2018

President Donald Trump salutes as he arrives on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, as he returns from Springfield, Mo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump unleashes troop-level diplomacy

President Trump relies on the mere mention of troop withdrawal as a negotiating tool with defense officials, continually forcing them to justify troop deployments anywhere in the world, experts say. Published August 20, 2018

A helicopter belonging to the international coalition forces takes off from a base outside Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo) ** FILE **

1 dead, 3 injured as U.S. helicopter crashes in Iraq

A U.S. helicopter crashed in Iraq on Monday morning, killing one and injuring at least three others, American officials said in a statement, marking the second fatal crash so far this year. Published August 20, 2018

China's President Xi Jinping takes his seat for the first closed session of the BRICS summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, July 26, 2018. The five leaders of the BRICS emerging economies have gathered in South Africa for an annual summit where the United States is being criticized for escalating tariffs on foreign goods. (Mike Hutchings/Pool Photo via AP) ** FILE **

China 'likely training for strikes against U.S.,' Pentagon warns

China's military is "likely training for strikes" against U.S. targets in the Pacific, the Defense Department warned Thursday in a sobering report that says Beijing's broader strategy is to develop armed forces capabilities able to "degrade" American advantages. Published August 17, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump salutes as he watches with his wife Melania Trump the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) ** FILE **

Trump's military parade now estimated to cost $92M

President Trump's military parade could cost as much as $92 million, U.S. officials said Thursday, putting a massive price tag on the Veterans Day event that originally was estimated to run no more than $30 million. Published August 16, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, and Argentina's Defense Minister Oscar Raul Aguad arrive for a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. Mattis is on an official visit to several South American countries. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

U.S. to provide military security for G-20 summit in Argentina

The U.S. military will help provide security later this year for a key G-20 summit in Argentina, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Wednesday, casting the gathering as a key example of deepening ties between the two nations. Published August 16, 2018