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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

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Masked pro-Russian armed militants guard a checkpoint with a Russian national flag on the right, blocking the major highway which links Kharkiv, outside Slovyansk, Ukraine, on May 24, 2014. Russia's present demands are based on Putin's purported long sense of grievance and his rejection of Ukraine and Belarus as truly separate, sovereign countries but rather as part of a Russian linguistic and Orthodox motherland. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

West slams reports of Russian plan for puppet government in Ukraine

Moscow plans to force out Ukraine's political leaders and install a pro-Russian puppet regime in Kyiv, British officials said over the weekend, as the West desperately tries to stave off war in Eastern Europe at a moment when Russian action against its neighbor seems all but inevitable. Published January 23, 2022

In this photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, a view of the joint strategic exercise of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus Zapad-2021 at the Mulino training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Russia, Sept. 11, 2021. The amassing of Russian troops and equipment near Ukraine's border has caused worries in Kyiv and in the West that Moscow could be planning to launch an invasion. (Vadim Savitskiy/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

U.S., Russia dig in as talks continue on military standoff along Ukraine’s border

The U.S. and its European partners have ruled out Russian security proposals that would limit NATO's expansion, top Biden administration officials said Tuesday, as the two sides dig in ahead of a second round of meetings to resolve the military standoff in Ukraine and tensions all along Russia's borders from the Baltics to the Black Sea. Published January 11, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, presidential aide Yury Ushakov, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu wait for the beginning of the Russia-Turkey talks in the Kremlin iin Moscow, Russia, Jan. 23, 2019. While demanding a halt to NATO's eastward expansion, Moscow has also urged the U.S. and its allies not to deploy weapons or conduct any military activities in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

Little sign of progress on Ukraine standoff after first U.S.-Russia talks

A nearly six-hour "businesslike" conversation between American and Russian diplomats on Monday outwardly did little to resolve the dangerous military standoff along the Russia-Ukraine border and rising tensions across Eastern Europe, with top officials from both nations publicly downplaying the talks and insisting that the other side had to make the first move. Published January 10, 2022

In this file photo, U.S President Joe Biden, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin enter the 'Villa la Grange' during their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)  **FILE**

Biden faces key test, major opportunity ahead of Russia talks on Ukraine

The slow-burning military standoff along the Russia-Ukraine border could reach a tipping point next week as the Biden administration enters a series of high-stakes diplomatic meetings with Moscow, and analysts say the U.S. and its NATO allies must seize a golden opportunity to turn the tables and extract their own concessions from the Kremlin. Published January 6, 2022

In this file photo Oct. 6, 2020, from left India Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remove their protective face masks before posing for a photograph prior to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) ministerial meeting in Tokyo. At a Jan. 2022 edition of "The Washington Brief," a monthly forum hosted by The Washington Times Foundation, analysts examined the likelihood that the four-nation Quad could expand to include nations such as South Korea, a strategically vital player in the Pacific. (Kiyoshi Ota/Pool Photo via AP)  **FILE**

Expanding the Quad? Opening seen to boost pro-democracy alliance against China

America's intensifying pro-democracy alignment with Japan, Australia and India has room to grow as other nations seek ways to push back on an aggressive China that is eager to dominate Asia and beyond in the 21st century, former top U.S. officials and regional experts said Tuesday. Published January 4, 2022

Police officers inspect the scene of a bomb explosion in Beni, eastern Congo Sunday Dec. 26, 2021. A bomb exploded at a restaurant Saturday as patrons gathered on Christmas Day, killing at least seven people in an eastern Congolese town where Islamic extremists are known to be active. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro)

Congo attacks show Islamic State’s expansion across Africa

The Islamic State's foothold across Africa is expanding amid a recent spate of gruesome attacks and there are growing fears in Washington that the terror group, as well as other extremist outfits like it will use the continent as a staging ground for future jihadist strikes against the West. Published December 28, 2021

Members of the Texas Army National Guard stand by as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 10 other governors hold a press conference at Anzalduas Park on Oct. 6, 2021, in Mission, Texas. Texas' Republican governor on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin the state will not direct National Guard members to follow a COVID-19 vaccine order as GOP opposition to the mandate across the U.S. military grows. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

Pentagon goes to court to defend COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops

The Defense Department is facing multiple high-stakes legal fights rife with national security implications. This includes clashes with Republican governors who claim full control over National Guard forces and the Pentagon's hard line against troops seeking COVID-19 vaccine waivers on religious grounds. Published December 27, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Promsvyazbank CEO Pyotr Fradkov during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. (Evgeniy Paulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia warns of military action as fears mount of Christmas invasion of Ukraine

Russia upped the ante Monday in its dangerous standoff with Ukraine, openly warning of military action if President Biden and America's NATO allies ignore a list of demands Moscow unveiled late last week -- a far-reaching list that some key U.S. lawmakers have dubbed a "pretext to war." Published December 20, 2021

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon on Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. Oklahoma's Republican governor and the state attorney general are suing in federal court to exempt the state's National Guard from a Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Gov. Kevin Stitt argued in a statement Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, that the Biden administration's Defense Department overstepped its constitutional authority by subjecting the National Guard to the mandate it imposed on the active-duty military. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Pentagon anti-extremism rules target service members on social media

The Defense Department on Monday issued long-awaited rules to identify and root out political extremism in the armed forces, specifically zeroing in on social media and giving new guidance to commanders who will be responsible for policing their units. Published December 20, 2021