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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

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses Russian citizens on the State Television channels at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 2, 2020. Putin has ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week to remain in force throughout April. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia, Saudi Arabia 'very close' to oil deal: Moscow's sovereign wealth fund chief

Russian officials insisted Monday they are "very close" to finalizing a deal with Saudi Arabia to cut oil production and halt a price war that's shaken global markets and driven energy prices to historic lows, even as analysts still warn that the sector could slump further as the coronavirus outbreak crushes demand. Published April 6, 2020

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said his department is prepared to make available respiratory masks and military ventilators to treat patients. (Associated Press)

'Effective immediately': Pentagon tightens face mask policy for all military personnel

The Pentagon on Sunday tightened its policy on face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus, issuing new guidance that requires all military and civilian personnel, along with family members, contractors and guests on military installations, to wear a "cloth face recovering" if they're unable to stay at least six feet away from others. Published April 5, 2020

In this Nov. 15, 2019, photo U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the ship's flight deck. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh via AP)

Pentagon tries to tamp down firestorm over sacking of Navy captain

The Pentagon on Sunday scrambled to tamp down a growing firestorm over last week's dismissal of a Navy captain who warned that the coronavirus was overrunning his ship and his sailors were in grave danger, with the incident dividing lawmakers and former top military officials while sparking another personnel controversy inside the Defense Department. Published April 5, 2020

In this Dec. 15, 2019, photo U.S.Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), addresses the crew during an all hands call on the ship's flight deck while conducting routine training in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. defense leaders are backing the Navy's decision to fire the ship captain who sought help for his coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, even as videos showed his sailors cheering him as he walked off the vessel. Videos went viral on social media Friday, April 3, 2020, showing hundreds of sailors gathered on the ship chanting and applauding Navy Capt. Brett Crozier as he walked down the ramp, turned, saluted, waved and got into a waiting car. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier via AP)

Mark Esper: 155 coronavirus cases aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt has risen to 155, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday as he defended the Navy's effort to get as many of the crew off of the vessel as possible. Published April 5, 2020

A journalist records speakers at a press briefing following the arrival of the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship with a 1,000 bed-capacity, Monday, March 30, 2020, at Pier 90 in New York. The ship will be used to treat patients who do not have the new coronavirus as land-based hospitals fill up to capacity with those that do. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Military may build two more hospital ships, Trump says

The military hospital ships USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy are proving so valuable in the nation's fight against the coronavirus that the U.S. may build two more like them, President Trump said Wednesday. Published April 1, 2020

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Richard Sippl, UH-1Y Venom, flight crew chief assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) fires a 7.62mm GAU-17/A Minigun July 22, 2012, during a live fire combat training mission over the Pohakuloa Training Area, (PTA) Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2012. HMLA-169 is part of the aviation combat element of special purpose Marine air-ground task force three. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the worlds oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

Semper Modify: Marine Corps to undergo 'radical' overhaul in pivot to take on China

The Marine Corps plans to give up its tanks, dramatically remake its artillery batteries, cut its helicopter fleet and take a host of other "radical" steps in arguably the most sweeping American military overhaul in a century -- all with the goal of preparing for a potential 21st-century conflict with China. Published March 30, 2020

This undated file photo shows the classic World War I recruiting poster created by illustrator James Montgomery Flagg. Thursday, April 6, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, and some of the innovations that were developed or came into wide use during the conflict are still with us today, including this iconic image of Uncle Sam pointing, with the message "I WANT YOU for the U.S. ARMY." (AP Photo, File)

'New phase': Struggling military recruiters explore virtual options

Military recruiting is poised to enter a "new phase" as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to shift away from traditional face-to-face outreach in favor of a virtual approach as the services prepare to fall short of their manpower goals this year. Published March 25, 2020

In this Friday, March 20, 2020, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervises an artillery firing competition between army units in the country's west in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Adversaries eye U.S. focus on coronavirus as opportunity to flex muscles

The coronavirus pandemic has put many of President Trump's signature foreign policy initiatives in quarantine, locking down a string of hoped-for election-year breakthroughs even as China has aggressively used the crisis to elevate its own status on the world stage. Published March 22, 2020

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, South Korea's Hyunmoo II Missile system, left, and U.S. Army Tactical Missile System, right, fire missiles during the combined military exercise between the two countries against North Korea at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Saturday, July 29, 2017. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday the second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland, hours after the launch left analysts concluding that a wide swath of the United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of North Korean weapons. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

Game Changer: U.S. military launches cutting-edge hypersonic weapon

The U.S. military successfully tested a groundbreaking hypersonic weapon in Hawaii this week, Pentagon officials said Friday in the latest sign that America may be catching up to its global rivals in development and fielding of the 21st-century technology. Published March 20, 2020