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Kristina Wong

Kristina Wong was a national security reporter for The Washington Times.

Articles by Kristina Wong

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno

Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed

Military chiefs welcomed a bipartisan budget deal that would provide the Pentagon with some fiscal certainty and lessen the damage of deep spending cuts over the next two years, but they say it doesn't go far enough for future years. Published December 11, 2013

A U.S. drone targets Taliban combatants assembled for a funeral. Rules of engagement at the cemetery prevented the U.S. from taking a shot.

Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones

The Pentagon has loosened its guidelines on avoiding civilian casualties during drone strikes, modifying instructions from requiring military personnel to "ensure" civilians are not targeted to encouraging service members to "avoid targeting" civilians. Published December 3, 2013

Afghan soldiers arrive at the scene after a powerful suicide vehicle bomb tore through Kabul, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. The deadly bomb targeted a site where thousands of elders are to gather next week to discuss a controversial security agreement with the United States, which would allow U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014, officials said. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Afghan troops will need help for years

Al Qaeda's relationship with the Afghan Taliban remains "intact," but the number of al Qaeda fighters in the country remains very low, according to the Pentagon's semi-annual report to Congress on the Afghanistan War. Published November 27, 2013

Uncle Sam 'I Want You For US Army' recruiting poster.

Army recruiters cut pay by as much as $450 per month

The Army is cutting what is known as "Special Duty Assignment Pay" for many of its recruiters, and reducing it for most recruiters next year. SDAP is additional pay for soldiers who perform extremely difficult duties, or have an unusual degree of responsibility, and ranges from $75 to $450 additional pay each month. Published November 22, 2013

Muslim students stand in the rubble of an Islamic seminary that was hit by a suspected U.S. drone strike in Hangu district in Pakistan on Thursday. If confirmed, the missile strike outside of the northwest tribal areas would be a rarity. (Associated Press)

Drone strike on Pakistani seminary reignites debate

A rare U.S. drone strike on an Islamic seminary outside Pakistan's tribal areas — where most past strikes have occurred — is fueling a heated international debate on the Obama administration's commitment to limiting civilian casualties. Published November 21, 2013

A $165 million children's hospital in Basra is among hundreds of projects in Iraq funded by U.S. taxpayers. The U.S. and its allies are still paying millions of dollars for reconstruction of the war-ravaged country, even though Baghdad is reaping revenue from its oil industry. Two donor nations are pulling out of the trust fund. A State Department official defended U.S. assistance, saying it is aimed at maintaining a strategic partnership with Iraq. However, the official said, there is "room for improvement" (Associated Press)

Awash in oil revenue, Iraq stays on U.S. dole for reconstruction

Nearly two years after ending military engagement in the Iraq War, the U.S. and its allies are still paying millions of dollars for reconstruction, even though Baghdad is reaping revenue from its oil industry as instability rises and the government has grown closer to Iran. Published November 18, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Hagel said the projected defense budget cuts of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years is too much, too fast, and will cause a dangerous erosion of U.S. military power. In a speech about U.S. defense priorities, Hagel said Tuesday that it would be a mistake to let these cuts happen. But he also said officials are not assuming the government's budget crisis will be resolved soon.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Turkish official defends purchase of Chinese anti-missile system

Turkey's recent decision to go with China over the U.S. to buy its first long-range anti-missile system has rankled the U.S., a NATO ally, but the decision was based on objective criteria, not politics, the Turkish foreign minister said Monday. Published November 18, 2013