Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
The United State's war in Afghanistan drags on with no end in sight. Worse, the current administration doesn’t have a clear vision of how it wants to proceed in the country. With all options on the table, private military contractor and entrepreneur Erik Prince - the founder of Blackwater - has gone on a lobbying tour around the U.S. pitching his own plan.
As tensions grow between the U.S. and North Korea, onlookers have increasingly called on China to intervene. Which makes sense. Beijing is Pyongyang’s biggest trade partner and the two countries have a relationship that stretches back to World War II. But just because China is North Korea’s closest ally doesn’t mean China has control.
Despite some close calls, America and Russia never fought a full-scale global conflict during the Cold War. The fear of nuclear Armageddon loomed for decades but never occurred. The world avoided the devastation thanks to the efforts of politicians, spies and soldiers. If not for some special and unexpected relationships across the Iron Curtain, the world may look very different today.
China’s military made international news in early July when it announced the opening of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa. China says the base is simply a logistics building, poised to protect the country’s interests in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. It’s an interesting location for a military instillation considering the American military base just four miles away.
In 2013, the White House ordered the Pentagon to open combat roles to women and gave the military a three year deadline. As women take on more roles in the U.S. military, both on the frontlines and in leadership, the Pentagon must face an issue it’s long ignored – relations between men and women.
Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would arm the Kurds -an ethnic minority whose territory spreads across Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. No one likes Daesh and the Kurds have done an incredible job pushing back against the religious zealots.
Antifa and white nationalists clash in the streets. Students on college campuses patrol the sidewalks armed with bats. A man in Portland stabbed several people on a bus and another in Virginia opened fire on Republican legislators on a baseball field.
Thanks to a hack allegedly carried out by Russian intelligence, relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia are tense to say the least. The Kingdom has blockaded Qatar ports and several Gulf states have removed envoys and ambassadors. Right now, the Middle East looks a lot like Europe on the eve of World War I.
The Pentagon lost track of equipment worth more than a billion dollars, according to a now declassified Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International last month. The F-35 program has already cost $100 billion to develop, and may not even be ready for combat according to an ex-director. The Justice Department has charged at least 20 U.S. Navy flag officers in the “Fat Leonard” scandal – one of the biggest corruption scandals in American military history.
How many soldiers does America need to turn the tide in Afghanistan? The Taliban controls half the country and continues to gain ground. The Pentagon and generals in the field want U.S. President Donald Trump to send an additional 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to help win the war. But we’ve been here before. In 2009, Stanley McChrystal famously requested a troop surge and got it. In the long run, an extra 30,000 soldiers http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/world/asia/06reconstruct.html didn’t matter.