Greg Myre | KUOW News and Information

Greg Myre

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on counter-terrorism, a topic he has covered in the U.S., the Middle East and in many other countries around the world for more than two decades.

He was previously the international editor for NPR.org, working closely with NPR correspondents around the world and national security reporters in Washington. He heads the Parallels blog and is a frequent contributor to the website on global affairs. Prior to his current position, he was a senior editor at Morning Edition from 2008-2011.

Before joining NPR, Myre was a foreign correspondent for 20 years with The New York Times and The Associated Press.

He was first posted to South Africa in 1987, where he witnessed Nelson Mandela's release from prison and reported on the final years of apartheid. He was assigned to Pakistan in 1993 and often traveled to war-torn Afghanistan. He was one of the first reporters to interview members of an obscure new group calling itself the Taliban.

Myre was also posted to Cyprus and worked throughout the Middle East, including extended trips to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. He went to Moscow from 1996 to 1999, covering the early days of Vladimir Putin.

He was based in Jerusalem from 2000-2007, reporting on the heaviest fighting ever between Israelis and the Palestinians.

In his years abroad, he traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on a dozen wars. He and his journalist wife Jennifer Griffin co-wrote a 2011 book on their time in Jerusalem, entitled, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Myre is a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and has appeared as an analyst on CNN, PBS, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox, Al Jazeera and other networks. He's a graduate of Yale University, where he played football and basketball.

It's a simple, frequently recurring phrase: "The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack." But it raises some questions: Is the claim credible or just an empty assertion, and if it's true, what does "responsibility" actually entail?

Experts who closely follow the Islamic State say that in general when it comes to attacks in the West, an ISIS claim of responsibility usually means there was some sort of connection. But the attack might have been planned, funded and directed by ISIS — or it could just have been inspired by the group's propaganda.

British authorities still have many questions about the Monday night concert bombing in Manchester. They don't yet know if the suicide bomber had any helpers or how he obtained his explosives.

But this much is clear: Western European cities have become regular targets over the past two years, a period coinciding with the rise of the Islamic State and its calls for supporters to strike anywhere they can and with whatever weapons are at hand.

What does Michael Flynn, President Trump's erstwhile national security adviser, think about Russia?

His statements and actions are so contradictory, they could induce whiplash.

In his first foreign trip as president, Donald Trump will be traveling to a Muslim country on Friday. Not just any Muslim state, but the one with the holiest shrines in Islam.

Saudi Arabia is a place that candidate Trump loved to bash during his campaign.

"Until the oil went down, Saudi Arabia was making a billion dollars a day. We protect them. We protect them. And we protect them for peanuts. So all of that stuff is going to change folks," Trump said last year.

South Africa was filled with drama in 1993. Violence raged as the white president, F.W. de Klerk, negotiated with black leader Nelson Mandela to end apartheid.

Amid this uncertainty, de Klerk appeared on TV one night and made a startling announcement: South Africa secretly built six nuclear weapons, but had dismantled them and shut down the program, he said.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a notorious Afghan warlord known as the "Butcher of Kabul," returned to the city he so often attacked with rockets and was welcomed Thursday by President Ashraf Ghani, who thanked him for "heeding the peace call."

Hekmatyar, 69, is among the most prominent surviving figures from the early days of war that began with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and grinds on to this day.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Islamic State keeps losing ground in Iraq and Syria. But defeat wouldn't mean the end of the terrorist group. Here's NPR national security correspondent Greg Myre.

To consider the dangers in America's future, let's go back more than 2,000 years to ancient Greece. Sparta was the established power, but Athens was rising fast. Sparta wanted to preserve its status, while Athens felt it should be dominant.

As President Trump wages a rhetorical battle with North Korea over its nuclear program, his secretary of state says the nuclear deal with Iran will now be placed under review.

U.S. presidents have a tradition of entering office and expressing hope for improved relations with Russia. With near perfect symmetry, this is matched by a tradition of presidents leaving office amid friction with Moscow.

Sometimes it takes years for optimism to turn to disillusionment. In the case of President Trump, there are warning signs after just a few months.

"If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing," Trump said shortly after his inauguration. "It would be great."

With an attack on a Syrian air base, the United States has now bombed the two main players in Syrian war — President Bashar Assad's military and the Islamic State.

This raises a fundamental question about U.S. aims in the Syrian war: If the two most powerful groups in Syria are both unacceptable, what outcome is the U.S. seeking?

Both Barack Obama and President Trump have sought to limit U.S. involvement in Syria for their own reasons. Yet both have been sucked in and struggled to clearly define their objectives in the messy, complicated war.

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World War I sometimes seems like the war America forgot.

The U.S. entered the fight a century ago, on April 6, 1917, nearly three years after it erupted in Europe during the summer of 1914. The Americans made quite a splash, turning a stalemate in favor of their British and French allies.

Imagine you're a military officer in World War I. Armies have grown so large, you can no longer communicate just by the sound of your voice or the wave of your hand. You need to synchronize movements of troops and artillery, far and wide.

You need a wristwatch.

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