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.

When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, his presidency will begin with a national security challenge that has no precedent — four separate wars where the U.S. military is bombing Islamist extremists.

Presidential transitions in wartime aren't new, and some earlier conflicts were on a much larger scale. President Obama confronted two major wars on his first day in 2009. President Nixon came into office as the Vietnam War raged. President Truman assumed office when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in the final months of World War II.

As the world woke up Wednesday to Donald Trump's presidential election victory, congratulations from foreign leaders were mixed with worries about how Trump's provocative campaign pronouncements will be translated into policy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram — yes, a telegram — to congratulate Trump. But Putin also addressed the troubled state of relations between the two countries.

The United States often chastises African countries about elections that are less than free and fair — occasionally slapping on sanctions and other punitive measures. But with Donald Trump claiming the U.S. vote could be rigged, Africans are taking to social media to turn the tables.

The Islamic State forced the world to take notice when the extremist group overran Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in June 2014.

Just months earlier, President Obama had described ISIS as "the JV team." But by August 2014, the U.S. was bombing ISIS in Iraq, and early Monday, the U.S. teamed up with the Iraqi army and other allies in a major offensive to recapture the northern Iraqi city.

Here's one image of Thailand: A magnet for Western tourists. One of Asia's more dynamic economies. The land of smiles. And until Thursday, home of a beloved monarch who united Thais throughout his 70-year reign.

And here's another view: A coup-plagued nation where the military ousted an elected government two years ago and suppresses dissent. A country accused of human rights abuses. A land with an authoritarian undercurrent where anyone can be jailed for a negative comment about the royal family.

So which one is the real Thailand?

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2016, and is being republished with minor updates following the death of Cuba's Fidel Castro.

How's this for historical coincidence: Fidel Castro and his rag-tag fighters assembled in Mexico, navigated an overcrowded boat to Cuba, and unleashed a 1956 insurgency that spawned countless imitators in the decades that followed. On Thursday, Colombia and the FARC rebels signed a deal to end the last major leftist uprising in Latin America — one day before Castro died.

In the quarter-century from the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s until Sept. 11, 2001, the United States rarely went to war, and when it did, the conflicts were so brief they were measured in days.

No one is flying home from Rio with more medals than the U.S. women.

The full American squad — both men and women — won the most medals overall, 121, as has often been the case in the Summer Games. But first in London four years ago, and again in Rio, the U.S. women have captured most of those medals.

The U.S. women took 61, the men had 55, and there were five in mixed events, including equestrian and mixed-doubles tennis.

How good were the American women?

After several close games along the way, the U.S. men's basketball team was all business on Sunday as they routed Serbia, 96-66, in the gold medal game that brought down the curtain on the competition in the Rio games.

Kevin Durant led the way, hitting three-point bombs, driving for dunks, handing out assists and making steals on defense. After a close first quarter, which ended with the U.S. up 19-15, the Americans blew the game open in the second frame.

Durant had 24 points by the half and the U.S. had a 23-point lead, 52-29.

Paul Chelimo's tale about becoming a U.S. Olympian is unusual, and the story behind his silver medal performance in the men's 5,000 meters is stranger still.

We'll work backwards, starting with his race in Rio on Saturday night.

Chelimo ran a personal best in the 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) of 13:03:90, finishing second with a strong kick and trailing only the remarkable Mo Farah of Britain, who won the 5,000 and the 10,000, the same difficult double he pulled off in 2012.

One of the great pleasures of the Olympics is the serendipity — you never know where the best performances or the worst behavior will come from.

The U.S. women's basketball team trounced Spain, 101-72, on Saturday, winning their sixth consecutive gold and their 49th straight Olympic game.

The American women so overpowered their opponents that the tournament was almost certainly the least competitive event at the Rio games, which end on Sunday.

The average margin of victory for the U.S. in their Olympic games was nearly 40 points, and the closest game was a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. Since 1996, the American have only had one game where they won by fewer than 10 points.

The Paralympic Games in Rio next month are being scaled back because of financial problems and some countries may not be able to send athletes as planned, the head of the International Paralympic Committee said Friday.

We should have been prepared for the Ryan Lochte drama in Rio. We've seen this reality show before. Or at least we could have, if we were paying very close attention to the E! television channel back in 2013.

Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed by thieves who put a cocked gun to Lochte's head in Rio early Sunday morning, the U.S. swimmer told NBC.

Lochte and his friends were in a taxi, going to visit a Brazilian swimmer, when the robbers stopped them.

Michael Phelps has won so many more medals than any other Olympian that it makes for a pretty dull discussion when he's compared to individual athletes.

But let's pretend he's a country — the Republic of Phelps.

How does his career medal total stack up against all the countries that have competed in the Summer and Winter Olympics since the dawn of the modern games in 1896?

Hint: 205 countries are now competing in Rio, and others, like the Soviet Union, have disappeared along the way.

Thursday's theme in Rio was the head-to-head competition among some of America's biggest stars in marquee events.

Russia's entire Paralympic team is banned from next month's Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro as part of the same doping scandal that also cost Russia a large part of its Olympic team.

"The anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised," Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, told a news conference in Rio on Sunday.

In scathing language, Craven went on to say:

Nearly one-third of Russia's Olympic team has already been barred from the Rio Olympics as part of a major doping scandal. Now, an announcement is expected Sunday on whether the country's Paralympic team will be allowed to compete.

Ginny Thrasher, a 19-year old from West Virginia University, took the first of the more than 300 gold medals that will be awarded at the Olympics in Brazil, winning the 10-meter air rifle on Saturday.

Thrasher, the youngest of the 15 members of the U.S. rifle team, bested a field of 50 competitors, comfortably winning the final duel with China's Du Li, who won gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Imagine a Martian trying to make sense of this world and the only available data are the Summer Olympic medal tables from the past century.

How much would that explain? Quite a lot, it turns out. In fact, it would be challenging to find anything so concise that say so much about the past century as the tables below.

The four bar charts show the countries that usually win the largest share of medals — the United States, China, Russia and Germany — and how they have performed since 1912.

American women were not exactly a powerhouse at the 1972 Summer Olympics: They won just 23 medals, compared with 71 for the U.S. men. The women were absent from the medal podium in gymnastics. They didn't win a single gold in track and field, managing just one silver and two bronze.

But something else happened that year. The U.S. Congress passed Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in education programs receiving federal money. Sports wasn't the focus of Title IX. In fact, quite the opposite.

First the Russian track and field team was barred. Then most of the Russian rowing squad was told to stay home. Now the Russian weightlifters are all out.

As the presidential campaign heads into its final months, the U.S. is carrying out daily air sorties in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. A major trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, waits in limbo. The U.S. has begun a long-term pivot to Asia and is bringing more Syrian refugees into the country.

The entire Russian Paralympic team is facing a possible ban from the upcoming Summer Games in Brazil because of signs of widespread drug violations among Russian disabled athletes, the sports' governing body said Friday.

The announcement by the International Paralympic Committee was the latest pointing to widespread Russian doping practices in recent years, though this was by far the most serious leveled against the country's para athletes.

After a subpar showing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Russians devised an elaborate, clandestine plan to ensure a stellar performance at the 2014 games they were hosting in Sochi.

Here's how it worked: In the dead of night, Russian officials exchanged the tainted urine from their athletes who had been doping with clean samples by passing them through a "mouse hole" drilled into the wall of the anti-doping lab. When the urine was tested the next day, there were no signs of doping, according to a detailed new report.

As Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began re-establishing control Saturday, he immediately pointed the finger of blame for the failed coup attempt against him.

So who does he consider most responsible? A rogue general?

Nope. Erdogan directed his outrage at an elderly, reclusive Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania's Pocanos: Fethullah Gulen.

Congress on Friday released the "28 pages," a previously classified document that examined possible connections between the Saudi government and the Sept. 11 hijackers.

The document — which actually contains 29 pages — had taken on a life of its own, prompting frequent speculation about its contents, though only a limited number of government officials had been allowed to read it.

Pages