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.

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When Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince in 2015, just before his 30th birthday, it created a wave of optimism that he could modernize a kingdom that has long resisted change.

Change has come rapidly indeed. Women can now drive, the powers of the religious police have been scaled back, and Mohammed has sketched out plans to overhaul and diversify the oil-based economy.

The National Security Agency's Rob Storch is a talkative guy at a place that specializes in eavesdropping.

Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer, a medic in the Green Berets, was part of a small unit sent by helicopter on a risky mission to track down an enemy fighter in a remote mountain village in northeastern Afghanistan in 2008.

After the Americans landed and began climbing the mountain to approach the village, they came under withering fire from an unexpectedly large force of some 200 fighters armed with automatic rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the military.

A new report says U.S. counterterrorism efforts need to focus much more on the long-term goal of supporting fragile countries and preventing extremism from taking root.

The report, sponsored by the nonpartisan U.S. Institute of Peace, says that after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S. response was to protect the homeland and pursue terrorists abroad.

On Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was visiting Sarasota, Fla. At 8 a.m. sharp, the CIA's Michael Morell delivered the daily intelligence briefing — something he did six mornings a week — regardless of whether the president was at the White House or on the road.

"Contrary to press reporting and myth, there was absolutely nothing in my briefing that had to do with terrorism that day," Morell recalled. "Most of it had to do with the Israeli-Palestinian issue."

For the third time in recent days, a prominent group of former national security officials has signed a letter criticizing President Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

In a related development, Trump said in a tweet Monday that he wasn't concerned about Brennan's remarks over the weekend that he might take legal action in response to the president's move.

By her own account, Samantha Sally had a comfortable life for years in Elkhart, Ind., with her Moroccan husband and their children.

But on a family vacation to Turkey in 2015, Sally says her husband, Moussa Elhassani, tricked the entire family into crossing the border into Syria.

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Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, would have been 100 years old on Wednesday. A new book is out to mark the occasion, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela.

These deeply personal letters, many to his wife, his children and his closest friends, have never previously been published.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Monday directly challenged comments by President Trump, saying the U.S. intelligence community has been "clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election."

Coats has maintained an extremely low profile, rarely making public comments, since President Trump appointed him last year.

Summits between U.S. presidents and Kremlin leaders are often filled with great drama and moments that shape history.

And then there's Boris Yeltsin's 1994 visit to Washington.

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When President Trump shakes hands with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday morning, it will mark the first time that a sitting U.S. president comes face to face with a North Korean leader. Trump once dubbed Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened "fire and fury" against his regime, but has expressed optimism about a potential deal with North Korea on denuclearization. "I just think it's going to work out very nicely," he said Monday. But he has also said he is prepared to walk away from the table if talks are not fruitful.

When Mike Pompeo became CIA director last year, he immediately set his sights on North Korea and its opaque nuclear program.

"Within weeks of me coming here, I created a Korea Mission Center, stood it up with a senior leader who had just retired, brought him back to run the organization," Pompeo said in January.

The White House has nominated Navy Adm. Harry Harris to be the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, filling a key post that's been vacant for the first 16 months of the Trump presidency.

The Senate intelligence committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel as CIA director despite the controversy surrounding her role in the agency's waterboarding program.

The full Senate now appears all but certain to confirm Haspel within the next week or so, which would make her the first woman to lead the CIA.

Her confirmation also would complete President Trump's recent shakeup of his national security and foreign policy teams.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The Pentagon said Thursday that an investigation into the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger last year found "individual, organizational and institutional failures." But it said no sole reason was responsible for the ambush.

Gina Haspel's appearance before the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday promises to be a very unusual confirmation hearing.

Most every nominee for a top government job has a long public record that is open for scrutiny. Not so with Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the CIA.

When Michael Hayden ran the CIA and the National Security Agency, his public comments were largely confined to congressional testimony. Now that he's retired, "I'm on Twitter and I'm on CNN," said Hayden.

He was also the featured guest as dozens of former national security officials and several current ones spoke at a recent conference on threats the U.S. faces.

This story was originally published on Oct. 20, 2017, and is being republished with minor changes to update.

When U.S. troops were ambushed in Niger last October, the widespread reaction was surprise: The U.S. has military forces in Niger? What are they doing there?

The Pentagon has started briefing the families of four soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger last October, and the military acknowledges a series of missteps contributed to the deaths, one family member told NPR.

"I think in any instance where people lose there lives, there were obviously mistakes that were made," said Will Wright, the brother of one of those killed, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. Will Wright is himself a combat veteran, having served as a staff sergeant in Afghanistan. He and his family were briefed by military officers on Thursday.

John Brennan's tenure as CIA director ended the same day that President Trump entered office last year, and since then, the former spy chief has been a relentless critic of the president.

"I think he is dishonest, he lacks integrity, he has very questionable ethics and morality, and he views the world through a prism of 'how it's going to help Donald Trump?,' " Brennan said in a wide-ranging interview with All Things Considered.

"I just think that he has not fulfilled the responsibilities of the president of the United States," Brennan added.

Gina Haspel, the first woman nominated to lead the CIA, has a five-foot-tall poster of Johnny Cash in her office. She's an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan — though she transferred from that school and graduated from the rival University of Louisville. She majored in journalism.

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