Greg Myre

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on the intelligence community, a position that follows his many years as a foreign correspondent covering conflicts around the globe.

He was previously the international editor for NPR.org, working closely with NPR correspondents abroad and national security reporters in Washington. He remains a frequent contributor to the NPR website on global affairs. He also worked as 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 1996-1999, covering the early days of Vladimir Putin as Russia's leader.

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.

In the past 10 days, President Trump has fired the defense secretary as part of a leadership shake-up at the Pentagon. His administration has announced troop cutbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the president huddled with his national security team and discussed possible military action against Iran.

As president-elect, Joe Biden should start receiving the same daily intelligence briefing as the one prepared for President Trump.

But so far, this hasn't happened, and it's not clear when the daily briefings will begin, according to intelligence officials.

Trump has not accepted the election results, and his administration has not yet authorized Biden and his team to start receiving government resources that range from the mundane — like office space and desks — to the highly sensitive, like top-secret intelligence briefings.

President Trump distilled his foreign policy into the phrase "America First." In practice, the result has often been friction with allies, withdrawal from international agreements and the scaling back of the leading international role the U.S. has played for generations.

President-elect Joe Biden wants to restore a more traditional U.S. posture: warmer relations with longstanding partners, a recommitment to organizations such as NATO, and a U.S. that's once again front and center on the global stage.

A Russian group acquired U.S. voter data in at least a couple of states. The Iranians reportedly did the same. President Trump's campaign website was briefly defaced.

During 26 years at the CIA, Marc Polymeropoulos spent a lot of time in rough places, like war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he never suffered any harm until December 2017, when he was sound asleep at a Marriott Hotel in Moscow near the U.S. Embassy.

"I was awoken in the middle of the night," recalled Polymeropoulos, 51. "I just had incredible vertigo, dizziness. I wanted to throw up. The room was spinning. I couldn't even stand up without falling down. I had tinnitus ringing in my ears."

National security leaders normally lay low to the point of invisibility during presidential election campaigns. Not this year.

Most members of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, tested positive for COVID-19, the military said Tuesday.

Ray is not a member of the Joint Chiefs, the nation's top military officers, but he was at Pentagon meetings last week with others who are.

It's not clear how Ray was infected, though he did attend a White House ceremony on Sept. 27, just one day after President Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. Multiple people at that event contracted COVID.

John Brennan stepped down as CIA director the moment Donald Trump was being sworn in as president – noon on Jan. 20, 2017.

The next day, Trump visited CIA headquarters and spoke about the size of his inauguration crowd while standing in front of the agency's Memorial Wall, featuring a star for each CIA employee killed in the line of duty.

National security officials say the Kremlin is at it again: Just like in 2016, Russia is using social media to try to undermine the U.S. presidential election, only with even more sophisticated tools.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So part of The New York Times report found that President Trump is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Democrats say that debt can actually create national security risks. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking on MSNBC.

The al-Qaida attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, may now seem like a distant memory for some. But not for Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who interrogated many al-Qaida suspects.

"For me, it has the feeling that it just happened yesterday," Soufan told NPR in an interview.

He has good reasons for feeling that way. This week, Soufan released a new version of his 2011 book, The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed The War On Terror After 9/11, which now includes details of interrogations previously censored by the U.S. government.

A Department of Homeland Security official said in a whistleblower complaint that the head of DHS told him to stop reporting on the Russian threat to the U.S. election because it "made President Trump look bad."

The White House and DHS denied the allegations. However, the president's Democratic critics say the accusations are the latest sign that the Trump administration is attempting to politicize the intelligence community and downplay Russian attempts to interfere in this year's election, as Moscow did in 2016.

The Pentagon ordered the closure of the venerable military newspaper Stars and Stripes on Friday. But hours later, President Trump tweeted that he wouldn't allow that to happen "under my watch."

In August 2016, during the run-up to the last presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials began briefing congressional leaders on what they described as unprecedented Russian interference efforts.

The Russians had a history of meddling, but this time was different, Mike Rogers, then the director of the National Security Agency, told All Things Considered co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

A satellite photo shows the eastern Syrian town of Baghouz, the last holdout of Islamic Stat

A recently ousted counterterrorism chief says the country is risking the gains made against terrorist threats by cutting back resources with little or no public debate. In an interview with NPR, Russ Travers also expressed frustration at the poor state of relations between the intelligence community and the Trump administration.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The National Security Agency, as well as its counterparts in Britain and Canada, all said Thursday that they're seeing persistent attempts by Russian hackers to break into organizations working on a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The Western intelligence agencies say they believe the hackers are part of the Russian group informally known as Cozy Bear. The intelligence agencies refer to it as APT29.

Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU, was founded a century ago under the leadership of the revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Only in recent years has it come to the fore with a series of brazen actions. They include Russia's military operations in Ukraine and Syria and the hack of Democratic Party emails in the 2016 U.S. election.

President Trump has said he was not told about a suspected Russian bounty program to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Many immigrants have inspiring stories. Then there's Janis Shinwari, who worked eight years as an Afghan interpreter with the U.S. military in some of the most dangerous parts of his homeland.

"During his service, he saved the lives of five American soldiers. That is not something many people can say," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

John Bolton reportedly received a $2 million advance for his tell-all book about his time as President Trump's national security adviser, and if it sells well, additional royalties could follow.

But a judge's ruling has raised questions about whether Bolton will be allowed to keep the money for his work titled The Room Where It Happened.

President Trump on Sunday ordered National Guard troops to start withdrawing from Washington, where the protests over the killing of George Floyd have been peaceful in recent days.

In a telephone briefing with reporters, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said guardsmen from 11 states, who came to assist the D.C. National Guard, will be returning home over the next two or three days.

Altogether, the National Guard force from D.C. and the states totaled more than 5,000 this past week, though only about one-third were on the streets at any given time, he said.

The race to defeat the coronavirus can be viewed in two very distinct ways. One is based on international cooperation, with a vaccine treated as a "global public good." The other is competitive, a battle between nations that's being described as "vaccine nationalism."

Many are hoping for the former, but are seeing signs of the latter.

Despite Democratic opposition, the Republican majority in the Senate on Thursday confirmed U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as the new director of national intelligence, overseeing all 17 intelligence agencies.

With the 49-44 vote along party lines, Ratcliffe becomes the fourth person to hold the job in less than a year.

He takes over at a sensitive moment. U.S.-China tensions are rising over the coronavirus pandemic, and many in the national security community say they are certain that Russia again will attempt to interfere in the U.S. presidential election this fall.

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