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.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Trump has named Robert O'Brien to be his fourth national security adviser. O'Brien is taking over one of the most important foreign policy jobs in Washington. The president praised his new national security adviser for his work as a State Department hostage envoy.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He's worked with me for quite awhile now on hostages. And we've had a tremendous track record with respect to hostages.

When Edward Snowden landed at the Moscow airport in 2013, having just divulged valuable secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs, he was immediately stopped by Russian authorities.

A smooth-talking Russian intelligence officer sat Snowden down in an airport lounge and informed him the U.S. government had canceled his passport while Snowden had been in the air. The Russian added, "Life for a person in your situation can be very difficult without friends who can help. Is there some information, perhaps, some small thing you could share with us?"

Nearly three decades after the Cold War ended between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, a new debate is stirring: Is the U.S. heading into a new Cold War, this time with China?

"The Chinese military has undergone a substantial program of modernization to the point now where they are a near-peer military in a number of military domains," Neil Wiley, the director of analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an interview with NPR.

When former defense secretary Jim Mattis is asked about his relationship with President Trump, he has an answer ready.

"I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

The head of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, has a catchphrase: "persistent engagement."

This covers a broad spectrum of cyber activities at the nation's largest spy agency. But at its core, it means relentlessly tracking adversaries, and increasingly, taking offensive action against them.

"That's the idea of persistent engagement. This idea of enabling and acting," Nakasone recently told NPR. When he took over the agency last year, he said that rivals didn't fear the U.S. in the cyber realm, and he intended to change that.

Nearly two decades into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. suddenly appears to be nearing an agreement with the Taliban that could bring the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops home.

That's causing unease inside the Afghan government, which has been left on the sidelines as the U.S. and the Taliban have held multiple rounds of talks this year in the Gulf nation of Qatar. The latest round wrapped up last week without a deal, but with signs of progress.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, one of the last remaining survivors of President Trump's original national security team, will leave the administration on August 15, the president said in a tweet on Sunday.

The Defense Department wants more Americans to speak Chinese, and it provides millions of dollars to train students at U.S. universities.

China's government, through language centers known as Confucius Institutes, has been doing the same thing, for the same reasons, and at some of the same U.S. universities.

But a new law has forced these American universities to choose: They can take money from the Pentagon or from the Confucius Institute — but not both.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As a young government employee in 1975, Marti Peterson was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. She loved the social scene and it earned her a nickname.

"I was known as 'Party Marti' because I was out socializing with the Marine guards, with younger secretaries, the single, social life," Peterson said. "We did drink our share of Carlsberg beer."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

John Walker Lindh, known as the "American Taliban" after his capture in Afghanistan in 2001, was released from prison on Thursday after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said.

Lindh received three years off for good behavior, though his probation terms include a host of restrictions: He needs permission to go on the Internet; he'll be closely monitored; he's required to receive counseling; and he's not allowed to travel.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now an update on one story that's part of the long war in Afghanistan.

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For 40 years, the U.S. and Iran have been locked in an almost nonstop confrontation. In the latest escalation, the U.S. is demanding that other countries stop buying Iranian oil — the one product that keeps that country's economy afloat, if just barely.

These sanctions will further weaken Iran's already fragile economy and add to tensions in the region, but to what end?

To learn more, watch the video above.

At a superhero extravaganza in Washington, comic book fans dressed the part. No matter which way you turned, middle-aged men were in Batman costumes.

Not exactly the place you'd expect a CIA discussion on recruiting foreign spies. And yet CIA staff historian Randy Burkett, wearing khakis and a polo shirt with the CIA logo, was doing exactly that.

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