Greg Myre | KERA News

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.

In a few short years, Turkey has gone from a regional pillar of stability to a rattled nation fighting battles on three separate fronts.

Turkey has pushed hard for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its security forces are again clashing with Kurdish separatists in the southeast of the country. And Turkish leaders suspect the Islamic State is behind Tuesday's terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron was at his political peak just last year as he led his Conservative Party to an outright majority in Parliament for the first time in more than two decades, surpassing all the forecasts.

Today, his political career is effectively over, the result of another surprise at the ballot box — the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union.

Great Britain once ruled the largest empire in history, with colonies and dominions that spanned the globe, political and economic influence that wildly exceeded its modest size. Generations of schoolkids were raised on the mantra: "the empire on which the sun never sets."

World War II marked the beginning of the end, and the not-so-United Kingdom votes Thursday on whether to cut itself loose from the European Union, the latest in a long line of moves that would shrink its international presence.

The Orlando nightclub killings mark the third time in just over a year an attacker has claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, a group that has aggressively advocated for such lone wolf attacks.

So how significant is this?

One school of thought is that individual shooters are simply seeking maximum publicity by invoking the Islamic State, yet have no real links, and therefore the claim is of limited value in understanding the motive or preventing future attacks.

When NPR photographer David Gilkey was killed by Taliban fire in a roadside ambush Sunday, he was doing what he always did — chasing an important story in a dangerous place. He did this from Afghanistan to Iraq to Liberia and many other places along the way.

Hillary Clinton didn't just take aim at Donald Trump's national security policies in a major speech Thursday. She declared him unfit to negotiate with allies, command U.S. forces or be privy to the nuclear code.

"Americans aren't just electing a president in November — we're choosing our next commander in chief, a person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death," Clinton said in San Diego. "It's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because someone got under his very thin skin."

As the U.S. Army Air Corps prepared to unleash the world's first attack by an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, Japanese schoolgirl Kikue Takagi, age 12, woke up feeling sick and stayed home that day.

Her classmates were sent to Hiroshima's city center to clean up debris, doing their part in the war effort as Japan struggled to hold off the rapidly approaching U.S. military. Those students were near ground zero when the American bomb obliterated the city.

At home on the outskirts of Hiroshima, Takagi was spared.

When President Obama lifted the ban on U.S. weapons sales to Vietnam, he invoked one of his favorite themes — relics of the Cold War.

"This change will ensure that Vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself and removes a lingering vestige of the Cold War," Obama said Monday in the capital, Hanoi.

He sounded a lot like the president who made a groundbreaking visit to Cuba in March:

The cause isn't yet known, but the loss of an Egyptian plane into the Mediterranean has already delivered a new round of trauma to a beleaguered country struggling on several fronts.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's hardline rule faces mounting criticism at home and abroad. An ISIS-linked group is waging an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. The tourist industry has been in the doldrums for years.

And the EgyptAir plane that vanished early Thursday marked the country's second aviation disaster in just over six months.

This was supposed to be Brazil's time to shine. The country's economy was surging a few years back, the 2014 World Cup fueled the national obsession with soccer and the 2016 Summer Olympics were on the horizon.

When King Salman assumed the throne in Saudi Arabia last year, he was pushing 80, his health was questionable and many thought he would be more a caretaker than a monarch of note.

Yet Salman has unleashed major initiatives and shaken up the kingdom, setting a course for change in a land where the watchwords have long been tradition, stability and continuity.

President Obama has cut a nuclear deal with Iran. He has scolded North Korea for its provocative nuclear tests. And he has hosted a series of global nuclear security summits in Washington.

Now there's speculation the president may visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the world's first atomic bombing, which hastened the end of World War II more than 70 years ago.

President Obama has cut a nuclear deal with Iran. He has scolded North Korea for its provocative nuclear tests. And he has hosted a series of global nuclear security summits in Washington.

Now there's speculation the president may visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the world's first atomic bombing, which hastened the end of World War II more than 70 years ago.

The headquarters for the U.S. military's longest war isn't at the Pentagon. It's here at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a modest brick building in suburban Washington.

Like most military campaigns, this one requires volunteers. Their mission is to place a bare arm atop a mug of malaria-infected mosquitoes and sit still while the parasites enjoy a feast. The volunteers will get malaria, and this allows the military to see how humans respond to treatment.

Syria's government has freed an American who was seized after entering the country in 2012, U.S. officials said Friday.

The Washington Post identified him as Kevin Patrick Dawes, 33, of San Diego. He was released after lengthy negotiations, according to the U.S. officials. There was no immediate word on where Dawes was on Friday.

When Pakistani Taliban gunmen stormed a school in December 2014, killing more than 130 schoolboys, it united many Pakistanis in support of a major offensive against the radical group that had been growing more menacing for years.

That military operation, which was already underway, picked up momentum. Violence is down, and Taliban have been weakened in their strongholds in northwest Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The Islamic State has been steadily losing territory in its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, where a U.S. bombing campaign and a host of rival forces chip away at its holdings.

Yet the Brussels bombings again demonstrated the group's potency much farther afield, from terror attacks in Western Europe and North Africa to seizing control of Libya's coastal city of Sirte.

The terrorist attacks in Brussels mark the third major assault in the heart of Europe in just over a year and raise a troubling question: Are European states prepared to deal with a sustained onslaught?

The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was hit in January 2015. Terrorists rampaged through Paris again in November. And now, Brussels has suffered bomb attacks at the airport and the subway, claiming more than 30 lives.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in December 2014 when President Obama announced plans to improve U.S. ties with Cuba. We're republishing it with minor updates following Fidel Castro's death.

Just months after he seized power in Cuba, Fidel Castro visited Washington in April 1959 and received a warm welcome. Castro met Vice President Richard Nixon, placed a wreath at the base of both the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and was photographed looking up in seeming admiration of both U.S. presidents.

Europe and Turkey have been negotiating for decades on the kind of relationship they want, and they're nowhere close to a final deal on that big question.

The limited agreement announced Friday on migrants reflects the relationship they have by default: mutual dependency that forces them to cooperate when faced with a crisis.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the United States has determined that the Islamic State is carrying out genocide against Christians and other religious groups in the Middle East.

It was not immediately clear whether the declaration would result in any change in U.S. policy, including the American bombing campaign against the radical Islamist group.

"In my judgment, [ISIS] is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims," Kerry said at the State Department.

Russian President Vladimir Putin just made another shrewd and decisive move with his surprising decision to start withdrawing forces from Syria. Or, the Russian leader was overextended abroad and short of cash at home and was looking for a quick exit.

Putin wants everyone to believe the former, claiming the Russian airstrikes and the Syrian government army have achieved a "fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism."

The U.S. has ramped up oil production so dramatically that it's joined Saudi Arabia and Russia as one of the world's largest producers. Just glance at the chart below.

Since this surge began in 2008, American production rocketed from 5 million barrels a day to nearly 10 million barrels a day at the high point last year.

More importantly, oil analysts confidently predicted that a tide of benefits would flow as freely as the oil now coming out of the ground.

A handwritten will by Osama bin Laden said he had a fortune of "about 29 million dollars" and that most of it should be spent "on Jihad," according to documents released by the U.S. government on Tuesday.

Less than two weeks after international sanctions were lifted, Iran is already cutting megadeals with Europe. The French automaker Peugeot-Citroen said Thursday it will return to Iran, while Iran appeared poised to buy at least 100 planes from Airbus.

Thursday's developments came during a visit to France by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, and follows his stop in Italy earlier this week, where he announced business agreements valued at around $18 billion.

Pope Francis met Tuesday with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, the latest sign of Iran's improving ties in the West as years of sanctions fall away.

The two said they discussed the problems in the region, a reference to the wars in Iraq and Syria. The pope has made pleas for peace in both conflicts, while Iran is deeply involved in supporting the embattled governments in both countries.

With financial sanctions against Iran falling away, President Hassan Rouhani is wasting no time in seeking new business opportunities for a country that's long been isolated.

The Iranian leader was in Italy on Monday, a stopover that may also include a meeting with Pope Francis, according to media reports. Rouhani also planned to visit France as part of the first European tour by an Iranian president since 1999.

Britain says the circumstantial evidence points to Russian President Vladimir Putin's involvement in the poisoning death of an ex-Russian security agent who died after drinking polonium-laced tea at a London hotel.

So what's Britain going to do about it?

Not very much. And that's largely in keeping with the West's response to Putin's many controversial actions throughout his 16 years in power.

In a Middle East already aflame, a fresh feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to complicate almost every major issue from the Iranian nuclear deal to the Syrian civil war to global oil markets.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country wants the U.S. to provide more airstrikes, weapons and intelligence in their joint battle against the Islamic State. But he stressed his opposition to ground troops from the U.S. or other outside nations, fearing Iraq could be turned into a major regional war.

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