Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering military and intelligence issues. Her work is featured on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Martin has spent most of her career in public radio with a short detour in network television, covering the White House as a correspondent for ABC News.

In 2005, Martin worked as a foreign correspondent for NPR based in Berlin, Germany. During her time in Europe, she covered the London terrorist attacks, the federal elections in Germany, the 2006 World Cup and issues surrounding immigration and shifting cultural identities in Europe.

Martin has also worked extensively in Afghanistan. She first started reporting from there as a freelancer during the summer of 2003, covering the reconstruction effort in the wake of the U.S. invasion. She returned in the fall of 2004 for several months to cover Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. She has reported widely on women's issues in Afghanistan, the fledgling political and governance system and the US-NATO fight against the insurgency. She has also reported from Iraq, where she covered U.S. military operations and the strategic alliance between Sunni sheiks and the U.S. military in Anbar province.

After returning to the United States in August 2006, Martin worked as NPR's religion correspondent. The following year, her piece on Islam in America was awarded "Best Radio Feature" by the Religion News Writers Association. As one of NPR's reporters assigned to cover the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, she was on the school's campus within hours of the shooting and on the ground in Blacksburg, Va., covering the investigation and emotional aftermath in the following days. Martin was also part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project, based in New York -- a two-hour daily multimedia program that she co-hosted with Alison Stewart and Mike Pesca.

Rachel started her career at public radio station KQED in San Francisco, as a producer and reporter. She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

 

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1:48pm

Mon August 8, 2011
National Security

For Navy Seal Team 6, A Huge Loss For A Small Unit

The U.S. Special Forces held a changing of the guard Monday, and it should have been a moment to recount triumphs, like the raid that killed Osama bin Laden just three months ago.

Instead, the long-planned change of command in Tampa, Florida, was a somber day as military leaders paid tribute to the 30 American troops who died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash Saturday.

Nearly two dozen were members of the unit responsible for killing bin Laden – Navy Seal Team 6.

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3:00am

Wed August 3, 2011
National Security

Pentagon Could See Deep Cuts In Debt Deal

For several GOP lawmakers, the decision on whether to vote for the debt deal hinged on how the prescribed cuts will affect defense spending. In the end, enough Republicans in the House put their concerns about cutting the deficit over their concerns about cutting defense spending.

But no one really knows how much the Pentagon will have to cut as a result of the deal or when.

"We are in uncharted territory here," said David Berteau, an expert on budgetary issues with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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8:53am

Tue July 26, 2011
Conflict In Libya

U.S. Looks For Ways To Break Libya Stalemate

Libyan rebel fighters run for cover at the front line near the southwest desert town of Gualish on July 24, as Gadhafi forces started attacking them in an attempt to capture the city.
Colin Summers AFP/Getty Images

It's been more than four months since NATO launched an attack on Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. Since then, opposition forces have gained ground with help from NATO airstrikes, but Gadhafi's military is holding firm so far.

President Obama and other leaders have called on Gadhafi to leave, but he's clearly not listening. Now, the conflict in Libya has turned into a complicated waiting game.

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5:10pm

Mon July 18, 2011
Afghanistan

As Leadership Changes, So Could Afghanistan Strategy

Afghan National Army soldier Mohammed Shadwar gets a bird's-eye view from the rooftop of a mud-walled compound during a joint clearing operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan. As the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan changes, there's a question of whether U.S. policy will shift from one that supports building up Afghan national security forces to one focused on targeting insurgents.
David Gilkey NPR

Gen. David Petraeus stepped down as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday and handed control of the war over to Marine Corps Gen. John Allen. Petraeus is leaving to become head of the CIA at the end of the summer.

A year ago, President Obama asked Petraeus to take charge in Afghanistan and jump start the counterinsurgency operation there. Now, there's a question of whether Monday's change in command also signals a change in strategy.

The Counterinsurgency Strategy

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3:00pm

Mon July 11, 2011
NPR Story

Panetta Speaks On Attacks Against U.S. Troops In Iraq

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (left) sits with Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, as they fly in a Black Hawk helicopter over Baghdad on Monday.
Paul J. Richards AP

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been on the job for all of 11 days and he's already frustrated with Iraq.

"I'd like things to move a lot faster here, frankly, in terms of the decision-making process. I'd like them to make a decision, you know: Do they want us to stay? Don't they want us to stay? ... But damn it, make a decision," he said during a visit to Baghdad on Monday following a brief trip to Afghanistan. It's Panetta's first trip to the warzones since assuming his new job last week.

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