David Welna David Welna is NPR's national security correspondent.
David Welna, photographed for NPR, 13 November 2019, in Washington DC.
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A U.S. military vehicle drives past an oil pump jack in the countryside of Syria's northeastern city of Qamishli. President Trump is leaving some U.S. troops in Syria, with the goal of controlling Syria's oil fields. But legal experts say exploiting the oil could amount to pillaging — a war crime. Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Administration's Interest In Syrian Oil Fields Raises Questions

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Mazloum Abdi, commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces speaks to reporters near the northeastern Syrian Hassakeh province on Thursday. AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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AFP via Getty Images

In this Oct. 23, 2018 file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks beside President Donald Trump, during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Former Pompeo Adviser Michael McKinley To Testify In Impeach Probe

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Former Russia Adviser Fiona Hill Testifies In Impeachment Inquiry

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Ukraine's prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, announced Friday that he will review cases involving Hunter Biden but that he isn't aware of any evidence of wrongdoing by Biden. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters hide caption

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Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Reps. Adam Smith, D-Wash. (left) and Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, are seen before a House Armed Services Committee hearing in March. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images hide caption

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Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Letter Undercuts Trump Assertion On Delaying Aid To Ukraine

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President Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday in New York, where they were attending the U.N. General Assembly meeting. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

Pentagon Letter Undercuts Trump Assertion On Delaying Aid To Ukraine Over Corruption

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The inmate population at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, once stood at nearly 700 but has since dwindled to 40. Sylvie Lanteaume/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sylvie Lanteaume/AFP/Getty Images

James Mattis, then U.S. secretary of defense, leaves a news conference following a meeting about U.S.-China diplomacy and security at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in June 2017. Mattis' new book, Call Sign Chaos, implies criticism of President Trump without taking direct shots at him. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Negotiators Are Closing In On A Limited Deal With The Taliban

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