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.

Depending on whom you ask, there have been 353 mass shootings in the United States this year, or four. Or some other number in between.

How can the figures be so far apart?

A mass shooting would seem to be self-evident. But with the highly politicized debate over gun control, and no fixed standard, there's an ongoing battle over the definition. Some say mass shootings are soaring, while others point to numbers suggesting they have been at roughly the same level for years.

The shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., was the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. this year — or more than one per day on average so far in 2015 — according to groups monitoring such attacks in recent years.

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2015, and has been updated to reflect the attack in Nice, France.

Many Americans have seen France as a country that wasn't supportive, bordering on antagonistic, as the U.S. waged wars against radical Islamists on several fronts following the Sept. 11 attacks.

China's President Xi Jinping has condemned the Islamic State for killing a Chinese man held hostage by the extremist group. But in keeping with China's long-standing policy of not intervening in distant conflicts, he did not specify what action, if any, China might take.

The Islamic State attacks in Paris last Friday added to the growing list of deadly attacks the extremist group has claimed outside its core territory of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS has been linked to dozens of attacks in multiple countries over the past year. Here's a look at some of the key figures in the Paris attack, as well as other numbers related to ISIS.

Extremist Islamist groups often choose between two options: controlling territory locally or carrying out terrorist attacks abroad. In claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks, the Islamic State has made clear it thinks it can do both.

Since emerging as a powerful force two years ago, the Islamic State had focused its energies on building its self-proclaimed caliphate in the Middle East. The carnage in Paris, for which the group has claimed responsibility, demonstrated it can unleash a ferocious, coordinated assault far from its home turf.

Russia's military intervention in Syria is intended as a lifeline for Syria's beleaguered President Bashar Assad. Yet the Kremlin's track record on bailing out floundering leaders is largely a litany of failure.

Over the past quarter-century, Moscow's proteges, clients and allies have often lost power, and sometimes their lives, despite Russia's military and political patronage.

President Obama entered the White House with a pledge to bring home U.S. troops from two major wars. Now it looks almost certain he will leave office with U.S. forces engaged in three ongoing conflicts: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throughout his tenure, Obama's impulse has been to shrink the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East. He's called for a greater emphasis on diplomacy, and taking the broader view, he wants the U.S. to shift more resources to Asia and the Pacific.

Pages