Jackie Northam

Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

Northam spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent. She reported from Beirut during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and from Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. She lived in and reported extensively from Southeast Asia, Indochina, and Eastern Europe, where she charted the fall of communism.

While based in Nairobi, Kenya, Northam covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She managed to enter the country just days after the slaughter of ethnic Tutsis began by hitching a ride with a French priest who was helping Rwandans escape to neighboring Burundi.

A native of Canada, Northam's first overseas reporting post was London, where she spent seven years covering stories on Margaret Thatcher's Britain and efforts to create the European Union.

Northam has received multiple journalism awards during her career, including Associated Press awards, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and was part of an NPR team journalists that won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

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12:01am

Mon July 11, 2011
National Security

Popularity Of Drones Takes Off For Many Countries

A model of a surveillance drone by the French Dassault Aviation and the British BAE Systems is on display at the International Paris Air Show in June.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

As the U.S. begins withdrawing ground troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, it is increasingly depending on unmanned aerial vehicles to track and kill suspected terrorists and other enemies. That has pushed production of the weaponized drones to new levels.

But remotely controlled aircraft, especially the type used for surveillance, are becoming ubiquitous throughout the world, says Peter Singer, author of Wired for War.

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12:01am

Wed June 22, 2011
National Security

U.S. Prods Europe On NATO Spending

Defense Secretary Robert Gates urges NATO members to boost defense spending. He is speaking on June 10 in Brussels.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

One of the calculations in President Obama's decision Wednesday on U.S. troops in Afghanistan is the growing concern about the cost of military operations — not only in that country, but in other areas as well.

Funding for NATO is coming under the microscope amid growing complaints about the U.S. paying a disproportionate share to the alliance.

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12:01am

Thu June 16, 2011
Asia

U.S.-Pakistan Relations Move From Grudging To Toxic

The relationship between the United States and Pakistan has long been one of grudging interdependency. The U.S. needs Pakistan to help in the fight against Islamist militants and to serve as a supply transit route for military operations in Afghanistan. Pakistan needs the U.S. for financial aid, and access to international lenders and the global economy. But neither side much likes nor trusts the other.

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7:36am

Sun June 5, 2011
Middle East

Yemen Leader's Exit Leaves Shaky Political Ground

Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh, is recovering in a Saudi hospital, following surgery for wounds he suffered in a rocket attack on his palace Friday. Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years, left with several senior government officials who were also wounded in the attack.

Saleh's departure set off celebrations in Yemen as protesters have tried for the past four months to oust him from power. But there are concerns his absence could create a power vacuum in a country where al-Qaida has a strong base.

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7:14am

Sun May 29, 2011
Opinion

Becoming An American: A Proud Canadian's Story

iStockphoto.com

Jackie Northam covers foreign affairs for NPR news. She has spent two decades covering the world's hot spots, reporting on international and foreign policy issues. She was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

The one question that came up repeatedly since I started my U.S. naturalization process nine months ago was: why?

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