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.




Mon July 11, 2011

Panetta Visits Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta flew to Afghanistan and Iraq over the weekend. The unannounced visits were his first to those war-zones in his new role. NPR's Rachel Martin is traveling with the secretary and reports on the challenges he faces, and how his experience with the CIA helps — and perhaps hurts him.


Mon June 27, 2011
National Security

Gates To Depart Pentagon After Serving Bush, Obama

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks to troops in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Jason Reed/Pool Getty Images

On Thursday, Robert Gates will step down as defense secretary — a position he held for more than four years, overseeing two wars. He's the only person to hold the job under two presidents from different parties.

For the past two years, he's attained a kind of "wise man" status within the Obama administration. While he makes weekly visits to the White House, he has also spent a great deal of time in khakis and a baseball cap out in the field with men and women in uniform.

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Thu May 12, 2011

Will Bin Laden's Death Affect Afghan Insurgency?

It didn't take long for some on Capitol Hill to point to the successful operation to kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as evidence that the U.S. could be winning the war in Afghanistan with fewer troops on the ground.

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Sun May 8, 2011
National Security

Insights From Bin Laden's Home Videos

On Saturday, the Pentagon released several videos seized by U.S. forces from Osama bin Laden's raided Pakistani compound. NPR's Rachel Martin reports on their significance.


Sat May 7, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Videos Reveal Osama Bin Laden's Life In Hiding

The Pentagon released five short videos on Saturday that were recovered from the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden had been living — and was killed. NPR's Rachel Martin tells host Guy Raz that the videos and other correspondence found at the compound in Abbottabad indicate that bin Laden was still a tactical leader for al-Qaida.