What were the most underreported stories of 2017?

Following a year of hurricanes, refugee crises and political shifts, CBS News correspondents shared the domestic and international stories they believe didn't receive the attention they deserved in 2017.

National security correspondent David Martin said the most underreported story is military readiness — or, perhaps, lack thereof. 

Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with CBS News last week that the U.S. is rebuilding the military under President Trump. "Not so much," Martin said Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

Military readiness is generally defined as the ability of individual military units to carry out assigned missions swiftly and competently. Right now, what the administration has proposed is really more of a "wish list," with the Pentagon operating on continuing resolutions that extend current funding levels rather than infuse new funding for the Department of Defense's budget. 

The heads of military services "say their readiness is falling apart," Martin said. The Secretary of the Air Force said that when she entered her first readiness briefing, she said there must be some mistake. 

Nevertheless, nobody should conclude the U.S. is inferior — "we're still number one," Martin said. An unsatisfactory military readiness doesn't mean the U.S. will stop going; rather, the U.S. will come back with less, he said. 

CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett believes the most underreported story abroad is the U.S. focus on Saudi Arabia. Mr. Trump made Saudi Arabia his first overseas stop as president. The orientation of the U.S. against Iran — partly through use of Saudi Arabia — is an important story, as is the possible restoration of the Saudi kingdom, Garrett said. 

At home, Garrett said the Trump administration has a "20th-century point of view" on energy, with renewable energy going virtually ignored. 

CBS News White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan said the lost generation of the refugee crises abroad make for a story that deserves more focus. Yemen and Congo have become humanitarian crises, and UNICEF predicts hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five could die in Yemen. But the U.S. is rarely talking about these issues, and isn't leading on them, Brennan said. When people in those nations do come up in conversation, it's from a homeland security perspective, she said. 

CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues said perhaps the biggest underreported story is that European officials are saying they are not seeing the outflow of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters they expected. They have had to "reassess" what they thought would happen with the Syrian battlefield winding down, Pegues said. 

At home, Washington Post reporter and CBS News contributor Ed O'Keefe said threats against lawmakers and the "assassination attempt" on a member of Congress — Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana — deserves more attention. Scalise was seriously injured when a man opened fire on a congressional baseball practice in June. 

"This was the most threatening year for lawmakers in history," said O'Keefe, referencing the number of threats recorded against lawmakers. O'Keefe said the "rhetoric is rubbing off."

Also all-but-forgotten is the aftermath of the hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, an island that must be rebuilt after Hurricane Maria. That rebuilding hasn't really happened yet, O'Keefe said. 

The full discussion aired Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.