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Tag: Nick Turse


The Year of the Commando

In one conflict zone after another across the northern tier of Africa and the Greater Middle East, U.S. special operations forces waged their particular brand of low-profile warfare during 2016.

Posted on Jan 5, 2017 READ MORE


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Chris Hedges: Vietnam War, Like the Later Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Was ‘One Long Atrocity’ (Video)

Hedges and Nick Turse, author of “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam,” discuss how American wars of occupation are “primarily about murder.”

Posted on Jan 4, 2017 WATCH & LISTEN



An Interrogation in the President-Elect’s Private ‘Public’ Park

High above, in Manhattan’s very own gilt “White House,” Donald J. Trump was huddled with his inner circle, plotting how they would “drain the swamp” and remake Washington, perhaps the world.

Posted on Nov 28, 2016 READ MORE



Rebirth of a Nation?

There’s good reason to assume Donald Trump will be a Clintonesque hawk or even worse, but there is also reason to believe—due to his propensity for lies, bluster and backing down—that he could turn out to be less bellicose.

Posted on Nov 16, 2016 READ MORE



My Military, Win, Lose or Draw

Although American politicians like Hillary Clinton regularly insist that the U.S. possesses “the greatest military” on the planet, they avoid addressing what the country’s armed interventions have actually accomplished when it comes to policy goals—the true measure of success in war.

Posted on Sep 29, 2016 READ MORE



What the U.S. Military Doesn’t Know (and Neither Do You)

Exactly how many times U.S. soldiers have parachuted into the sky over Africa is unknown. But according to America’s premier think tank for evaluating the military, the program in which they do so consistently produces poor results.

Posted on Sep 7, 2016 READ MORE



We Have Met the Alien, and He Is Us

Only when we see the evidence of our own invasive nature can we begin to become the kind of land we say we want to be.

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 READ MORE



Leaker, Speaker, Soldier, Spy: The Charmed Life of David Petraeus

It seems a robust Rolodex with the right global roster, a marquee name and a cultivated geopolitical brand covers a multitude of sins. And that’s precisely the type of firepower that Petraeus brings to the table.

Posted on Jul 6, 2016 READ MORE



The Numbers Racket: U.S. Africa Command Clams Up After Contradictory Statements to Congress

Somehow, between 2015 and 2016, more than 200 AFRICOM missions from 2014 simply vanished. And the Senate Armed Services Committee apparently hasn’t bothered to ask for clarification.

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 READ MORE



Hillary Clinton’s State Department Let South Sudan Use Child Soldiers

Hillary Clinton spent years vowing to defend the rights of children worldwide, but under her leadership the State Department played a central role in allowing rebel forces in southern Sudan to use child soldiers in defiance of a 2008 law forbidding it.

Posted on Jun 11, 2016 READ MORE



What Trumps the Horrors of the South Sudanese Hellscape? The Donald

In a place where catastrophic food insecurity may tip into starvation at any time, where armed men still arrive in the night to steal and rape, a local aid worker wants—seemingly needs—to know if Donald Trump could actually be elected president of the United States.

Posted on May 6, 2016 READ MORE



In Praise of Impractical Movements

Social movements turn issues and demands considered both unrealistic and politically inconvenient into matters that can no longer be ignored. They succeed, that is, by championing the impractical.

Posted on Mar 10, 2016 READ MORE



Donald Trump and the Remaking of America

Trumpism is not a program or an ideology. It is an attitude or pose that feeds off of, and then reinforces, widespread anger and alienation.

Posted on Mar 3, 2016 READ MORE



Will American ‘Successes’ Lead to More Iraqi Military Failures?

There’s good news coming out of Iraq ... again. The efforts of a 65-nation coalition and punishing U.S. airstrikes have helped local ground forces roll back gains by Islamic State.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE



AFRICOM’s New Math, the U.S. Base Bonanza and ‘Scarier’ Times Ahead in Africa

In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent,” a scramble has come and gone. Look hard enough and you’ll find the results of that effort: a network of bases, compounds and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE



Iraq, Afghanistan and Other Special Ops ‘Successes’

U.S. special operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries in 2015—75 percent of the nations on the planet, a jump of 145 percent since the Bush administration. I pursued that record of “success” with a few experts on the subject. 

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Special Ops Forces Deployed in 135 Nations

They belong to the special operations forces, America’s most elite troops. And odds are, if you throw a dart at a world map or stop a spinning globe with your index finger and don’t hit water, they’ve been there sometime in 2015.

Posted on Sep 24, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Special Ops Missions in Africa Fail to Stem Terror Groups, Coups and Human Rights Abuses

Will episodic training with militaries regularly implicated in human rights abuses, militaries that overthrow their governments, and militaries that have consistently failed to defeat local terror groups turn them into professional, successful armies?

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 READ MORE



From the Archives of TomDispatch: America’s Empire of Bases

A vast network of American military bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can’t begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 READ MORE



Will Americans Support the Child Veterans of South Sudan?

Despite a law prohibiting it, the United States provided aid and assistance to armed groups that employed roughly 13,000 child soldiers in civil-war-wracked Sudan.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE



One Boy, One Rifle and One Morning in Malakal

When I was their age, I wasn’t trusted to drive, vote, drink, get married, gamble in a casino, serve on a jury, rent a car, or buy a ticket to an R-rated movie. No one would have thought it a good idea to put an automatic weapon in my hands. But someone thought it was acceptable for them, including the government of the United States.

Posted on May 18, 2015 READ MORE



Sex, Drugs and Dead Soldiers: What the U.S. Africa Command Doesn’t Want You to Know

As American military operations have ramped up across Africa, reports of excessive drinking, sex with prostitutes, drug use, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence by AFRICOM personnel have escalated, and many of them have been kept under wraps.

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 READ MORE



Military Missions at Record High After U.S. Signs Deal to Stay in Africa for Decades

Despite grim outcomes since the American military began “pivoting” to Africa after 9/11, the U.S. recently signed an agreement designed to keep its troops on the continent until almost midcentury.

Posted on Apr 15, 2015 READ MORE



The Golden Age of Black Ops

Just 66 days into fiscal 2015—America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80 percent of 2014’s total. This secret war across much of the planet remains unknown to most Americans.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE



The Outpost That Doesn’t Exist in the Country You Can’t Locate

Recent contracting documents indicate that the U.S. military is building something in Chad. Not a huge facility, not a mini-American town, but a small camp. The revelation suggests yet another potential source of blowback from America’s efforts in Africa which have backfired, gone bust, and sown strife.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



The Bases of War in the Middle East

There is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the Greater Middle East. After 35 years of base-building there, it’s long past time to look carefully at how this garrisoning affects the region, the U.S., and the world.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea

If the Gulf of Guinea rings any bells at all, it’s probably because of the Ebola outbreak in, and upcoming U.S. military “surge” into, Liberia, the nation on the northern edge of that body of water. But for those in the know, the Gulf itself is an intractable hot spot on a vast continent filled with them and yet another area where U.S. military efforts have fallen short.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



How Not to Win Hearts and Minds in Africa

The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa. But a Pentagon investigation suggests that those mystery projects somewhere out there in Djibouti or Ethiopia or Kenya or here in Tanzania may well be orphaned, ill-planned and undocumented failures-in-the-making.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE



As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan

Close your eyes and you could be at a stateside summer barbeque or an office holiday party. Even with them open, the local realities of dirt roads and dirty water, civil war, mass graves, and nightly shoot-to-kill curfews seem foreign. These walls, it turns out, are even higher than they look.

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE



China, America and a New Cold War in Africa?

For the last decade China has used aid, trade and infrastructure projects to set itself up as the dominant foreign player in Africa, while the U.S. has increasingly confronted the continent as a “battlefield.” These approaches have produced starkly contrasting results for the powers involved and the rising nations of the continent. The differences are perhaps nowhere as stark as in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Military’s New Normal in Africa

The real “new normal” for U.S. Africa Command is the culmination of years of construction, ingratiation, and interventions, the fruits of wide-eyed expansion and dismal policy failures, the backing of proxies to fight America’s battles, while increasing U.S. personnel and firepower in and around the continent.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



The Three Faces of Drone War: Speaking Truth From the Robotic Heavens

It would be easy enough to assume that the kind of analytical work remote pilots do would result in a sense of job satisfaction and little more. That, it turns out, would be a mistake.

Posted on May 12, 2014 READ MORE



Washington Fights Fire With Fire in Libya

Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? That’s what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command. “I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands,” he responded by email. “I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this.”

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 READ MORE



AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly

At a recent Pentagon news conference, the AFRICOM commander assured reporters that the U.S. “has little forward presence” in Africa. Just days earlier, however, the men building that presence told a very different story to some of the biggest military engineering firms on the planet. And the story was of war.

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Military Averaging More Than a Mission a Day in Africa

For years, the U.S. military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are small scale. A U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman once expressed worry that tabulating the command’s deployments would offer a “skewed image” of U.S. efforts there. It turns out that the numbers do just the opposite.

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 READ MORE



Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa

The U.S. has been making common cause with one of the continent’s former European colonial powers in a set of wars that seem to be spreading, not staunching violence and instability in the region.

Posted on Mar 14, 2014 READ MORE



DoD photo by Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal, U.S. Air Force

Misremembering America’s Wars, 2003-2053

In 2012, the Pentagon kicked off a 13-year program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, complete with a sprawling website that includes a “history and education” component.

Posted on Feb 18, 2014 READ MORE


Nick Turse on America’s Secret Soldiers

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “Kill Anything That Moves” author on the clandestine commandos who operate in as many as 120 countries. Also: An NSA panel says shut it down, a little Persian history, and Arthur Yorinks.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 READ MORE


Nick Turse on America’s Secret Soldiers

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “Kill Anything That Moves” author on the clandestine commandos who operate in as many as 120 countries. Also: An NSA panel says shut it down, a little Persian history, and Arthur Yorinks.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN



The Special Ops Surge In 134 Countries

All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed—until now.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014 READ MORE



Neal. (CC BY 2.0)

America’s Black-Ops Blackout

“Dude, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.”  With that, Maj. Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.

Posted on Jan 9, 2014 READ MORE



Haymarket Books

A Trail of Tears

In 2010, I began to follow U.S. soldiers from the battle spaces of Afghanistan to the emergency room of the trauma hospital at Bagram Air Base, where their catastrophic wounds were surgically treated and their condition stabilized. Then I accompanied some of them by cargo plane to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for more surgeries.

Posted on Nov 15, 2013 READ MORE



Edu-Tourist (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Pivot to Africa

From the Middle East to South America, the Pentagon is increasingly engaged in shadowy operations whose details emerge piecemeal and are rarely examined in a comprehensive way. Nowhere is this truer than in Africa.

Posted on Sep 7, 2013 READ MORE



Nebulon5 (CC BY 2.0)

Surveillance Blowback

For well over a century, what might be called “surveillance blowback” from America’s wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus. Its future (though not ours) looks bright indeed.

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 READ MORE



Andrew Aliferis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Political Violence and Privilege

Right-wing extremists have committed far more acts of political violence since 1990 than American Muslims. That law enforcement across the country hasn’t felt compelled to infiltrate and watch over conservative Christian communities in the hopes of disrupting violent right-wing extremism confirms what American Muslims know in their bones: to be different is to be suspect.

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 READ MORE



The National Guard (CC BY 2.0)

The Classic Military Runaround

For my trouble, on my return to the United States, I was detained at Kennedy Airport in New York by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. Their question for me: Was I planning to fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan?

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 READ MORE



babasteve (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Military and the Unraveling of Africa

A careful examination of the security situation in Africa suggests that it is in the process of becoming Ground Zero for a veritable terror diaspora set in motion in the wake of 9/11 that has only accelerated in the Obama years. U.S. “stability” operations in Africa have increased, militancy has spread, insurgent groups have proliferated and the continent has become more unsettled.

Posted on Jun 19, 2013 READ MORE



David Barreda

Truthdigger of the Week: Tom Engelhardt

At least three times a week, there is one place online where readers can go for the most comprehensive coverage possible of the workings of American Empire.

Posted on Apr 20, 2013 READ MORE



Edd Turtle

Shell Shock Lite

It didn’t take much. No battles. No dead bodies. I spent just three and a half weeks as a contractor in Iraq, when the war there was at its height, rarely leaving the security of American military bases.

Posted on Apr 17, 2013 READ MORE



Glyn Lowe Photoworks (CC BY 2.0)

Whom Did You Rape in the War, Daddy?

On August 31, 1969, a rape was committed in Vietnam. Maybe numerous rapes were committed there that day, but this was a rare one involving American GIs that actually made its way into the military justice system.

Posted on Mar 19, 2013 READ MORE


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