Nick Turse

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 11:30am
Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars
Winning: it’s written into the DNA of the U.S.A. After all, what’s more American than football legend Vince Lombardi’s famous (if purloined ) maxim : “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”? Americans expect to be number one. First Lady Michelle Obama recently called the United States the “...
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 10:00am
What the US Military Doesn't Know (and Neither Do You)
Sometimes the real news is in the details -- or even in the discrepancies. Take, for instance, missions by America’s most elite troops in Africa. It was September 2014. The sky was bright and clear and ice blue as the camouflage-clad men walked to the open door and tumbled out into nothing. One...
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Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 10:30am
The Burden of More Than 150 Years of Warfare
America has been committed to supporting the veterans of its wars since long before it had “United States of” in front of it. “It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire... horrible was the stink and scent thereof,” William Bradford wrote after soldiers of the Massachusetts Bay...
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 11:15am
The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain
It’s rare to hear one top military commander publicly badmouth another, call attention to his faults, or simply point out his shortcomings. Despite a seemingly endless supply of debacles from strategic setbacks to quagmire conflicts since 9/11, the top brass rarely criticize each other or, even in...
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 10:30am
Leaker, Speaker, Soldier, Spy
I ran into David Petraeus the other night. Or rather, I ran after him. It’s been more than a year since I first tried to connect with the retired four-star general and ex-CIA director -- and no luck yet. On a recent evening, as the sky was turning from a crisp ice blue into a host of Easter-egg...
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Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 12:15pm
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics... and U.S. Africa Command
General David Rodriguez might be a modern military celebrity -- if he hadn’t spent his career ducking the spotlight. After graduating from West Point in 1976, he began his long march up the chain of command, serving in Operation Just Cause (the U.S. invasion of Panama) and Operation Desert Storm (...
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 10:00am
Donald Trump Strikes Fear... Even in South Sudan
LEER, South Sudan -- I’m sitting in the dark, sweating. The blinding white sun has long since set, but it’s still in the high 90s, which is a relief since it was above 110 earlier. Slumped in a blue plastic chair, I’m thinking back on the day, trying to process everything I saw, the people I spoke...
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Friday, January 22, 2016 - 8:30am
How to Succeed at Failing in Iraq, Pentagon-Style
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 the Islamic State (IS). Government forces and Shiite militias, for example, recaptured the city of Tikrit, while Kurdish troops ousted...
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Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 10:00am
America’s Secret African Drone War Against the Islamic State
On October 7th, at an “undisclosed location” somewhere in “Southwest Asia,” men wearing different types of camouflage and dun-colored boots gathered before a black backdrop adorned with Arabic script. They were attending a ceremony that mixed solemnity with celebration, the commemoration of a year...
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 8:30am
The Islamic State, America, and a History of Violence
In the muddled midst of last week’s mass killing in San Bernardino, California, a few words skittering across my Twitter feed gave me pause. “On this awful shooting: Is U.S. culture evil? Enemy of our civilization? Must all Americans apologize? Should we bar U.S. tourists as dangerous?” asked Simon...
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