Nick Turse

Articles by this author

With thousands of commandos operating —with little visibility—in scores of countries on any given day, it’s little wonder that discipline has eroded to a point where the command could neither fully gloss over nor cover it up. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images) Views
Thursday, March 19, 2020
America’s Commandos Deployed to 141 Countries
Last October, a group of eight Apache attack and CH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying U.S. commandos roared out of an airfield in Iraq. They raced through Turkish airspace and across the Syrian border, coming in low as they approached a village just north of Idlib Province where Islamic State leader...
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As 2020 begins, with America’s Afghan war in its 19th year and "progress" as nonexistent as ever, a beleaguered president continues to mull over just how to end America’s "endless wars" (while seemingly expanding them further). (Photo: U.S. Army/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, January 06, 2020
Trump Threatens Afghan Armageddon
On February 4, 2002, a Predator drone circled over Afghanistan’s Paktia province, near the city of Khost. Below was al-Qaeda’s founder Osama bin Laden—or at least someone in the CIA thought so—and he was marked for death. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it later, both awkwardly and...
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Keep in mind that such Military Support Sites only begin to scratch the surface when it comes to the Pentagon’s inventory of non-base outposts. (Photo: Views
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Winter Is Coming
They called it Castle Black , an obvious homage to the famed frozen citadel from the HBO series Game of Thrones . In the fantasy world of GoT , it's the stronghold of the Night's Watch, the French Foreign Legion-esque guardians of the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. This Castle Black,...
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There are currently 5.6 million displaced Congolese and it's estimated that 99% were made homeless due to violence. (Photo by Leon Sadiki/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images) Views
Friday, October 11, 2019
As the World Looks Away, Death Stalks the Democratic Republic of Congo
GOMA, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo—The boy was sitting next to his father, as he so often did. He mimicked his dad in every way. He wanted to be just like him, but Muhindo Maronga Godfroid, then a 31-year-old primary school teacher and farmer, had bigger plans for his two-and-a...
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Today, Libya is again—or rather, still—a country at war. (Photo: Reuters) Views
Monday, September 09, 2019
How to Read a Broken Body: Literature in an Era of Endless War
Do you remember July 8, 2011? Where you were? What you did? Whom you talked to? Anything at all? I couldn’t pin down one single thing for that day. I couldn’t even locate an email I had sent or a photo I might have taken. It’s all evidently lost in the ether, known only to tech and telecom firms...
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NATO-led airstrikes during the 2011 bombing of Libya. (Photo: Indy Media) Views
Thursday, June 27, 2019
"What Does War Have to Do With Me?"
Sometimes war sounds like the harsh crack of gunfire and sometimes like the whisper of the wind. This early morning -- in al-Yarmouk on the southern edge of Libya’s capital, Tripoli -- it was a mix of both. All around, shops were shuttered and homes emptied, except for those in the hands of the...
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What if an article of mine on the U.S. military appears somewhere in our media world and that military refuses to notice? (Photo: Donald Sparks/AFRICOM) Views
Monday, April 22, 2019
No Need to Whisper, AFRICOM Isn't Listening In
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or to bring this thought experiment into the modern age—if it happens in the forest, does it stay in the forest? I ask this question because it has a bearing on the article to come. Specifically, what if an article...
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These days, it’s even difficult to obtain accurate manpower numbers for the military personnel in America’s war zones, let alone the number of bases in each of them. (Photo: Book cover detail/Metropolitan Press) Views
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Bases, Bases, Everywhere... Except in the Pentagon’s Report
The U.S. military is finally withdrawing (or not ) from its base at al-Tanf. You know, the place that the Syrian government long claimed was a training ground for Islamic State (ISIS) fighters; the land corridor just inside Syria, near both the Iraqi and Jordanian borders , that Russia has called a...
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Tuesday, September 04, 2018
The US Military is Winning. No, Really, It Is!
4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 -- as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue . That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the...
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"The war on terror has been going on for so long that two of this year’s inductees played roles in it, one of them perhaps the most famous commando of his generation." (Photo: Debra Sweet/flickr/cc) Views
Monday, August 06, 2018
The Legacy of Infinite War
Raids by U.S. commandos in Afghanistan. (I could be talking about 2001 or 2018 .) A U.S. drone strike in Yemen. (I could be talking about 2002 or 2018 .) Missions by Green Berets in Iraq. (I could be talking about 2003 or 2018 .) While so much about the War on Terror turned Global War on Terrorism...
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