Nick Turse

Articles by this author

"From Afghanistan to Iraq, Somalia to the Philippines, Libya to Yemen, military investments -- in lives and tax dollars -- have been costly and enduring victories essentially nonexistent." Views
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Counting Coups: Can the Pentagon Win When Putsch Comes to Shove?
Winning! It’s the White House watchword when it comes to the U.S. armed forces. “We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing -- you know what that is? Win! Win!” President Donald Trump exclaimed earlier this year while standing...
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Monday, June 26, 2017
A Wide World of Winless War
The tabs on their shoulders read “Special Forces,” “Ranger,” “Airborne.” And soon their guidon -- the “colors” of Company B, 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group -- would be adorned with the “Bandera de Guerra,” a Colombian combat decoration. “Today we commemorate sixteen years...
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Thursday, April 27, 2017
The U.S. Military Moves Deeper into Africa
General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy. “I would just say, they are on the ground. They are trying to influence the action,” commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa...
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Thursday, January 05, 2017
The Year of the Commando
They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya , supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen , backing troops from the United Arab Emirates. At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia , they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab...
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Monday, December 19, 2016
Commandos Without Borders: America’s Elite Troops Partner with African Forces But Pursue US Aims
Al-Qaeda doesn’t care about borders. Neither does the Islamic State or Boko Haram. Brigadier General Donald Bolduc thinks the same way. “[T]errorists, criminals, and non-state actors aren’t bound by arbitrary borders,” the commander of Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) told an...
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Monday, November 28, 2016
The Manhattan White House, the Secret Service, and the Painted Bikini Lady
High above, somewhere behind the black glass façade, President-elect Donald J. Trump was huddled with his inner circle, plotting just how they would “ drain the swamp ” and remake Washington, perhaps the world. On the street far below, inside a warren of metal fencing surrounded by hefty concrete...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Trump's America and the Dismal Tide
“So is he going to win?” The question washed over me as I slumped in my hard plastic chair. I had passed the day walking through a town where most homes lay in ruins and human remains were strewn across a field, a day spent looking over my shoulder for soldiers and melting in the 110-degree heat...
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Thursday, October 20, 2016
A Perpetual Killing Field in the Worst Place on Earth
LEER, South Sudan -- There it is again. That sickening smell. I’m standing on the threshold of a ghost of a home. Its footprint is all that’s left. In the ruins sits a bulbous little silver teakettle -- metal, softly rounded, charred but otherwise perfect, save for two punctures. Something tore...
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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 06, 2016
What the US Military Doesn't Know (and Neither Do You) About Special Forces in Africa
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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