Nick Turse

Articles by this author

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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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 02, 2016
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 05, 2016
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
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 03, 2016
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
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
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 09, 2015
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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Friday, November 27, 2015
America’s Empire of African Bases Spreads
In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent," a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that was by design. But look hard enough and -- north to south, east to west -- you’ll find the fruits of that effort: a network of bases, compounds, and other sites whose sum...
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Friday, November 20, 2015
In Mali and Rest of Africa, the U.S. Military Fights a Hidden War
The general leading the U.S. military’s hidden war in Africa says the continent is now home to nearly 50 terrorist organizations and “illicit groups” that threaten U.S. interests. And today, gunmen reportedly yelling “Allahu Akbar” stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital and seized several...
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