Nick Turse

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
America's Empire of African Bases
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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Monday, October 26, 2015
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Special Ops "Successes"
They’re some of the best soldiers in the world: highly trained, well equipped, and experts in weapons, intelligence gathering, and battlefield medicine. They study foreign cultures and learn local languages. They’re smart, skillful, wear some very iconic headgear, and their 12-member teams are “...
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Sunday, October 11, 2015
Why Bombing the Kunduz Hospital Was Probably a War Crime
Did the U.S. military commit a war crime when it bombed a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz and killed at least 22 people? It’s too early for experts to say for certain, but there’s good reason to believe the attack may have violated international humanitarian law. Hospitals enjoy special...
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Thursday, September 24, 2015
A Secret War in 135 Countries
You can find them in dusty, sunbaked badlands, moist tropical forests, and the salty spray of third-world littorals. Standing in judgement, buffeted by the rotor wash of a helicopter or sweltering beneath the relentless desert sun, they instruct , yell , and cajole as skinnier men playact under...
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Thursday, September 10, 2015
When It Comes to America's Endless War: Nothing Succeeds Like Failure
"Africa is a challenging place today and one that, if left unattended, is likely to be the birthplace of many more challenges in the future,” Army Secretary John McHugh said recently. Since 9/11, in fact, the continent has increasingly been viewed by the Pentagon as a place of problems to be...
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Monday, August 10, 2015
On Garrisoning the Planet
[ Note for TomDispatch Readers: Every now and then, in the quieter days of summer, it feels good and appropriate to feature old friends no longer with us. In that spirit, TomDispatch recently offered an excerpt from Mirrors , the idiosyncratic, late-in-life masterwork of world history by Eduardo...
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Sunday, June 07, 2015
The Child Veterans of South Sudan Want to Know: Will Americans Support Them?
PIBOR, South Sudan -- “I’ve never been a soldier,” I say to the wide-eyed, lanky-limbed veteran sitting across from me. “Tell me about military life. What’s it like?” He looks up as if the answer can be found in the blazing blue sky above, shoots me a sheepish grin, and then fixes his gaze on his...
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Monday, May 18, 2015
The Kids Aren't All Right: The Child Soldiers of an American-Made Army in Africa
MALAKAL, South Sudan -- I didn’t really think he was going to shoot me. There was no anger in his eyes. His finger may not have been anywhere near the trigger. He didn’t draw a bead on me. Still, he was a boy and he was holding an AK-47 and it was pointed in my direction. It was unnerving. I don’t...
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Monday, April 27, 2015
Seeking 'The End': From the Fall of Saigon to Our Fallen Empire
“It just started out as a simple goodbye song,” James Douglas Morrison told reporter Jerry Hopkins. “Probably just to a girl, but I could see how it could be goodbye to a kind of childhood... I think it's sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it...
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Sex, Drugs, and Dead Soldiers: What US Africa Command Doesn’t Want You to Know
Six people lay lifeless in the filthy brown water. It was 5:09 a.m. when their Toyota Land Cruiser plunged off a bridge in the West African country of Mali. For about two seconds, the SUV sailed through the air, pirouetting 180 degrees as it plunged 70 feet, crashing into the Niger River. Three of...
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