Nick Turse

Articles by this author

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Thursday, July 12, 2012
America's Shadow Wars in Africa
They call it the New Spice Route, an homage to the medieval trade network that connected Europe, Africa, and Asia, even if today’s “spice road” has nothing to do with cinnamon, cloves, or silks. Instead, it’s a superpower’s superhighway, on which trucks and ships shuttle fuel, food, and military equipment through a growing maritime and ground transportation infrastructure to a network of supply depots, tiny camps, and airfields meant to service a fast-growing U.S.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012
The New Obama Doctrine, A Six-Point Plan for Global War
It looked like a scene out of a Hollywood movie. In the inky darkness, men in full combat gear, armed with automatic weapons and wearing night-vision goggles, grabbed hold of a thick, woven cable hanging from a MH-47 Chinook helicopter. Then, in a flash, each “fast-roped” down onto a ship below. Afterward, “Mike,” a Navy SEAL who would not give his last name, bragged to an Army public affairs sergeant that, when they were on their game, the SEALs could put 15 men on a ship this way in 30 seconds or less.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012
Terminator Planet: A Drone-Eat-Drone World
The following is an adapted excerpt from the newly released book, Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 (co-authored by Tom Engelhardt), and re-printed here with permission.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Vietnam, Afghanistan, and The Pentagon's Memory Failure
Recently, after insurgents unleashed sophisticated, synchronized attacks across Afghanistan involving dozens of fighters armed with suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms, as well as car bombs, the Pentagon was quick to emphasize what hadn’t happened. “I’m not minimizing the seriousness of this, but this was in no way akin to the Tet Offensive,” said George Little, the Pentagon’s top spokesman. “We are looking at suicide bombers, RPG [rocket p
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Blown Away: How the US Fanned the Flames in Afghanistan
Is it all over but the (anti-American) shouting -- and the killing? Are the exits finally coming into view?
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Monday, February 13, 2012
Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan
In late December, the lot was just a big blank: a few burgundy metal shipping containers sitting in an expanse of crushed eggshell-colored gravel inside a razor-wire-topped fence. The American military in Afghanistan doesn’t want to talk about it, but one day soon, it will be a new hub for the American drone war in the Greater Middle East.
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Monday, January 16, 2012
The Crash and Burn Future of Robot Warfare
American fighter jets screamed over the Iraqi countryside heading for the MQ-1 Predator drone, while its crew in California stood by helplessly. What had begun as an ordinary reconnaissance mission was now taking a ruinous turn. In an instant, the jets attacked and then it was all over. The Predator, one of the Air Force’s workhorse hunter/killer robots, had been obliterated.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
What a Busted Robot Airplane Tells Us About the American Empire in 2012 and Beyond
The drone had been in the air for close to five hours before its mission crew realized that something was wrong. The oil temperature in the plane’s turbocharger, they noticed, had risen into the “cautionary” range. An hour later, it was worse, and it just kept rising as the minutes wore on. While the crew desperately ran through its “engine overheat” checklist trying to figure out the problem, the engine oil temperature, too, began skyrocketing.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Making Repression Our Business: The Pentagon’s Secret Training Missions in the Middle East
As the Arab Spring blossomed and President Obama hesitated about whether to speak out in favor of protesters seeking democratic change in the Greater Middle East, the Pentagon acted decisively. It forged ever deeper ties with some of the most repressive regimes in the region, building up military bases and
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Monday, October 17, 2011
America’s Secret Empire of Drone Bases
They increasingly dot the planet. There’s a facility outside Las Vegas where “pilots” work in climate-controlled trailers, another at a dusty camp in Africa formerly used by the French Foreign Legion, a third at a big air base in Afghanistan where Air Force personnel sit in front of multiple computer screens, and a fourth at an air base in the United Arab Emirates that almost no one talks about.
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