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Articles by: Nick Turse

American Commandos in Baltics to Help NATO Allies against Russia

 U.S. Commandos Are A “Persistent Presence” On Russia’s Doorstep 

“They are very concerned about their adversary next door,” said General Raymond Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), at a national security conference in Aspen, Colorado, in July.  “They make no bones about it.” The “they” in question were various Eastern European and Baltic nations.  “Their adversary”?  Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Thomas, the commander of America’s most elite troops —[Read More…]

 Globe-Trotting U.S. Special Ops Forces Already Deployed To 137 Nations In 2017 

 Globe-Trotting U.S. Special Ops Forces Already Deployed To 137 Nations In 2017 

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 of a permanent fight against drugs in a ceremony where all Colombians can recognize the special[Read More…]

U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries

U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy To 138 Nations, 70% Of The World’s Countries

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.  Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian[Read More…]

 Keeping Track Of U.S. Special Ops In Africa

 Keeping Track Of U.S. Special Ops 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 moment members of the U.S. 19th Special[Read More…]

 When AFRICOM Evaluates Itself, The News Is Grim

 When AFRICOM Evaluates Itself, The News Is Grim

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 retirement, utter a word about the failings of their predecessors or successors.  Think[Read More…]

AFRICOM Clams Up After Commander Peddles Contradictory Statements To Congress

AFRICOM Clams Up After Commander Peddles Contradictory Statements To Congress

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 (Iraq War 1.0) before becoming deputy commander of United States[Read More…]

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