Tomgram: Nick Turse: An East-West Showdown in the Heart of Africa?

By: Thursday July 31, 2014 7:14 pm

For the last two years, TomDispatch Managing Editor Nick Turse has been following the Pentagon and the latest U.S. global command, AFRICOM, as they oversaw the expanding operations of the American military across that continent: drones, a special ops surge, interventions, training missions, bases (even if not called bases), proxy wars. Short of a major conflict, you name it and it’s probably happening.

Washington’s move into Africa seems connected as well to the destabilization of parts of that continent and the rise of various terror groups across it, another subject Nick has been following. With rare exceptions, only recently have aspects of the Obama administration’s largely below-the-radar-screen “pivot” to Africa made it into the mainstream media. Even more recently, global chaos from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to Ukraine has driven it out again. As a result, most Americans have no sense of how their future and Africa’s are being entwined in possibly explosive ways.

 

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince To Advise Chinese Firms In Africa

By: Monday July 7, 2014 1:24 pm

Former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder Erik Prince has a new security venture. This time he is helping Chinese firms to “take the drama out of Africa” by consulting on how the businesses should establish themselves and operate throughout the continent. Africa has become a major target for Chinese investment to secure access to the continent’s vast natural resources.

#BringBackOurGirls Brings Back the Blowback?

By: Friday May 9, 2014 1:23 pm

Will a well-meaning social media campaign to rescue kidnapped girls result in military action and, as a result, more blowback against the United States? Could our intervention in Nigeria make Boko Haram stronger?

In recent days, Americans have become aware of the 276 kidnapped Muslim schoolgirls, taken at gunpoint from their classroom in Nigeria by the militant Boko Haram movement.

Interview: “Big Men” Director Rachel Boynton on Oil, Ghana and Capitalism

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 6:57 pm

The subtitle of the newly released documentary film Big Men is “everyone wants to be big” and to say the film covers a “big” topic is to put it mildly.

Executive produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Rachel Boynton, the film cuts to the heart of how the oil and gas industry works and pushes film-watchers to think about why that’s the case. Ghana’s burgeoning offshore fields — in particular, the Jubilee Field discovered in 2007 by Kosmos Energy — serve as the film’s case study.

Combining the worst of both worlds…in the third

By: Monday April 7, 2014 1:30 am

I know that you all are comfortable with the thought that the international banking system is consistent in one thing…delivering quality services to the less privileged.

Nick Turse: American Proxy Wars in Africa

By: Saturday March 15, 2014 12:50 pm

Our major post-9/11 wars are goners and the imagery of American war-making is heading downhill. The Iraq War was long ago left in the trash heap of history, while in Afghanistan the talk is now about “the zero option” — that is, about an irritated Obama administration making a lock, stock, and drone departure from that country as 2014 ends. Meanwhile, back in America, headlines indicate that the U.S. military stands trembling at the brink of evisceration, with the U.S. Army soon to return to pre-World War II levels of troop strength and all the services about to go on a diet in an era of belt-tightening. The only new arms being promoted are the ones Republicans are “up in” when it comes to the potential destruction of U.S. military might.

As it happens, the impression this leaves bears only the most minimal relationship to the actual U.S. global military posture of this moment.

It isn’t just on the southern U.S. border

By: Friday February 7, 2014 1:30 am

The circumstances in many third world countries is desperate indeed, considering the economies of the nations they are fleeing to. Nevertheless, little attention is paid to the mass migration across the Mediterranean that is occurring into Italy and Spain now.

Any More U.S. “Stabilization” and Africa Will Collapse

By: Monday December 23, 2013 12:47 pm

South Sudan is at the brink of civil war and societal collapse, the U.S. is evacuating another embassy and indeed one variety or another of “rebels” are shooting at U.S. military aircraft arriving in their country in violation of their national sovereignty. Those who believe that the U.S. efforts in South Sudan do not involve special forces on the ground and drones overhead no doubt will have a nice Christmas waiting up to catch a glimpse of Santa.

Alone and Delusional on Planet Earth

By: Thursday September 5, 2013 5:45 am

In an increasingly phantasmagorical world, here’s my present fantasy of choice: someone from General Keith Alexander’s outfit, the National Security Agency, tracks down H.G. Wells’s time machine in the attic of an old house in London. Britain’s subservient Government Communications Headquarters, its version of the NSA, is paid off and the contraption is flown to Fort Meade, Maryland, where it’s put back in working order. Alexander then revs it up and heads not into the future like Wells to see how our world ends, but into the past to offer a warning to Americans about what’s to come.

Nick Turse, The Snags, Snares, and Snafus of Covering the U.S. Military

By: Monday July 8, 2013 7:30 pm

The 30-year-old history of U.S. foreign policy: now, there’s a dynamite issue! Explosive, in fact. Far too dangerous, it turns out, for Americans to be informed about or have access to basic documents about — so you might conclude from a recent report at Steven Aftergood’s website Secrecy News.

According to him, “A 1991 statute mandated that the State Department publish the documentary record of U.S. foreign policy (known as Foreign Relations of the United States, or FRUS) no later than 30 years after the events described.” They were years behind when President Obama, still in his sunshine mode, hit the Oval Office and ordered State “to complete the processing of the backlog of 25-year-old records awaiting declassification by the end of December 2013.”

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