Category Archives: Special Forces

When the truth is also a lie: drone strikes in Yemen

Human Rights Watch has called upon the U.S. government to investigate a 2013 drone strike in Yemen that targeted a wedding procession. The December 12 attack, which was probably carried out by the military’s JSOC, killed 12 men and wounded … Continue reading

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Dirty Wars – UK Screenings

Last night I was lucky enough to be a panelist at the Scottish screening of “Dirty Wars” in Edinburgh. I also met the producers of the documentary, Anthony Arnove and Brenda Coughlin. Aside from being a great film, the cinema’s … Continue reading

Posted in Documentaries and media, Jeremy Scahill, Special Forces, Terrorism and Counterterrorism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bureaucratic Assassination — How do U.S. Targeted Killings Work?

INTRODUCTION Since the First World War and the birth of airpower, both military and civilian personnel have worked together to compile target lists for bombing. New and evolving technology has reduced the “blast radius” of the munitions dropped to such … Continue reading

Posted in CIA, Law and Lawfare, Obama, Special Forces, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, White House Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Changing Face of Empire

Nick Turse (2012). The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare. Chicago: Haymarket Books Geography and geographic imaginations play a pivotal role in the practice of inter-state violence. From “Clash of Civilization”-type territorial … Continue reading

Posted in Baseworld, Book Reviews, CIA, Empire, Nick Turse, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dirty Wars, A Review, Part 4: The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)

Iraq The Iraqi occupation (2003-2011) was a mecca for the U.S. military’s Special Operations Forces and a new phase in counter-insurgency that resurrected the CIA’s gruesome tactics of the Vietnam-era of the 1960s. And was a dream come true for … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Book Reviews, CIA, History of Drones, Iraq, Jeremy Scahill, Pakistan, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dirty Wars: A Review, Part 3: Lawfare, or “Operational Preparation of the Battlespace”

Law exacerbates and enables war. For the most part it provides a code or system for legitimizing state violence. At least, this is the case with US Special Forces operating around the globe. It’s partly misleading to characterize their activities … Continue reading

Posted in Empire, Jeremy Scahill, JSOC, Law and Lawfare, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dirty Wars: A Review, Part 2: The Rise of JSOC

Dirty Wars: A Review, Part 2: The Rise of JSOC Scahill’s book is first and foremost a book about the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Critics of America’s dirty wars usually focus on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). And there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Jeremy Scahill, JSOC, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments