How Do We Stop the Relentless Expansion of the American Empire? First, Uncover the Truth About It

AlterNet has dedicated some serious editorial muscle to do investigative reporting on US military operations around the globe -- can you help?

Dear AlterNet Reader,

A few weeks ago, in a conversation with U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye, Nick Turse -- one of the great investigative reporters on military power and national security -- learned something truly shocking. He found out that, on any given day, American commandos are carrying out secret missions in 70 countries. And here is some startling news -- by the end of the year, that number is likely to reach 120.

That’s right. You read that correctly. America’s secret commandos are carrying out operations in 120 countries around the world. What Nick learned provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite, waging a secret war in about 60 percent of the world’s nations -- a far larger number than was previously acknowledged. This represents a huge expansion by the Obama administration over that of George W. Bush, who deployed "Special Ops" troops in 60 countries.

As Turse points out: Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret unit within the U.S. military -- U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) -- has grown into a combined force of startling proportions. Made up of the Army’s “Green Berets” and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, and Marine Corps Special Operations teams, in addition to specialized helicopter crews, boat teams, civil affairs personnel, para-rescuemen, and even battlefield air-traffic controllers and special operations weathermen, SOCOM carries out the United States’ most specialized and shadowy missions. These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.

This is the kind of reporting that is necessary if we are to challenge the Obama version of the expansion of military intrusions all over the globe. Investigative journalism is essential. Will you help support it?

Nick Turse, the guy who broke this story, is a key part of AlterNet's editorial team, overseeing our new strategic coverage area: Empire. Nick is an awardwinning investigative reporter, historian and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. Nick has written a batch of stories for AlterNet over the years and worked closely with the groundbreaking Tom Dispatch. And now we will have him, with your help, aiming his laser focus, uncovering dirt and details on the relentless expansion of U.S. military operations all around the world, even as the country suffers from huge jobless rates, unrelenting hunger, persistent poverty, and a truly distorted sense of priorities. 

I don't have to tell you how important this work is. Needless to say, keeping an eye on our secret military takes time and isn't cheap. Can you help fund Nick's research and writing with a contribution right now? 

In return, we promise you that we will have superb reporting and inside information on the growth of the president's super-secret "private army" that can be sent to assassinate targets around the world, with just a signature from Barack Obama. 

Thanks for your support,

Don Hazen

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.
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