“What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things — especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa.” So writes investigative reporter Nick Turse in his latest book, Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa.
Adapted from a series of articles written for TomDispatch.com from 2012 to late 2014, Tomorrow’s Battlefield methodically follows Turse’s exploration of the U.S. military’s Africa Command, or AFRICOM, a reporting mission that Turse says was continually re-inspired by his subjects’ lack of cooperation. “Basically, it was AFRICOM that made me do it. They were really responsible for this book,” he told HuffPost in a recent interview.
From the outset of his reporting, Turse faced continual resistance and was refused even the most basic information or access in response to his questions. When asked for a simple tally of U.S. installations, military spokespersons repeatedly emphasized to Turse that the command maintains only one permanent “base,” Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, contradicting documentary evidence of activity and infrastructure on a much larger and rapidly growing scale.