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Some of the best works on the American Empire are being done by reporters and publicatioins exclusively focused on the various branches of the US military. Sean Naylor, of the Army Times, is an example. His six part series on covert American activities in Somalia is an enormously valuable insight into the nuts and bolts of global imperial efforts, missions that will go on long after the United States has left Iraq and Afghanistan. An excerpt:

The official referred to Joint Special Operations Command’s notion of “the unblinking eye” — using intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to keep a target under constant watch. In Iraq and Afghanistan, JSOC was “developing the concept of ‘we don’t want any blinks in our collection’ — the unblinking eye,” the senior intel official said.

But the wars in those countries deprived commanders in the Horn of the overhead assets they needed, “so in Somalia, it was a blink all the time,” the official said, adding that commanders “would go days without any kind of overhead collection capability” they controlled.

Not a military-focused organization, but still intensely informative is The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based non-profit that “bolsters original journalism by producing high-quality investigations for press and broadcast media.” They’ve created a timeline of known American actions in Somalia.

A map of the world, split into American unified combatant commands:

Unified command world map

From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:


I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean Mount McKinley.

[Update: They’ve silently corrected it , even to the point of deleting a comment I put up, which means the link no longer works. New link. I’m glad I grabbed a screen shot.]

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