Sep 8 • 2M

'If somebody's going to conduct a coup, it is going to be him'

A conversation about the US and Africa with investigative journalist Nick Turse


Appears in this episode

Jonathan M. Katz
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Last week, in its story on the latest African coup the New York Times included precisely one line of context about the United States: National Security Council spokesman John F. Kirby saying the “attempted takeover”was “deeply concerning.” What Times readers didn’t learn was that the U.S. has a direct interest in that country, Gabon, as it has been using it as a key staging ground for military operations in wars that most Americans don’t even know we’re involved in. Or that at least fifteen of the leaders of recent coups in Africa were trained by the U.S. military.

That last factoid was uncovered by investigative journalist Nick Turse, a historian and reporter who has spent the last decade reporting from inside Africa’s wars and on the hidden roles of the United States Africa Command. He graciously accepted my invitation to join me for this conversation. We get into what the U.S.—and the recently orphaned Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group—are really up to in the Sahel; the details of that aforementioned U.S. training; and the NATO war that kicked off this wave of unrest. We also unpack the unlikely (and not uncomplicated) role of far-right Florida congressman Matt Gaetz as a lone voice on the American political front.

Paid subscribers to the Racket can listen to the audio of my conversation with Nick using the player above, or the podcast app of your choice. There’s also a transcript, edited and abridged for clarity, below. And if you aren’t a full subscriber, now’s a great time:

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