Tracking America’s ‘shadow wars’

Right now, America is fighting a war in Afghanistan – the longest in its history – a war against the Islamic State in the Middle East, a war against Islamic radicals in Pakistan, several different operations in and around the Horn of Africa and – if you ask the Houthi rebels – a war in Yemen. That’s a short list. Today on War College, we sit down with freelance journalist and independent researcher Joseph Trevithick, who has spent the better part of the last year compiling a list of all the military operations America is fighting overseas. He uses the Freedom of Information Act and a spreadsheet to keep everything straight. As of this recording, his list of American military operations is up to 190. The nature of these conflicts is often small-scale and powered by special operations forces and drones. Trevithick says most of these operations aren’t secret, it’s just that they’re complicated and often, through legal loopholes, avoid Congressional oversight.

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