For those who keep an eye on international affairs, it’s no secret that the U.S. has had a hand in stirring political pots abroad. From Saddam Hussein’s toppling in Iraq in 2003 to giving the nod to Pinochet’s Chilean power grab in 1973, the U.S. influence in foreign affairs has been… how shall we say? A little hands-on?
Now, making some waves in the political scene, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) has thrown a spotlight on this shadowy facet of U.S. policy. According to a report by The Intercept, Gaetz is pushing for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). And it’s not just any amendment. He’s calling for the Pentagon to make a list and, well, check it twice. The aim? To gather info on trainees from other countries who take the whole ‘regime change’ thing seriously by overthrowing their governments.
In his own words, Gaetz explains the current blind spot, “The Department of Defense hasn’t exactly been tracking the who’s who of their international trainees turning coup leaders. That’s precisely why I’m pushing for a report on this data to be presented to Congress.”
Shedding more light on the matter, The Intercept’s Nick Turse disclosed that during the post-9/11 War on Terror era, around 15 officers who received a thumbs-up and support from the U.S. ended up orchestrating 12 coups in regions like West Africa and the greater Sahel.
And here’s the jaw-dropping part: When Gaetz quizzed Gen. Michael Langley, the big boss of U.S. Africa Command, on this very topic, the General seemed a tad… unprepared. Langley’s response to the question of how many U.S.-trained troops had taken the coup route? A somewhat evasive, “We might have that info. But, uh, not on me right now.”
So, to our savvy, engaged, and globally-aware TYT readers: what are your thoughts on Gaetz’s push for transparency? It’s a wild, unpredictable world out there, but one thing’s for sure – the more we know about our nation’s actions abroad, the better equipped we are to hold our leaders accountable.