In late March, I’ll be heading to Nigeria to embark aboard the USS Nashville amphibious ship during her “soft-power” deployment on the West African coast. Nashville‘s cruise is part of the Navy’s Africa Partnership Station, which in turn is one of three ongoing “Global Fleet Stations,” the other two targeting Latin America (pictured) and Asia. The Global Fleet Stations are frameworks for sending mixed teams of military trainers and humanitarians to developing countries to help build alliances and improve security. Think of it as ground-level diplomacy with a military edge, or war-prevention way, way in advance of any conflict. Nashville sits at a nexus of some of the most important trends in U.S. naval power: littoral operations, soft power and a renewed focus on developing countries. This is important stuff, folks.
I need help getting out to Nigeria. Air fare alone is around $3,000, and I just don’t have that much money. I’m asking readers to contribute a few bucks to make this coverage possible. Last summer, readers ponied up more than $1,500 to send me to Chad. In December, I got donations totaling almost $1,000 to support my reporting on piracy in Kenya. Both trips were still money-losing ventures for me, but much less so because of your generous support. If you can spare anything for this latest enterprise, please click the Paypal button at left. In exchange, I promise the best coverage to date of the Navy’s African, littoral, soft-power operations.
$860 donated so far!