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A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war The most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war: a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops; trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks; and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies. This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict. But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them. It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime. Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain-smoking Pentagon official running an off-the-books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash. At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy. Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated. Other times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not. For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.
A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later. In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth—Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them—acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan. Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers—including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson—War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice—but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.
The Rhetorical Invention of America's National Security State uses a broad range of materials, including technical, journalistic, entertainment, academic, and legal sources to explore the role of rhetoric in the expansion and maintenance of America’s national security state. It helps audiences understand the complex discourses produced by and constitutive of the national security state. Its interdisciplinary approach will resonate with scholars working in a number of different fields, including rhetoric, critical security studies, and science and technology studies.
The Drone Memos collects for the first time the legal and policy documents underlying the U.S. government’s deeply controversial practice of “targeted killing”—the extrajudicial killing of suspected terrorists and militants, typically using remotely piloted aircraft or “drones.” The documents—including the Presidential Policy Guidance that provides the framework for drone strikes today, Justice Department white papers addressing the assassination of an American citizen, and a highly classified legal memo that was published only after a landmark legal battle involving the ACLU, the New York Times, and the CIA—together constitute a remarkable effort to legitimize a practice that most human rights experts consider to be unlawful and that the United States has historically condemned. In a lucid and provocative introduction, Jameel Jaffer, who led the ACLU legal team that secured the release of many of the documents, evaluates the “drone memos” in light of domestic and international law. He connects the documents’ legal abstractions to the real-world violence they allow, and makes the case that we are trading core principles of democracy and human rights for the illusion of security.
A highly valuable resource for students of intelligence studies, strategy and security, and foreign policy, this volume provides readers with an accessible and comprehensive exploration of U.S. espionage activities that addresses both the practical and ethical implications that attend the art and science of spying. • Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date examination of all aspects of intelligence by experts in the field, from collection-and-analysis and counterintelligence to covert action and accountability • Probes into how the United States' intelligence agencies attempt to protect the nation from cyberattacks by foreign nations and terrorist groups—and documents the successes and failures • Documents the involvement of the National Security Agency (NSA) in bulk "metadata" collection of information on the telephone records and social media communications of American citizens • Examines the effects that have resulted from major leaks in the U.S. government, from Wikileaks to the NSA Snowden leaks
Most people think of snipers as shooters perched in urban hides, dealing out death unseen from a considerable distance. But this description barely scratches the surface. Special operations snipers are men with stacked skill sets who have the ability to turn the tide of battles, even when they aren't pulling the trigger. Snipers have played an outsized role in the War on Terror that has earned them the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and countless other honors. These are the most experienced warriors on the battlefield, oftentimes the units' best assaulters with years of door-kicking under their belt. These are the men who run ops in small teams across borders, or dress like locals and pull off high-risk vehicle reconnaissance and singleton missions in non-permissive environments. MODERN AMERICAN SNIPERS tells the inside story of some of the most heroic patriots in recent American history by the friends and colleagues who knew them best, including: * The Legend – Chris Kyle, SEAL Team 3 Chief and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history * The Reaper – Nick Irving, the first African American to serve as a sniper in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, and its deadliest, with 33 confirmed kills * Robert Horrigan, Delta sniper who played a critical role in Operation Anaconda * Don Hollenbaugh, Delta Operator who earned the Distinguished Service Cross while embedded with a Marine platoon in the First Battle of Fallujah * And many more

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