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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 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
This groundbreaking survey explains why war remains predominant in today's world by showing how the spread of nationalism and capitalism has brought about modern warfare. It argues that the key explanation for modern conflict, which is characterized by violent conflicts between nation-states, civil war, and wars over resources, rests in the dialectical relationship between nation-states and capitalist modes of production, where nations have finite boundaries that capitalism seek to transcend in search of increased profits. Discussing issues such as globalization, global capitalism, North and Latin American continental policies, the nature of democracy, decolonization, and technology and military industrial complexes, this unique work challenges common approaches to international relations and peace studies. This innovative, accessible work provides new insights into the causes and nature of modern war that will appeal to any student concerned with peace and violent conflict within the various fields of international relations, political economy, peace studies, and more.
This significantly revised, updated and extended second edition of New Directions in US Foreign Policy retains the strongest aspects of its original structure but adds a comprehensive account of the latest theoretical perspectives, the key actors and issues, and new policy directions. Offering a detailed and systematic outline of the field, this text: Explains how international relations theories such as realism, liberalism and constructivism can help us to interpret US foreign policy under President Obama Examines the key influential actors shaping foreign policy, from political parties and think tanks to religious groups and public opinion Explores the most important new policy directions under the Obama administration from the Arab Spring and the rise of China to African policy and multilateralism Supplies succinct presentation of relevant case material, and provides recommendations for further reading and web sources for pursuing future research. Written by a distinguished line-up of contributors actively engaged in original research on the topics covered, and featuring twelve brand new chapters, this text provides a unique platform for rigorous debate over the contentious issues that surround US foreign policy. This wide-ranging text is essential reading for all students and scholars of US foreign policy.
With Obama’s election to the presidency in 2008, many believed the United States had entered a new era: Obama came into office with high expectations that he would end the war in Iraq and initiate a new foreign policy that would reestablish American values and the United States’ leadership role in the world. In this shattering new assessment, historian Lloyd C. Gardner argues that, despite cosmetic changes, Obama has simply built on the expanding power base of presidential power that reaches back across decades and through multiple administrations. The new president ended the “enhanced interrogation” policy of the Bush administration but did not abandon the concept of preemption. Obama withdrew from Iraq but has institutionalized drone warfare—including the White House’s central role in selecting targets. What has come into view, Gardner argues, is the new face of American presidential power: high–tech, secretive, global, and lethal. Killing Machine skillfully narrates the drawdown in Iraq, the counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of the use of drones, and targeted assassinations from al-Awlaki to Bin Laden—drawing from the words of key players in these actions as well as their major public critics. With unparalleled historical perspective, Gardner’s book is the new touchstone for understanding not only the Obama administration but the American presidency itself.
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
In its earliest days, the American-led war in Afghanistan appeared to be a triumph - a ‘good war’ in comparison to the debacle in Iraq. It has since turned into one of the longest and most expensive wars in recent history. The story of how this good war went so bad may well turn out to be a defining tragedy of the twenty-first century - yet, as acclaimed war correspondent Jack Fairweather explains, it should also give us reason to hope for an outcome grounded in Afghan reality. In The Good War, Fairweather provides the first full narrative history of the war in Afghanistan, from the 2001 invasion to the 2014 withdrawal. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, previously unpublished archives, and months of experience living and reporting in Afghanistan, Fairweather traces the course of the conflict from its inception after 9/11 to the drawdown in 2014. In the process, he explores the righteous intentions and astounding hubris that caused the West’s strategy in Afghanistan to flounder, refuting the long-held notion that the war could have been won with more troops and cash. Fairweather argues that only by accepting the limitations in Afghanistan - from the presence of the Taliban to the ubiquity of poppy production to the country’s inherent unsuitability for rapid, Western-style development - can we help to restore peace in this shattered land. A timely lesson in the perils of nation-building and a sobering reminder of the limits of military power, The Good War leads readers from the White House Situation Room to Afghan military outposts, from warlords’ palaces to insurgents’ dens, to explain how the US and its British allies might have salvaged the Afghan campaign - and how we must rethink other ‘good’ wars in the future.

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