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Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

by Jeremy Scahill

Choice The notion that the whole world is now a battlefield is clearly demonstrated in this catalog of US anti-terrorist actions across the globe. A wide-ranging and detailed account provides insights into US and other countries' anti-terrorist efforts in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia across two decades of the War on Terror. The work persuasively argues that this type of "dirty" warfare, which was begun under President Bush, has actually been legitimized and expanded during the two terms of President Obama: "Using drones, cruise missiles and Special Ops raids, the United States had embarked on a mission to kill its way to victory." By choosing security over civil rights, the author concludes, the US has changed the nature of the conflict so that "the war on terror has become a self-fulfilling prophecy." He ends by asking, "How does a war like this ever end?" Although obviously concerned by the lack of widespread public opposition to drone strikes and other more numerous extra-legal operations, the author unfortunately provides no actionable alternatives applicable to that war and the opposition tactics that go with it. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. C. Potholm II Bowdoin College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list With the war on terrorism as subterfuge, the U.S. since the George W. Bush administration has embarked on a perpetual state of war, beyond borders, beyond the scrutiny of Congress, and beyond the codes of the Geneva Convention, according to Scahill, national security correspondent and author of the best-selling Blackwater (2007). He offers a disturbing look at the secret forces, including the military and private security contractors, carrying out missions to capture and kill enemies designated by the president. Scahill details several operations, including covert wars and the targeting of two U.S. citizens for assassination, as well as Greystone, a secret global assassination and kidnapping operation. Navy SEALs, Delta Force, the CIA, Joint Special Operations Command, ghost militias, and drone attacks all feature in chilling operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Pakistan. Drawing on interviews with mercenaries, CIA agents, and warriors in elite forces as well as those caught in the middle, Scahill examines the dark side of dirty wars, from the private pain of sufferers to the public cost in rising suspicion of the intentions of U.S. foreign policy.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.