Stratfor, one of the world's most respected private global intelligence firms, has an unmatched ability to provide clear perspective on the current geopolitical map. In America's Secret War, George Friedman identifies the United States' most dangerous enemies, delves into presidential strategies of the last quarter century, and reveals the real reasons behind the attack of September 11, and the Bush administration's motivation for the war in Iraq. It describes in eye-opening detail America's covert and overt efforts in the global war against terrorism: Not only are U.S. armies in combat on every continent but also, since September 11, the intelligence services of dozens of nations have been operating in close partnership with the CIA.
America's Secret War is an unprecedented look at the new world war being waged behind the scenes today. It is sure to stir debate and capture headlines around the world.
©2004 George Friedman; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Stratfor is changing the way we think about news." (American Spectator)
"A clearer, deeper, and subtler understanding of the post-9/11 world than we will ever get from listening to the cacophony of talking heads on television." (Booklist)
Exceptional. I have read (or listened to) most of the other books on this subject, many of them quite good, but "America's Secret War" was by far the best of the bunch in every important way. It is perfectly clear, concise and forthright. It is full of "I didn't realize that!" moments, and even readers who know a lot about this subject matter are likely to find nuggets of truth and perspective that will surprise them (if only because the concepts are so well explained and put into such clear perspective that you find yourself grasping concepts with a depth you might not have otherwise). It takes no political stance, but instead outlines and analyzes events as they happened without partisan spin (something that I appreciate all the more in this age of increasingly whiny, partisan, adversarial screeds by authors with openly political agendas and a total lack of shame flaunting them). Moreover, this book is truly interesting, fast-paced, and novelistic: I found myself compelled to continue listening to it not just by my desire to learn more, but also by the same "can't wait to find out what happens next" story-telling that the best adventure novels benefit from. That is partly due to the writing, of course, but the narrator was also among the best I've heard. He was one of only 2 narrators that were so good that I looked up their other books and purchased titles I would never have bought otherwise (most of which turned out to be excellent as well, so the narrator really can make or break an audiobook listening experience). This is simply one of the best books I have ever listened to.
I am far from a 9/11 fanatic. I work in NYC and was there the weekend before and the weekend after. Life goes on, and most of those that were taken I'm sure would agree. However, it has been frustrating watching the confusing actions of this administration. This book provided so much clarity, not so much to the correctness of each decision but the context in which things were done. I can't praise it highly enough. I now realize that if a person hasn't read this book it would very difficult to have an intelligent conversation about the subject. Equally helpful regardless of your politics, I higly, highly reccomend it. Very fast paced and holds your attention. Answers so many question!! One of the best audible book/books I have read.
This book provided a fascinating look at the human beings making decisions affecting all our lives. It is simply not possible to get this kind of in-depth thinking from newspapers or nightly news programs. After listening to this book I came away with a completely different understanding of the how and why of the war we are in. I can?t say the analysis is correct, but the perspective presented is not easily found elsewhere. If you want a better understanding of current events and the people making the decisions causing those events to happen I highly recommend this book.
What really stood out about this book to me was the lack of a political slant, Friedman doesn't rail for or against the US, nor for or against Bush. He just thoroughly lays out the strategies, politics and underlying motivations behind the actions of various countries and groups.
Personally it was exactly what I wanted, a book that laid out the information to me, and allowed me to decide whether or not I think the actions are right or not. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subjects of iraq, intelligence, and geopolitics
This is the best guide for understanding the components leading up to and currently effecting the war in Iraq. Stories and explanations are too often biased or spun to the writer's persuasion, but this is not one of them. Once I started the story, I realized that this was a rare inside view of what was happening at the highest of levels and it was extremely helpful in pulling the facts and actions together, a must read! This is one of the best buys I have made this year and I am hoping that he will write a sequel so that I can gain a clearer picture of what the startegy is after the Iraq election.
The War on Terror has devolved into a highly polarized debate over America's involvement in Iraq. At one extreme are the flag-wavers who insist that America's freedom and way of life are threatened by bloodthirsty terrorists bent on our destruction. At the other end of the spectrum are the liberals who decry the war in Iraq, spread defeatism, and seek to portray George W. Bush as an incompetent, nearly criminal idiot. George Friedman's astute analysis of the context for the war on terror dispels both sets of myths. With logic and lucidity, Mr. Friedman deftly explains the global context from which the War on
Terror sprang. Without excusing the barbarity of September 11 and other atrocities, he helps us to question the simplistic label of "terrorist" and to understand Al Qaeda's true aims. This book was a fascinating look at the complexity of political and military maneuvering on both sides, as well as with other nations. Who is an ally? Who is an enemy? The answers are not so simplistic as we've been led to believe. If you want to understand the world that you live in, you must read America's Secret War.
If you buy this book to discover secrets in the secret war you probably won't find them. The book doesn't really reveal any new facts (read Charlie Wilson's war for that!).
What the book does is take a step back and examine the motives, tactics and strategies involved. The book does point out the US sucesses AND mistakes as well as the Al-Qaida successes and mistakes. In this sense it is a welcome refresher after the Coulters(liberals =bad) , Michael Moores and German WW2 revisionists (Bush = bad, everybody else is good). In this respect the book did a great job at actually trying to be objective.
When reading this a lot of puzzles pieces of the last few years fell into place. It offers reflection on all the stacks of "breaking news" we endure every day.
A point of critique:
The book does focus very much on 09/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and lacks in describing the other "battlefields". Like the Philippines, Nigeria, Western Europe , Bosnia, Kosovo, Global shipping, global finance etc. etc. In that way the book lacks a bit the unprecedented broadness of the war.
A good analyses, some more of this is badly needed. (Sorry partisan writers)
This is by far the best audiobook I have purchased yet. If you want to know how the "chessgame" of geopolitical events has been played leading up to and since 9/11, this is a must-listen book. Well written and very informative.
Great book, I listened to it twice. At first I thought this guy must be a Democrat, then later in the book, I thought, no he is a Republican. Then I realized that he is a fact finder and a seeker of the truth. If only half of what he writes is true, we Americans need to pay more attention to what our leaders say and speak up sooner rather than later if what they say can't be backed up with facts. Look at the impact that the 911 families had on policy. Yes, speaking up can make a difference; but we must pay attention all of the time.
A fascinating book about American foreign policy both leading up to and following 9/11.
Though Mr. Friedman?s topic seems impossible to address without some political angle, Friedman takes a ?Dragnet? approach??just the facts.? He explains the goals and aims of Al Qaeda, the history of American presence in the Middle East during the Cold War, and explains Al Qaeda?s motives in attacking the United States on 9/11. He then discusses the response of the United States in great detail around the world, but focusing on the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The most fantastic aspect of this book was that it opened my eyes to the chess game of diplomacy which is going on over our heads. Friedman explains what the U.S. government did in order to get other countries to cooperate (every country stated PUBLICLY that they would cooperate, but many were not as helpful in substance). The flare-up between India and Pakistan was a result of the U.S. using creative diplomatic pressure.
No book is without its shortcomings, and Friedman?s text has some limitations. First, some of his analysis is wrong. I have no idea which information is incorrect, but it is safe to assume that Friedman himself is not 100% correct. Because each of his points is so clearly stated and convincing, it is virtually impossible to know what is correct, and what is incorrect. This is difficult to keep in mind while reading.
Also, I wish the title did not have to contain the word ?Secret.? Though the war is certainly hidden, those who don?t bother to read the book may think the ?secret? is that the war is about oil, the desire for revenge against Saddam, or any other of the groundless conspiracy theories (from any angle).
Brian Emerson?s reading is great--clear and easy to understand.
Friedman has written an epilogue to the book which can be viewed on the web (just Google the author?s name, title, and ?epilogue,? and you?ll find it). You'll love this book!
"Hugely informative and relevant"
Suggest elsewhere as a means to get a handle on what's happening in the Middle East. Was not disappointed. Almost regard as an essential read. Needs a revised version, though. Couples of years behind, but still excellent.
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