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Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield

Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield

3.7 25
by Jeremy Scahill

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A New York Times bestseller
Now also an Oscar-nominated documentary

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America's new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever


A New York Times bestseller
Now also an Oscar-nominated documentary

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America's new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.

Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA's Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy.

Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America's global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.

As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
America's hand is exposed in this sprawling investigation of autonomous US military operations and the abuse of executive privilege that escalated global war. New York Times bestselling author Scahill (Blackwater) pulls no punches from right or left in his exposure of governments that passively authorized the use of torture in interrogation, marked an American citizen for death without due process, and empowered a military branch to conduct warfare on their terms, turning at least four countries into warzones. Interviews with U.S. army colonels, former CIA officers, Somali warlords, and a Yemeni sheik are only a few focal points in Scahill's narrative prism. Years of ground investigation are chronicled in stock terms, creating an accessible and shuddering effect: congress "asleep at the wheel;" an enemy of the state "on a collision course with history;" government officials who "cut their teeth" in the White House. Even in Scahill's most frustrated moments fact supplants editorial, adding valiancy and devastation to his brutal portrayals. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"[A] courageous and exhaustive examination of the way a number of clandestine campaigns-full of crimes, coverups, and assassinations-became the United States's main strategy for combating terrorism. It's about drones, but also, more profoundly, about what our government does on our behalf, without our consent, and arguably to our disadvantage."
Teju Cole, The New Yorker's 'Best Books of 2013'

"[A] fantastic piece of investigative reporting..."
Noam Chomsky

"Dirty Wars shows you why geography shouldn't join penmanship on the list of obsolete American school disciplines before you even read a single page - in the maps at the front of the book: the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, Yemen, Mogadishu, Somalia - every one an American theater of war, no matter how few Americans realize it. For the next 500 pages, Scahill demonstrates how what we don't know can hurt us - and hurt lots of other people we don't know."
Los Angeles Review of Books

Dirty Wars is the most thorough and authoritative history I've read yet of the causes and consequences of America's post 9/11 conflation of war and national security. I know of no other journalist who could have written it: For over a decade, Scahill has visited the war zones, overt and covert; interviewed the soldiers, spooks, jihadists, and victims; and seen with his own eyes the fruits of America's bipartisan war fever. He risked his life many times over to write this book, and the result is a masterpiece of insight, journalism, and true patriotism.”
Barry Eisler, novelist and former operative in the CIA's Directorate of Operations

“There is no journalist in America who has exposed the truth about US government militarism more bravely, more relentlessly and more valuably than Jeremy Scahill. Dirty Wars is highly gripping and dramatic, and of unparalleled importance in understanding the destruction being sown in our name.”
Glenn Greenwald, New York Times best-selling author and Guardian columnist

“A surefire hit for fans of Blackwater and studded with intriguing, occasionally damning material.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Dirty Wars will earn its place in history as one of the most important pieces of literature related to over a decade of failed American foreign policy strategy that continues to exist to this day. It's also one of the most grounded and thoroughly researched books I've read on the subject of covert U.S. operations in the 21st Century. A must read for anyone that cares about this country and the direction we are heading."
Brandon Webb, retired member of Navy SEAL Team Three, former lead sniper instructor at the US Naval Special Warfare Command and author of the New York Times bestseller The Red Circle

Dirty Wars is not politically correct. It is not a history of the last decade as seen from inside the White House, or from the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. Scahill's book takes us inside Dick Cheney's famed "dark side" and tells us, with convincing detail and much new information, what has been done in the name of America since 9/11."
Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

“[One] of the best intelligence reporters on the planet...Scahill has covered the worldwide wanderings of JSOC task forces and their intersection for years, and he takes a deeper look at their expanded post 9/11 mission set. He has incredible sources...”
Marc Ambinder, editor-at-large of The Week

"There is no journalist in America, in the world, who has reported on what the war on terror actually looks like under the Obama administration better than [Scahill]. This book is an unbelievable accomplishment. [W]hatever your politics, you should read this book. It is incredibly carefully reported. People who come to this book expecting a polemic, I think will be surprised to a find a book that really...lets the facts speak for themselves. What this book does is show a side of our unending wars that we haven't seen... I think every member of Congress should read this book."
Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes

Kirkus Reviews
Scahill (Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, 2007), the Nation magazine's national security correspondent, questions the legality and command methods of the ongoing war against al-Qaida. Focusing on the career of Anwar al Awlaki, an American citizen and reported al-Qaida leader killed by a drone in Yemen, and the evolution of special forces–led global strikes, the author seeks to establish his case that Barack Obama's military policies are best seen as a continuation of the policies of George W. Bush. He characterizes the death of Awlaki as an "assassination by his own government" and insists that Obama's policies "keep intact many of the most aggressive counterterrorism policies of the Bush era." Scahill traces the arc of Awlaki's career, from the aftermath of 9/11, when he appeared to be a spokesman for moderate American Muslims, to the government's later determination that he was a terrorist leader operating from Yemen. For the author, the surveillance and other methods employed to track and kill Awlaki exemplify the continuation of Bush's policies in the war on terror. He shows how, after 9/11, laws governing covert and clandestine operations were subverted to shut out oversight from Congress and competition from the intelligence community and the military chain of command. Scahill demonstrates how al-Qaida members found refuge in Yemen from November 2001 onward, while Bush's administration concluded agreements with the country's government. However, the author does not consider the possibility that the end of the Iraq war, the death of Osama bin Laden and the overthrow of governments that assisted the Bush administration's secret prisons and torture constitute a change in policy. Scahill's case against the Bush administration's practices is firmer than his assertion that Obama is following the same policy, and he fails to consider the difficulties of unwinding Bush's legacy. Not always convincing, but a surefire hit for fans of Blackwater and studded with intriguing, occasionally damning material.

Product Details

Nation Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 2.10(d)


Meet the Author

Jeremy Scahill is National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill is a frequent guest on a wide array of programs, appearing regularly on The Rachel Maddow Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Democracy Now! He has also appeared on Fresh Air, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, PBS NewsHour, and Bill Moyers Journal. Scahill's work has sparked several Congressional investigations and won some of journalism's highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for his book Blackwater. He is also a producer and writer of the film Dirty Wars, which won the cinematography prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

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Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
the_home_librarian More than 1 year ago
This is a big book about a big subject, the never-ending war on terror. I think this book will earn big awards, too. The author did a tremendous job detailing every important aspect of this war and its historic and future implications. I was in awe throughout this reading project. There wasn't a wasted sentence in all of it. I hope it gets major attention beyond those who already instinctively reject the justification for human rights abuses and attacks on the U.S. Constitution that are commonplace in modern U.S. political thought and speech.
drakevaughn More than 1 year ago
Similar to Scahill’s terrific expose on Blackwater, he delivers spot-on reporting about President Obama’s shift toward drone strikes and covert action within the war on terror. Of particular note is his reporting on Somalia, the rise of the warlords and implementation of Sharia law. Not only does Scahill manage to present the facts in a simple and logical manner, he does so without plunging into the political abyss that seems to cloud any rational discussion these days. He holds nothing back in his examination of the escalating use of drones and targeted killings, along with exploring their unforeseen costs. A must-read for anyone who desires to dig deeper into the current state of the military and special-ops. 
MJS98 More than 1 year ago
Amazon has for $9.99...come on B&N...
Thinkpol More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book that tells a lot of info that most people don't know.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boo B&N! I paid more than Amazon, only to find out that I can't read this on the iPad - has to be Nook HD. Why? I just want to read the book! At least make it clearer that this ebook won't work on other devices! Very interested in this book but I'm not going out to buy another device just to read it. I want my money back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is awful! A self righteous journalist expounding his own narrow minded and dangerously naive world view. He justifies the terrorist attacks of Sep 11, while he derides the actions of the United States efforts to ensure the safety of it's people and culture. I wasted my money purchasing this excretory work and wasted my time by reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it is time to buy a kindle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a reminder, guys, don't hate on nature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So... were do we start?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this the camp halfblood rp id like to be percy jackson.