Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare [NOOK Book]

Overview

For more than a decade, America has been waging a new kind of war against the financial networks of rogue regimes, proliferators, terrorist groups, and criminal syndicates. Juan Zarate, a chief architect of modern financial warfare and a former senior Treasury and White House official, pulls back the curtain on this shadowy world. In this gripping story, he explains in unprecedented detail how a small, dedicated group of officials redefined the Treasury’s role and used its unique powers, relationships, and ...
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Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare

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Overview

For more than a decade, America has been waging a new kind of war against the financial networks of rogue regimes, proliferators, terrorist groups, and criminal syndicates. Juan Zarate, a chief architect of modern financial warfare and a former senior Treasury and White House official, pulls back the curtain on this shadowy world. In this gripping story, he explains in unprecedented detail how a small, dedicated group of officials redefined the Treasury’s role and used its unique powers, relationships, and reputation to apply financial pressure against America’s enemies.

This group unleashed a new brand of financial power—one that leveraged the private sector and banks directly to isolate rogues from the international financial system. By harnessing the forces of globalization and the centrality of the American market and dollar, Treasury developed a new way of undermining America’s foes. Treasury and its tools soon became, and remain, critical in the most vital geopolitical challenges facing the United States, including terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and the regimes in Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

This book is the definitive account, by an unparalleled expert, of how financial warfare has taken pride of place in American foreign policy and how America’s competitors and enemies are now learning to use this type of power themselves. This is the unique story of the United States’ financial war campaigns and the contours and uses of financial power, and of the warfare to come.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
11/15/2013
Zarate (senior advisor, Ctr. for Strategic & Intl. Studies; senior national security analyst for CBS News), formerly an assistant secretary to the U.S. Treasury Department and a national security advisor, provides a unique view into the new and potentially devastating world of fiscal warfare. This blow-by-blow first-person account documents the behind-the-scenes financial machinations that the U.S. Treasury Department has been using since 9/11 to attack countries such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria as well as terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. According to the book, fewer boots on the ground and more hands in their pockets are the techniques proven to be key components in leveraging our influence in these countries. Of course, turnabout is seen as fair play, and China and Russia are among the countries increasingly trying to use these same weapons on us, particularly since the 2008 recession, which weakened the global economy. VERDICT While quite lengthy and somewhat overly focused on operational details and minutiae, Zarate's well-documented work gives a firsthand report of strategies not often known or publicized in this newest and perhaps most effective form of waging war. Purchase where there is interest.—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
The New York Times - Bryan Burrough
For those of us who start feeling drowsy at the very mention of the words "Treasury Department," this book is an eye-opener. Under Mr. Zarate, and his successors, Treasury quietly built new capabilities that owe less to junk bonds than to James Bond…Treasury's War does a fine job of shedding light on a new and significant aspect of international relations that many of us may not be aware of, and that is likely to gain in importance in the years to come.
Publishers Weekly
In this lengthy memoir, Zarate, a former U.S. Treasury and White House counterterrorism official, recounts how his team worked to “uncover hidden or layered assets” in Iraq and helped fight the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.” He ably describes the sophisticated financial chicanery of enemy states, the ins and outs of money laundering, and the efforts of private banks and corporations to protect global trade and finance. However, readers should not expect to receive a complete picture of financial warfare, much less learn about the future. These windy recollections are crafted mainly for the purpose of finding a place for their author in recent history. Zarate’s insider’s account, which relies on diaries and personal experiences, offers no fresh insights into Middle East or global financial strategy, and the narrative contains more than its share of tedious “I sat down with U.S. Central Command”–type moments. Zarate squeezes important topics such as systemic vulnerability, currency manipulation, and cyberwarfare into a few pages at the end. No doubt, as the author makes clear, dirty money from Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other nations threatens to poison the entire global economic landscape. In spite of the book’s limitations, those intrigued by international money laundering and the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent rogue states from financing terrorism will appreciate Zarate’s account. Agent: Max Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Bryan Burrough, New York Times Business section
“For those of us who start feeling drowsy at the very mention of the words ‘Treasury Department,’ this book is an eye-opener. Under Mr. Zarate, and his successors, Treasury quietly built new capabilities that owe less to junk bonds than to James Bond…. ‘Treasury’s War’ does a fine job of shedding light on a new and significant aspect of international relations that many of us may not be aware of, and that is likely to gain in importance in the years to come.”

Jordan Chandler Hirsch, Washington Post
“[A] thorough, thoughtful insider’s account… The true value of Zarate’s book lies in explaining the difference between traditional sanctions and this new form of financial warfare.”

ABA Banking Journal
“I consider it a must-read for anyone who wants to know where we are, where we’ve been, and what challenges lie ahead… Treasury’s War is detailed, interesting, and sincere.”

National Interest
“Zarate’s book admirably underscores the dire national-security threat posed by the almost-unfathomable level of our national debt… There is much in Zarate’s book that enlightens us, and he gets many things right and proposes some innovative ideas.”

Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI
“One of the world's most challenging assignments — explained in vivid, dramatic detail by Juan C. Zarate, a former super sleuth in the U.S. government's long campaign to find and disrupt al-Qaida's terrorist funding in the Worldwide Web…Zarate's "Treasury's War" is a gripping electronic whodunit in a constantly changing environment where inequalities are widening and where technology is destroying more jobs than it creates…. This is the first book that lifts the veil of secrecy on the financial power [Zarate’s team] marshaled against America's enemies.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A bracing account by a knowledgeable authority.”

General Michael Hayden, former Director of CIA and NSA
“Juan Zarate’s groundbreaking Treasury’s War illuminates an underappreciated and under commented revolution in international affairs. Beset by nontraditional enemies and threats, the United States in the Bush administration leveraged America’s place in the global financial system to create some important ‘asymmetrical power’ of its own. As advocate and architect of this new approach, Zarate is well placed to tell the tale of America’s most unique precision
guided weapon and he does so with detail, candor, and perspective.”

Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator
"For those wanting to know how financial power and influence are wielded in the world, this is the book. Juan Zarate not only tells a gripping story, but lays out the policy implications and future for the use of this power. This is a must-read about the evolution of financial warfare over the past decade and how it will continue to play a central role in the nation's security."

Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad
“Juan Zarate is known as one of the world’s leading experts on terrorism. His new book is the riveting account of how the United States has gone to war financially with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and rogue states such as Iran. Treasury’s War is deeply researched and well written and is the definitive narrative of this hitherto largely unknown war.”

Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Juan Zarate has written an exceptional book about a vital area of our national security very few people understand. I observed first-hand the evolution and targeting of illegal financing led by Zarate and other pioneers who remain on the frontier of fighting international corruption. Juan's insights will educate every reader."

Kirkus Reviews
How the United States uses economic embargoes and financial tools as weapons against murderous terrorist groups and "rogue states" such as North Korea, Iran and Syria. Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is a former federal prosecutor who joined the U.S. Treasury Department after the 9/11 attacks to figure out ways to constrict the financing of terrorist groups. Relying heavily on anecdotes, acronyms and actual case studies, he provides detailed explanations of secretive operations far less publicized than ground wars and drone strikes. He builds the saga around a small group within the Treasury Department who gather regularly to develop new policies of economic warfare, coordinate those policies with fellow government agencies (such as the State Department), and also negotiate with banks and other private-sector institutions. Although Zarate's work carries the immediacy associated with the so-called war on terror, he wisely places financial warfare in historical context, going all the way back to 432 B.C., when the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta battled for hegemony by employing economic sanctions as part of their strategies. Moving forward in history, the author notes the economic blockage of the Confederacy by Union forces during the Civil War. Since Zarate worked on economic sanctions during his tenure in the Bush administration, he is able to provide a you-are-there sense that will quite likely draw readers into what otherwise might have been an arcane account. Zarate is a patriot but not a blind patriot. While proud of his work, he is also willing to point out mistakes in the execution of policy and shortcomings in the overall strategy of the U.S. His epilogue sets out "lessons learned" with suggestions for improvement. A bracing account by a knowledgeable authority.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610391160
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 211,351
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Juan C. Zarate is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the senior national security analyst for CBS News, and a visiting lecturer of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to that, he served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, and the first ever assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes. He appears frequently on CBS News programs, PBS’s NewsHour, NPR, and CNN, and has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and more. He and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter: @JCZarate1
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    A Treasury

    Great book and a great read. Zarate hits the nail on the head by uncovering the many, many Treasury folks who went after some nasty people. From the rank and file GS crowd to the political and senior executives - all pursued one goal. Zarate allows the reader to understand Treasury's triumphs as we'll as the not so shiny confusion often encountered in large government bureacracies. Nice to know we still have civil servants working in, and for, our goverment. Enjoyed the globe trotting from one less than desireable place to one that's worse - while working with our international counterparts in stopping s$%&# heads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    This book is well written and you do not need an advanced degree

    This book is well written and you do not need an advanced degree in finance or economics to accompany the author through the complex world of international finance and banking. Unfortunately, for me, the book is long on policy, strategic objectives and meetings while being short on specifics and results. Overall, I was disappointed in the book.
    The first part of the book describes how the new approach would help isolate and capture enemy actors. The old adage of ‘follow the money’ is at the crux of this book but takes too to get there (and it is often repeated throughout the book). At around page 80, we finally get an example of the results of all the money, resources and meetings. Yasin al-Qadi was designated (not captured or charged in any court of law just designated- and he eventually won delisting in European courts). This example is followed by several good examples of success but they are limited. Then, as soon as the book gets traction, the Treasury Dept. suffers through reorganization. The long winded description of this reorg loses the momentum that took 100 pages to get going.
    The second half of the book shifts from isolating individuals to attempting to isolate countries. The search for Saddam Hussein’s cash is interesting and led all over the Middle East. The chapter on N. Korea is well detailed but other than closing one bank and ‘isolating’ the rogue regime, the only concrete result described involved $25M in a bank in Macau. Of course, the State Department eventually worked a deal so that the DPRK could get this back. A good example of how one department in the US government works against another. Designating specific banks apparently was so effective that until used against the Lebanese Canadian Bank in 2011, is was used only ‘sparingly .. since the designation of Banco Delta Asia in 2005’.
    The efforts against Iran started shortly after 9/11, but it was Sep 2006 before any banks were designated. In between were more meeting, briefings and lots of international travel for scores of government workers. While severe pressure has been applied against Iran, it sure has not altered their goal of becoming a nuclear power.
    The last part of the book seems a collection of miscellaneous stuff. The author spends a lot of time explaining how rogue actors get around US financial pressures. He discusses at length how bad guys and bad countries make money through smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking, extortion, arms dealing and even selling used cars. But he does not detail how the US is using this financial pressure to stop any of this. Money flows have been curtailed but it is not clear if this is due to these financial weapons or traditional law enforcement activities. Then in 2011, the US designated six Al Qaeda members operating in Iran. According to the author, this designation ‘was explosive’. But again, there is no information as to whether the designation did anything. For all, we know, the six individuals may still be operating as before.
    It seems that these tools are a great innovation to use against Americans enemies. But other that general statements that are too often repeated, there is little substance to make a 400+ page book.

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