Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

by Jeremy Scahill


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A New York Times bestseller
A Washington Post bestseller
Named the top investigative journalism book of 2013 by Nieman Reports
Selected as one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Books of 2013

“[A] courageous and exhaustive examination of the way a number of clandestine campaigns—full of crimes, cover-ups, and assassinations—became the United States' main strategy for combating terrorism.” —Teju Cole, The New Yorker, Best Books of 2013

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568589541
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Pages: 680
Sales rank: 460,972
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Jeremy Scahill is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international bestsellers Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army and Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. He is a co-founder of The Intercept and has served as the National Security Correspondent for the Nation magazine and Democracy Now! Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award. He is a producer and writer of the award-winning film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader xxiii

Prologue 1

1 "There Was Concern… That We Not Create an American Hit List" Washington, DC, 2001-2002 3

2 Anwar Awlaki: An American Story: The United States and Yemen, 1971-2002 31

3 Find, Fix, Finish: The Rise of JSOC Washington, DC, 1979-2001 48

4 The Boss: Ali Abdullah Saleh: Yemen, 1970-2001; Washington, DC, 2001 61

5 The Enigma of Anwar Awlaki: The United Kingdom, the United States and Yemen, 2002-2O03 67

6 "We're in a New Kind of War" Djibouti, Washington, Dc, and Yemen, 2002 75

7 Special Plans: Washington, DC, 2002 81

8 Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Washington, DC, 2002-2003 85

9 The Troublemaker: Stanley McChrystal The United States, 1974-2003; Iraq, 2003 102

10 "Their Intention and Our Intention Is the Same" Somalia, 1993-2004 118

11 "A Defeated Enemy Is Not a Vanquished One" Yemen, 2003-2006 130

12 "Never Trust a Nonbeliever" The United Kingdom, 2003 134

13 "You Don't Have to Prove to Anyone That You Did Right" Iraq, 2003-2005 138

14 "No Blood, No Foul" Iraq, 2003-2004 147

15 The Death Star Iraq, 2004 162

16 "The Best Technology, the Best Weapons, the Best People- and Plenty of Money to Burn" Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, 2003-2006 167

17 "A Lot of It Was of Questionable Legality" Source: "Hunter" 180

18 The Imprisonment of Anwar Awlaki Yemen, 2004-2007 184

19 "America Knows War. They Are War Masters." Somalia, 2004-2006 191

20 Prison Break Yemen, 2006 210

21 Hot Pursuit Pakistan, 2006-2008 215

22 "Every Step Taken by the US Benefited al Shabab" Somalia, 2007-2009 219

23 "If Your Son Does Not Come to Us, He Will Be Killed by the Americans" Yemen, 2007-2009 230

24 "Obama Is Set to Continue the Course Set by Bush" The United States, 2002-2008 244

25 Obama's Signature Strikes Pakistan and Washington, DC, 2009 248

26 Special Ops Want to "Own This Shit Like They Did in Central America in the '80s" Washington, DC, and Yemen, 2009 254

27 Suicide or Martyrdom? Yemen, 2009 264

28 Obama Embraces JSOC Somalia, Early 2009 270

29 "Let JSOC Off the Leash" Saudi Arabia, Washington, Dc, and Yemen, Late 2009 278

30 Samir Khan: An Unlikely Foot Soldier The United States and Yemen, 2001-2009 285

31 Blowback in Somalia Somalia and Washington, DC, 2009 294

32 "If They Kill Innocent Children and Call Them al Qaeda, Then We Are All al Qaeda" Washington, DC, and Yemen, 2009 303

33 "The Americans Really Wanted to Kill Anwar" Yemen, Late 2009-Early 2010 314

34 "Mr. Barack Obama…I Hope That You Reconsider Your Order to Kill…My Son" Washington, DC, and Yemen, Early 2010 325

35 One Night in Gardez Washington, DC, 2008-2010; Afghanistan, 2009-2010 328

36 The Year of the Drone Yemen and the United States, 2010 350

37 Driving Anwar Awlaki to Hell Yemen, 2010 356

38 The CIA's Dating Service Denmark and Yemen, 2010 364

39 "The Auction of the Assassin" Washington, DC, 2010 367

40 "Martyrdom Is Why We Came Here, My Brother" Yemen, 2009-2010 375

41 The Persecution of Abdulelah Haider Shaye Yemen, Summer 2010 382

42 The President Can Write His Own Rules Washington, DC, and Yemen, Late 2010 386

43 Al Qaeda's "Foothold in Somalia Has Probably Been Facilitated" Somalia, 2010 393

44 "Anwar Awlaki… Definitely Has a Missile in His Future" Yemen, 2011 395

45 The Curious Case of Raymond Davis: Act I Pakistan, 2011 403

46 The Curious Case of Raymond Davis: Act II Pakistan, 2011 141

47 The Tsunami of Change Austria and Yemen, 2011 430

48 The Fortress in Abbottabad Washington, DC, 2010-2011; Pakistan, 2011 434

49 "We Got Him. We Got Him." Pakistan, 2011 444

50 "Now They're After My Son" Somalia, Washington, DC, and Yemen, 2011 451

51 "It Was Cold-Blooded" Pakistan, 2011 458

52 "The US Sees al Qaeda as Terrorism, and We Consider the Drones Terrorism" Yemen, Late 2011 460

53 The Pink House Washington, DC, and Somalia, 2011 469

54 "Total Savagery Throughout the Country" Somalia, 2011 487

55 Abdurrahman Vanishes Yemen, 2011 495

56 Hellfire Washington, DC, and Yemen, 2011 498

57 Paying for the Sins of the Father Washington, DC, and Yemen, 2011 507

Epilogue: Perpetual War 513

Acknowledgments 523

Acronyms and Abbreviations 529

Notes 531

Index 615

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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
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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
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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.