Shadow Warfare: The History of America's Undeclared Wars

Shadow Warfare: The History of America's Undeclared Wars

by Larry Hancock, Stuart Wexler

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Overview

Contrary to its contemporary image, deniable covert operations are not something new. Such activities have been ordered by every president and every administration since the Second World War. In many instances covert operations have relied on surrogates, with American personnel involved only at a distance, insulated by layers of deniability.

Shadow Warfare traces the evolution of these covert operations, detailing the tactics and tools used from the Truman era through those of the contemporary Obama Administrations. It also explores the personalities and careers of many of the most noted shadow warriors of the past sixty years, tracing the decade-long relationship between the CIA and the military.

Shadow Warfare presents a balanced, non-polemic exploration of American secret warfare, detailing its patterns, consequences and collateral damage and presenting its successes as well as failures. Shadow Wars explores why every president from Franklin Roosevelt on, felt compelled to turn to secret, deniable military action. It also delves into the political dynamic of the president’s relationship with Congress and the fact that despite decades of combat, the U.S. Congress has chosen not to exercise its responsibility to declare a single state of war - even for extended and highly visible combat.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619022447
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author


Larry Hancock graduated from the University of New Mexico with a triple major in anthropology, history, and education. He has worked on a variety of historical research projects, including November Patriots and Someone Would Have Talked. He lives in Oklahoma.

Stuart Wexler graduated from Tulane University with a degree in history. He now lives and teaches high school in New Jersey, where he won the prestigious James Madison Teachers’ Fellowship in 2010. Together with Hancock, he co-write The Awful Grace of God.

Read an Excerpt

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1957: a 19-megaton hydrogen bomb is dropped in an uninhabited area; the conventional explosives detonate, producing a twelve-foot-deep crater, 25 feet wide; some radioactive contamination results. The following year a collision forces the jettisoning of a nuclear bomb in the Atlantic off Savannah, Georgia. And later that same year a B-47 out of Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, drops an unarmed weapon into the garden of a house in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The bombs’ conventional explosives detonate, destroying the house, damaging five other houses and a church while injuring six civilians. Within a decade’s time, — 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1968 — similar military accidents happen. As with the previous incidents, contamination occurs, some bombs are recovered (some are not), and SAC servicemen lose their lives. Almost all these incidents, whether on our turf or our allies’, receive little or no press, and some are revealed only decades later.

During the Cold War, we may not have been privy to everything that was happening on our turf or on that of our allies because many operations were designed to be clandestine—to live in the shadows of the greater conflict. But one thing wasn’t secret: the Russians were shooting down our aircraft.

And we were damn mad about that.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 From Solution to Illusion 1

Chapter 2 The Personality Of Covert Action 19

Chapter 3 Evolution Of A Covert Warfare Infrastructure. 32

Chapter 4 Armies of Opportunity 46

Chapter 5 Fighting Communist China …Deniably 61

Chapter 6 Regime Change 78

Chapter 7 Shadow Warriors 91

Chapter 9 Face-Off in Indochina 126

Chapter 10 Covert to Overt in Laos 155

Chapter 11 Against the Castro Regime 175

Chapter 12 Autonomous and Deniable 195

Chapter 13 Holding the Line in the Congo 216

Chapter 14 Unanticipated Consequences 235

Chapter 15 Congressional Intervention 257

Chapter 16 Maintaining Anticommunist Regimes 284

Chapter 17 Targeted Infrastructure Warfare in the Southern Cone 308

Chapter 18 Pushing Back 326

Chapter 19 The Outsiders 354

Chapter 20 Risky Business 386

Chapter 21 It Happens 404

Chapter 22 New Enemies 423

Chapter 23 New Weapons 441

Chapter 24 A Turn to Gray Warfare 460

Chapter 25 Other Boots on the Ground 483

Chapter 26 Merging Covert and Conventional 500

Chapter 27 The Evolving War on Terror 518

Epilogue: Benghazi 541

Endnotes 549

Index 597

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