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Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (War and Peace Library)by Peter Dale Scott
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World countries through alliances with drug-trafficking proxies. This strategy was originally developed in the late 1940s to contain communist China; it has since been used to secure control over foreign petroleum resources. The result has been a staggering increase in the global drug traffic and the mafias associated with it--a problem that will worsen until there is a change in policy. Scott argues that covert operations almost always outlast the specific purpose for which they were designed. Instead, they grow and become part of a hostile constellation of forces. The author terms this phenomenon parapolitics--the exercise of power by covert means--which tends to metastasize into deep politics--the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy initiators. We must recognize that U.S. influence is grounded not just in military and economic superiority, Scott contends, but also in so-called soft power. We need a "soft politics" of persuasion and nonviolence, especially as America faces the prospect of yet another disastrous intervention, this time in Iraq.
Book News Annotation:
The central idea behind this work is that political power pursued by covert means can often metastasize into "deep politics," an interplay of unacknowledged forces over which the original political agent no longer has control. Political analyst Scott applies this idea to the development of American foreign policy, suggesting that often the U.S. has turned to drug traffickers (Colombian paramilitaries, Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, and numerous groups in Indochina) in order to achieve strategic goals, especially control over the world's oil, which originally arose as a corollary of the "containment" of communism. The sections on Indochina are revised versions of chapters from his 1972 work The War Conspiracy. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-211) and index.
Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intel
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