Synopses & Reviews
On 9/11 the U.S. had effectively no counterterrorism doctrine. Fast forward ten years: Osama bin Laden is dead; al Qaeda is organizationally ruined and pinned in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan; there has been no major attack on American soil; and while there has been at least one instance of a massive planned attack, it was crushed by the greatest international collaboration of intelligence services seen since the end of the Cold War. Its been a remarkable transformation.
Aki Peritz and Eric Rosenbach have experienced first-hand the monumental strategy changes in our countrys counterterrorism strategy within the intelligence, defense, and political communities. In this book, they show how America learned to be very good at taking on the terrorists, often one at a time, in ever more lethally incisive operations. They offer new details behind some headlines from the last decade. They are frank about the mistakes that have been made. And they explain how a concept coined by General Grant during the Civil War has been reinvented in the age of satellite technology to manage a globally distributed foe, allowing the U.S. to find, fix, and finish its enemies.
"Peritz, senior national security adviser to the Third Way think tank, and Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense, draw on their work with the CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence respectively, for this behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of counterterrorism tactics since 9/11. They begin by noting that America lacked a strategy to 'disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda' in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Moreover, a comprehensive strategy combining counterinsurgency operations (COIN) and 'targeted counterterrorism operations...to find, fix, and finish' al-Qaeda leaders emerged fitfully in 'painful, halting steps' over the decade following the attack. Focusing on counterterrorism operations, the authors note that the program initially sought to finish al-Qaeda leaders by taking them alive. But, when that led the U.S. into moral traps rendition, enhanced interrogation techniques the Bush, and later Obama, administrations shifted to a strategy of killing them via drone strikes. However, Peritz and Rosenbach are ultimately equivocal about the 'targeted killing program,' acknowledging its success in 'wearing away al-Qaeda's effectiveness' while dismissing it as a short-term 'whack-a-mole' measure. Despite their status as former insiders, the book is short on revelations and long on ambiguity. Agent: Matthew Carnicelli, Carnicelli Literary Management." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Two intelligence experts with unique access to inside sources reveal the fascinating story behind the evolution of Americas new, effective approach to counterterrorism
About the Author
is the senior national security advisor to the Third Way think tank. He has authored or coauthored with Eric Rosenbach various publications on a wide range of national security issues at Harvards Belfer Center. He worked for several years at the CIAs Counterterrorism Center. In 20062007, he served in Iraq.
Eric Rosenbach currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. He has taught courses on counterterrorism policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and served as a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he led oversight of U.S. counterterrorism programs.