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American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (War and Peace Library) Hardcover – November 16, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0742555945 ISBN-10: 0742555941 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: War and Peace Library
  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1St Edition edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742555941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742555945
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This "overclass," often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott (The Road to 9/11) seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last 50 years have not benefited America's military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. While Scott can get mired in minutiae, his carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb. (Oct.)
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Review

In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This 'overclass,' often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the '80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last fifty years have not benefited America's military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. . . . [His] carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb. (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 2010-10-01)

Scott has written a provocative account of CIA machinations and their link to spikes in global drug production, war, and terrorism. His chapters on Thailand and the Far East are especially well-grounded and of great use to historians. . . . [Scott] is a creative thinker who deserves credit for delving into the netherworld of clandestine operations and global corruption which most academics choose to ignore. . . . At his core, Scott is an idealist who believes that in exposing the sinister forces accounting for the spread of unnecessary violence, an aroused citizenry can mobilize to rein them in. The stakes today are especially high, because if left unchecked, the pattern of warfare and destabilization which Scott describes may lead to a global confrontation of truly catastrophic proportions as well as irreversible environmental damage and the economic bankruptcy of the United States.
(History News Network)

There are certain books that, once read, alter one’s mind permanently. This is such a book. Naïve readers and patriots beware: You will never think about the world in the same way after you have read just the first two chapters of American War Machine. (The Erowid Review)

American War Machine explains how one of the principal techniques of [commandeering power in the United States by secret, undemocratic means] has been the CIA’s utilization of the drug traffic to combat communism, the governments and movements of the left, and, in our time, to maintain American supremacy in the world. . . . The demonstration is, one could say, stupefying. . . . This book reads like a real thriller filled with twists and suspense; a thriller for which one does not, yet, know the end. But can there be an end? In this world where the honest citizen is overwhelmed by mountains of data, this book must absolutely be read because it allows us to understand to what degree we have been so manipulated and misinformed. . . . [A] solid and convincing document, the mind-blowing reading of which truly leads to original and non-conformist elements of reflection, indispensable for attempting to understand the world which surrounds us, and for trying to discern where it is going. (Bernard Norlain Revue Défense Nationale)

Peter Dale Scott has published a book of stunning richness. . . . I know of no study that so precisely captures a period as dangerous as our own. . . . Indeed, empires, kingdoms, and republics have their state secrets, but when the entire state becomes a secret, when in so-called democratic nations everything is decided without the people, elections themselves being open to doubt, it is necessary that one escape from the fear of ordinary people in the presence of the powerful and try to understand where these decisions are trending that are contrary to our interest. . . . Peter Dale Scott is the Tocqueville of this era, helping us understand how we are sliding into a world that can only be revolutionary if it wishes to survive. . . . Buy this book, read it, make it known. (Ariane Walter Agoravox)

What I like most about Peter Dale Scott are his fierce intellectual curiosity, his willingness to investigate radioactive topics, and his tireless commitment to unearthing the truth. Over the years, he has done more than almost anyone to discover and chronicle the forces that covertly shape our policies. American War Machine may be his greatest work yet. (Russ Baker, award-winning investigative journalist and author of Family of Secrets)

Peter Dale Scott is our most fearless and illuminating chronicler of the lethal and mysterious web of unaccountable violence linking government to organized crime, the drug trade, state terror, and eventuating in disastrous wars. Read this extraordinary book to understand why this country finds itself gridlocked in Afghanistan, yet another costly quagmire, because a small cabal at the top is still dedicated to the mirage of American global dominance. (Richard Falk, Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara)

Peter Dale Scott writes with his inimitable eloquence about the intersection between U.S. covert operations and international narcotics trafficking and its destructive undermining of American democracy. The past half-century of drug politics—and the country’s complicit acceptance of the violence it has spawned—is an ominous portent for our present and future. American War Machine should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the upper- and underworld marriage that drives contemporary foreign policy. (Sally Denton, author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy)

Peter Dale Scott flashes a bright light on a dark illicit world of lowly thugs and high-placed political and moneyed cabals. Thoroughly researched and deeply informed, this book makes for an intriguing read. (Michael Parenti, author of Contrary Notions and God and His Demons)

I said of Scott's last brilliant take on this subject, Drugs, Oil and War, that 'It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.' Now Scott has written an even better book. Read it! (Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers)

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Customer Reviews

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Very well documented and footnoted.
Steven Roberts
Scott notes that the JSOC was created in 1980 and by 1981 was, according to Joseph Trento, "one of the most secret operations of the US government."
Kevin R. Ryan
Yes, you will want to read "American War Machine".
Guy Benveniste, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Kevin R. Ryan on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having read a few of Peter Dale Scott's earlier books, I was looking forward to his new work, American War Machine. I was not disappointed. Published by Roman & Littlefield in late 2010, this book examines a wide-ranging number of covert US operations since World War II, and, among other things, demonstrates that many of these operations were intimately connected with, and dependent on, illicit drug trafficking. Although my background and experience do not qualify me to write an authoritative review of this important book, I hope that my impressions will compel others to read it.

Scott previously defined concepts such as deep events, deep politics and the deep state, to refer to covert mechanisms that facilitate the strategies of the politically minded rich, a group otherwise referred to as the overworld. Deep events, which Scott defines as those which are "systematically ignored or falsified in the mainstream media and public consciousness," can be seen as sharing certain features, such as cover-up of evidence and irresoluble controversy over what happened. These features contribute to a suppressed memory of the event among the general public. Deep events are often associated with illegally sanctioned violence, and involve little known, but historically evident, cooperation between leaders of the state and organized crime.

In American War Machine, Scott sets out to write the first "deep history" of such events, politics and state entities. As he writes: "In my experience, deep events are better understood collectively than in isolation. When looked at together, they constitute a large pattern, that of deep history.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Guy Benveniste, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Yes, you will want to read "American War Machine". Why? because it reveals much we do not know about the role of intelligence agencies, drug cartels , corruption , conflict and American Foreign Policy. If you have served in government, you are aware that events you know first hand about, are not always reported in the media, as you saw them unfold. When it comes to agencies like the CIA, the war on drugs, and our policies abroad, you can be suspicious that you do not have the full story. Peter Dale Scott provides 257 pages of analysis and another 107 pages of detailed notes on his sources. As a result,you will know much more about the role of various US agencies in countries like Mexico, Burma, Laos or Afghanistan. You will also understand how destructive the war on drugs has become and how it undermines our democracy. If nothing more, when you read a brief account in the New York Times or other sources about drug traffickers ( for example the NYT of Monday, November 8, 2010 p.1) you will be able to turn to page 246 of Peter Dale Scott's book and read more on the exact topic. Peter Dale Scott does not believe in conspiracy theories, nor do I. But he describes the forces and interests at work doing the logical thing for them to do, and he describes the confusion, the errors , the misjudgments that always abound in politics and in wars. "American War Machine" is an important contribution
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Eric on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a few problems with this book. First, this book has "exhaustive footnotes." If you expect to sit down and flow through this book, it won't happen. If you are like me, you'll read the book with two book marks. One for the page you're currently reading, and one for the page you're on in the "Notes Pages." The next issue is; I keep buying more books on Amazon that Scott references.

WARNING: If you are an American, this book will cause cognitive dissonance. After reading chapter 2: "Mexico, Drugs...." I went to Amazon to find more current books, than the ones Scott quotes, on the topic. Mainly because of the increase in violence over the past 5 years, which is not covered in this book. I found it interesting that two different authors were critiqued with statements like; "Love the stories. Well written. But, the author is obviously a communist or socialist because he implies that the CIA and or American leaders are involved in the drug trade." If you want to sleep at night "knowing" that the corruption stops just North of the Rio Grande, West of California by a few thousand miles, and East of N.Y.C. by another few thousand miles, then this is NOT the book for you. Go read something written by a CIA shill.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By lethal77 on December 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
peter dale scott gives a clear deep and reseached story of how the cia uses the drug trade to finance its black ops.
compared to most researchers books this is the bible i kid you not
if you want to understand how the economy of america, 9/11,
afghanistan,and the military industrial complex work
buy it!
if you want to stay ignorant and just spout bill oreilly in conversations dont!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The footnotes are exhaustive. There is ample third party research to support claims of Nationalist Chinese insurgents in Thailand. There other academic sources that point to General Phao of Thailand with similar conclusions. This book opens up the opium mystery and it raises some intriguing questions for further research. This might force economists to now re-examine their "gold standard" economic model data for hyper-inflation policy in Taiwan from 1950-53. Was the gold siphoned off for the KMT insurgents in Burma at the start of the Korean War? Is this classic tale of fighting hyper-inflation too perfect for a real world scenario? Did the KMT party embezzle the ROC gold reserves of China in 1950 and cover it up with "too perfect" or falsified economic data? Economists might be forced to restate their now flawed economic theories if there is truth to this scenario.
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