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A veteran case officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA's inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East.
"Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field
officer in the Middle East."
–Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
From The Preface
This book is a memoir of one foot soldier's career in the other cold war, the one against terrorist networks. It's a story about places most Americans will never travel to, about people many Americans would prefer to think we don't need to do business with.
This memoir, I hope, will show the reader how spying is supposed to work, where the CIA lost its way, and how we can bring it back again. But I hope this book will accomplish one more purpose as well: I hope it will show why I am angry about what happened to the CIA. And I want to show why every American and everyone who cares about the preservation of this country should be angry and alarmed, too.
The CIA was systematically destroyed by political correctness, by petty Beltway wars, by careerism, and much more. At a time when terrorist threats were compounding globally, the agency that should have been monitoring them was being scrubbed clean instead. Americans were making too much money to bother. Life was good. The White House and the National Security Council became cathedrals of commerce where the interests of big business outweighed the interests of protecting American citizens at home and abroad. Defanged and dispirited, the CIA went along for the ride. And then on September 11, 2001, the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see.
This book is a must read for anyone that wants to know why something like 9-11 happened and why it will happen again.
Robert Baer writes an excellent book detailing the life of a CIA Case Officer and the problems he faced during his career.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the recent history of the CIA, Middle Eastern events or US security.
Great book if you're looking for a unique foreign policy perspective.Published 15 days ago by Jeffrey Murray
This is a well-written and entertaining read. There is a ton of information to digest, but it's presented in a way that keeps the story flowing and it is engaging from start to... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Christopher Harris
Reading this book in the midst of the ISIS crisis is both insightful and disappointing. The result of a lack of focused 'on the ground' action during the past decades can be see in... Read morePublished 27 days ago by KC
What a captivating book. I suspected that the Islamic onslaught against the Western powers was not a conspiracy theory, but Mr Bauer lifts the lid on the murky world of terrorism... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Henri
Great work by Bob Baer. Highly recommended if you are interested in intelligence operations.Published 1 month ago by Ken McA
Shockingly instructive what goes on. I enjoyed it immensely. Most poignant. Highly recommended by me.Published 2 months ago by Red Top
Really informative story about a man who had no expectation to end up working for the CIA, but nevertheless became one of the best operatives in the field.Published 2 months ago by Michelyne Chavez
book showed up torn and pretty heavily written in. Good content though. Average rating for an average book.Published 3 months ago by Harris Turner