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Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden and Devastated Al Qaeda Hardcover – March 13, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


LSE Review of Books
"Find, Fix, Finish stands to be one of those pieces of work that will continue to colour the discourse of the global war on terror in the years to come." 

ARMY Magazine
"Those who read Peritz and Rosenbach will have taken a good first step on the road to understanding not only what happened that enabled surprise [on 9/11] but also what has happened since and the implications for U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the future...this is a useful addition to the bookshelves of serving officers."

Kirkus Reviews

“A skillful combination of antiterrorism fireworks with perceptive analysis of our strategies.”

Huntington News
“Outstanding…Regardless of your personal views on the so-called "War on Terror" "Find, Fix, Finish" is a comprehensive source book on the facts of terror attacks and how many such attacks were foiled by law enforcement and security agencies.”


The Spectator (UK)
“If you are a student of counter-terrorism or are interested in the legal limbo of rendition, detention and targeted killings, you should probably read it... [The authors] give a revealing account of the massaging of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq… The authors are no bleeding heart liberals. They acknowledge that too much bureaucracy impedes counter-terrorism and harms national security and they argue for legal but effective measures to assist both."
Library Journal
“This title explicates the new U.S. policy of finding terrorists, isolating them in one location, then finishing them off. Peritz (formerly, CIA Counterterrorism Ctr.) and Rosenbach (deputy assistant secretary of defense) describe the extensive evaluations of, and changes in, counterterrorism policy after 9/11 and the many expensive mistakes made along the way…General readers and undergraduates will find this accessible and useful for debate.

Foreign Affairs

“Peritz and Rosenbach provide more context, delving into the now-familiar difficulties experts faced in persuading the U.S. government to take the al Qaeda threat seriously before 9/11 and examining the problems created by the post-9/11 counterterrorism overdrive.”

About the Author

Aki Peritz 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 Harvard's Belfer Center. He worked for several years at the Counterterrorism Center. 

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Edition edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610391284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610391283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peritz and Rosenbach provide a concise history of US law enforcement and counterterror operations and planning. The US government response to terror threats in the pre-9/11 era was risk averse and cooperation between agencies inexistent. After 9/11, the Bush Administration quickly changed the rules, and Peritz and Rosenbach meticulously describe the positives and negatives and checks and balances that created current policies, while also offering proposals for making the system better.

According to Peritz and Rosenbach, the Bush Administration got a lot right. Federal agencies like the FBI and CIA began working more closely together and cooperating with other domestic agencies as well as with foreign intelligence agencies. They note "that nearly every capture or killing of a suspected terrorist outside Iraq since 9/11 - more than 3,000 in all - was the result of CIA cooperation with foreign intelligence services." In fact, they note that the immediate weeks after 9/11 created an environment within the CIA Counterterrorism Center that spurred creative thinking and empowered analysts to figure out the best ways to protect the United States. The Bush Administration changed laws and allowed government employees to overlook bureaucratic red tape to get their jobs done.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration went too far at times, and Peritz and Rosenbach note that Bush Administration decisions continue to cause troubles for the US federal government in prosecuting terrorists and maintaining cooperative relations with foreign intelligence agencies pivotal in the effort to track down and try terror suspects.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read a number of books over the last few years that have focused on America's fight against al Qaeda, but "Find, Fix, Finish" is the first book that finally puts all of the disparate pieces together into a coherent narrative. Not only is it full of incredible information, but it's also a good read. It is well paced and accessible to an outsider. Most books on this topic either blatantly try to score political points for one group or another, or they claim to be non-partisan, but clearly aren't. "Find, Fix, Finish" approaches the brutal conflict against global terrorism with a cool-eyed non-partisan detachment that left me with a far better understanding of what happened, and why America made the choices it did. If you want the real story told in an engaging way - this is the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many citizens wake up after a bad day watching the news and ask why things are the way they are on policy. Specifically they wonder how America got to its present status on terrorism policy. We started invading Afghanistan and Iraq with the typical armored columns and airstrikes. Now we are fighting the war from these model airplanes. What happened? This book sort of answers that question.

This book is a great concise history of events over the past ten years or so. It isn't everything but it does show the progress of policy over time. The book does pull together a lot of stuff you have seen elsewhere. This time you see it all at once in one source. The book also has a lot of great details of things behind the scenes. I think you will read things that you haven't seen elsewhere. You learn about how much Pakistan is helping us and how they are not. There is more background information about the UAVs. You do get to travel inside the UAV world to understand how they run. I am sort of surprised this book did get written. I can tell the official sensors did read it. Several parts of the text have been redacted. That increases the creditability of what you do read. You can see logically from the stories how policy evolves to where it is now.

This is a must for anyone in the field or anyone with a burning desire to learn about the why behind the terrorism fight.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since 9/11, American counterterrorism efforts have been thrust to the forefront of national security debates. Counterterrorism, a backwater field pre-9/11, became a booming industry overnight and the United States was forced to develop a comprehensive strategy for how to deal with a pressing threat. "Find, Fix, Finish" details how this strategy has evolved over the past decade these efforts through stories of how the United States brought the fight back to some of the most dangerous men in the world. At the same time, the authors provide a discussion on the downsides and complications that arise from the current American counterterrorism strategy, which only insiders with firsthand knowledge like Peritz and Rosenbach can provide. While doing so the authors create a thought provoking discussion about the importance of defeating terrorists on the battlefield, while also nothing that at times, it might be more appropriate and effective to defeat them in American courts.

Any readers looking for an in-depth discussion of the countless legal, ethical, and political issues surrounding American counterterrorism efforts will find this book fascinating. Weaved throughout "Find, Fix, Finish" is a thought-provoking discussion on what defeating al Qaeda means, and questions what the United States might have to sacrifice in order to achieve this goal. Throughout the book, the authors return to this theme: how can the United States defeat al Qaeda, without compromising too much of itself.
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