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Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden and Devastated Al Qaeda Paperback – October 8, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
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Filled with insights from two insiders who have had direct experience with countering terrorists, Find, Fix, Finish combines the drama of vital operations unfolding in real time with legal and moral perspectives necessary to understand how our world has changed forever. The book captures the evolution of counterterrorism operations since 9/11 like no other."
Chuck Hagel, United States Secretary of Defense
This book magnificently captures the very essence of the toughest policy, legal, and moral questions our nation faced in fighting terrorists for the last decade. And the authors' overall conclusion is important for all Americans to understand: We can defeat terrorists without sacrificing the ideals that make this nation great.”
A skillful combination of antiterrorism fireworks with perceptive analysis of our strategies.”
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.”
About the Author
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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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. The creation of new agencies like Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence added more bureaucratic oversight and red tape without providing anything new or beneficial. The areas in which the Bush Administration overstepped its bounds - for example, torture and illegal domestic wiretapping - placed the US in legal and ethical limbo and continue to plague the Obama Administration. New laws enable FBI agents the ability to better track terrorists and prosecutors to try them, but the bureaucracy continues to operate within a hierarchical structure that enfeebles intelligence analysis.
Through technological innovation, bureaucratic and intelligence cooperation, new laws, and new interpretations on international policy norms, the Bush and Obama Administrations were able to successfully tackle the threat of Al Qaeda and to track down the perpetrators of 9/11. Peritz and Rosenbach argue that the find, fix, finish doctrine came about through a process of trial and error. The Bush Administration tried a number of things, some of which worked, while others harmed America's conception of self. However, in the end, their thesis is that the system worked. The US government created a new successful set of policies that allows the US to combat the threat of terror, and early Bush Administration overreach was corrected and/or is currently being addressed. In this way, "Find, Fix, Finish" is similar to Jack Goldsmith's Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11 in which he argues that the federal system of checks and balances worked to correct government excesses.
"Find, Fix, Finish" is an exciting read, and will serve well as a college textbook or simply as an interesting work of history and policy proposal.
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.
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.