The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

The Way of the Knife The CIA a Secret Army and a War at the Ends of the Earth A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America s special operations forces into man hunting and killing machines in the world s dark spaces the new A

  • Title: The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth
  • Author: Mark Mazzetti
  • ISBN: 9781594204807
  • Page: 297
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America s special operations forces into man hunting and killing machines in the world s dark spaces the new American way of warThe most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of theA Pulitzer Prize winning reporter s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America s special operations forces into man hunting and killing machines in the world s dark spaces the new American way of warThe most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can t go The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies.This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime.Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain smoking Pentagon official running an off the books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash.At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated Other times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.

    One thought on “The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth”

    1. A great overview of the changing nature of the CIA. Mazzetti chronicles the Agency’s schizophrenic attitude toward its global kill campaign. Mazzetti reveals an interesting shift in the roles of our military and intelligence forces; as the military develops or expands its own capabilities in collecting intelligence on al-Qaeda members, the CIA expands its own capabilities to kill them. For example, the SEALs of DevGru’s Red Squadron were sheep-dipped to the CIA for the bin Laden takedown, si [...]

    2. إذا كان من المقبول مجازاً قول كلمة لا جديد لأخلاق السياسة الامريكية الممزوجة بروح الخداع والمتلونة بأنواع الغدر الذي يعجز الخيال أن يكون خلاقاً له.كالعادة الكتاب يسرد الخطط اللإنسانية والكيفية التي يسوغ لها جهاز الإستخبارات الأمريكية لإفتعالات الحروب ونشرها في مناطقنا ال [...]

    3. Authored by NY Times journalist, Mark Mazzetti, who covers national security, The Way of the Knife succeeds in making interesting insights about a topic (the War on Terror) that has been extensively covered and about which readers may think they have nothing knew to learn. Mazzetti's main point is that, after 9/11, the CIA and Pentagon have become doppelgangers of each other--with the CIA becoming more of a paramilitary force and the Pentagon becoming more of a spy agency. This was not always th [...]

    4. Excellently researched, excellently written, this book is a shining example of the in depth journalist genre - Bob Woodward style - that pieces together a story of a top secret world and makes you feel like you have a front row seat. What could be more important than keeping a tab on the working of the CIA? Particularly the development of the drone program? Mazzetti keeps us entertained by tracking how the Pentagon and the armed forces are in competition with the CIA and the secret forces, where [...]

    5. I won't belabor this review. The book is what I suppose I'd call "an honest attempt at a nonfiction account of the development and growth of a segment of the intelligence community in the United States".The book concentrates largely on attitudes and changes in the roles and attitudes at the CIA (mostly) vs. the intelligence apparatus of/at the Pentagon. Attempting to show how the two "agencies" tended to overlap, run counter programs (as in the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing [...]

    6. This book made me angry several times as I made my way through it. I think the chief reason was to learn exactly how little things have changed in the realm of secret wars during the Obama administration. When George W. Bush left office in 2009,I had a great deal of hope that the American Way of War that had begun during that administration would turn around, or at least be seriously reconsidered, during the new presidency.Unfortunately, that was not the case.One major point of this book, the in [...]

    7. The Way of the Knife is a book about the way the CIA operates after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The book tells of how the CIA went from a skeleton of what it once was during the cold war to the clandestine operation beast of the post 9/11 world. The book goes into great detail in the way the CIA operates in other countries, and its relationships with other intelligence organizations such as M16 and the ISI. The book exposes the CIA’s relationship with Pakistan’s spy organization, the ISI. Th [...]

    8. The title of this book alludes to the style of warfare adopted by the post 9/11 CIA (and other American military organisations) in handling clandestine war- shoot first, ask questions later.Mark Mazzetti is the Pulitzer prize winning journalist working for the New York Times. He has had many articles published on the CIA and American national security. The Way of the Knife is his first book.Mazzetti mainly focuses on the ongoing turf-battles and other bureaucratic head-butting going on between t [...]

    9. After the riveting article published in the NYT (basically chapter 14 in the book), I was expecting good things. But none of the other pages live up to its best chapter.There is something to be gained in reading this. For those unversed in the history of the CIA, there is some background. What was new for me is the competition between the pentagon and the CIA -- with the former wanting its own intelligence and the latter want it own killing operations. Also available: a sketch of the history of [...]

    10. "The Unites States fought three wars after 9/11: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the one in the shadows."So reads the blurb on the back of this book, and it's true, to a degree. In the wake of 9/11, America proved totally unable to pursue Al Qaeda, with a CIA averse to covert operations, and a special forces culture that trained for high-stakes rescue missions. The new war required human intelligence gathering in some of the most hostile corners of the world, and soon developed a system of secret prisons [...]

    11. good writing style but thats all i guess. its kinda book by which author seems to be trying to ride on a popular topic thats all. myth of CIA helps as ever, Afghanistan and tribal areas are also tempting. add to it a few gossips of ISI and Blakewater and Pentagon. All in all its an interesting gossip book of behind the scene happenings of all power brokers and adversaries of war on terror. few facts. But for a first book to succeed i guess good enough spice

    12. The Way of the KnifeThe Way of the Knife is about CIA operatives, their special forces counterparts, top generals, elite government officials, and their decisions on operations past the September 11th attacks. The book tells of past events of CIA operations all over the globe ranging from the war on terrorism in the Middle East and of battles against drug cartels and government corruption in South America. There is a variety of topics and history that Mark Mazzetti discusses including legal batt [...]

    13. Few today remember it, but as the sun rose over the eastern seaboard on September 11, 2001, it was understood that the Central Intelligence Agency spied on our nation’s enemies and the Department of Defense waged war on them. Flash forward a dozen years to today, and those roles have to a large extent switched. The CIA’s main brief has become counter-terrorism, with great emphasis placed on capturing or killing those believed responsible for acts against the United States or who may be conte [...]

    14. Drones, mercenaries, and targeted murder: the new strategy of the CIAWhen Chou En-Lai, then #2 to Mao Tse-Tung, was asked for his perspective on the historical meaning of the French Revolution, he is said to have replied, “It’s too early to tell.”As we’re beginning to understand now, George W. Bush engineered a revolution of a different sort in the misguided steps he took to “end terrorism” in the years following 9/11. The country’s military establishment gained trillions of dollar [...]

    15. The Way of the Knife tells the details behind a “shadow war” taking place in both ally and enemy territory. Mark Mazzetti describes the changes during this “shadow war” the CIA goes through after the September 11th terrorist attacks. One of the biggest changes is how the CIA receives authority to start killing terrorists. The author writes about a new way our government has begun to hunt terrorist, the predator drone. Mazzetti tells how the predator drone has had both negative and positi [...]

    16. This is a well-informed, meticulously researched and analytically sharp investigation of a shift in how the United States collects and uses intelligence and how it uses the intelligence to target and kill those considered enemies of the regime. It describes bureaucratic infighting at its most loathsome with frequent battles within the United States government over the conduct of secret and not so secret wars. Facing off are the CIA on one side and the Pentagon on the other with daily turf battle [...]

    17. I learned a tremendous amount about US activity in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia since 9/11 by reading this, so it accomplished for me what I hoped it would. By the end of the book, I think I understood the big picture of what the author was saying: 1) that the CIA and Defense Department have blurred their roles since 9/11 and moved into legally and ethically grey areas, 2) that Bush and Obama both understood and supported the transition, with both of them believing that they were (are, in the ca [...]

    18. Definitely an interesting read shedding light on the Obama's admninistration's embrace of covert operations. In some ways the Obama administration has stepped up these operations to a degree never known in history (at least not since "Wild" Bill Donovan's OSS). In addition, the short section on Benghazi (leading up to and aftermath) was interesting because of its direct relationship to the admninistration having CIA do war operations instead of intelligence. This was a colossal failure of intell [...]

    19. The Way of the Knife is a dramatic spy novel. It tells the story of how the CIA got back into the killing business. It is also an account about the war referred to as the "Shadows". This war was conducted by the CIA and other allying countries. This book gives you an inside look on the twist and turns of this aggressive, yet secretive, war. I enjoyed this book because I never knew what was coming next! There was always something exciting happening around the corner. It is a definite page turner [...]

    20. It read like Too Big to Fail, which is about as much praise as I can give to a non-fiction book.I'm not really sure if there was a time when Americans kept track of our wars. It seems like the popular memory suggests so; I recall watching old TV shows where they play war footage as a movie preview, or you assume people would follow the latest battlefield happenings in the newspaper. Does anyone do this now? I like to think of myself as a well-informed citizen, someone who reads foreign affairs m [...]

    21. The most worrying thing about the behavior of the CIA described in this book is how amateurish so much of it is. It's like you turned over a sprawling spy agency to a philosophy department. Two illustrations from early in the book:Ross Newland is being interviewed as a potential CIA case officer in the late 70s. "Newland was sitting in a bare room at CIA headquarters waiting for his psychological evaluation evaluation. A man walked in, sat down, and asked Newland only two questions.'So, you grew [...]

    22. حرب بين السي اي ايه والبيت الابيض والبنتاغون اخرجها الكاتب الذي عرف عن نفسه بانه مراسل الامن القومي (CIA) بان السي اي ايه هي البطل والمنقذ والمورط بان واحد للسياسة الامريكية لا يمكن ان اتخيل ان الوكالة قد انشئت لداع لغير القتل ولا اتخيل ايضا ان يصبح اغلاق هذه الوكالة بعد فشلها [...]

    23. This would rate as a must read at any time but especially now, in the wake of the U.S. Senate's report on CIA and DOD-orchestrated imprisonment and torture of suspected terrorists. This book suggests that the alternative to imprisonment is often execution, delivered courtesy of the missile-armed drones whirring about in the skies far above. The main outlines of the U.S. government's increasing reliance on drones for targeted attacks and assassinations are not new, but Mazzetti provides lots of c [...]

    24. The Way of the Knife reflects the idea that in non-traditional wars often involving terror, the US foreign policy approach of using a scalpel or knife rather than a sledgehammer can be more effective. This knife like approach can be seen in the way the CIA has conducted warfare in collaboration with the JSOC. The use of drones and this cross over of soldiers to spies and spies to soldiers leaves the author a bit bothered as well as others and some of those opinions melt through his story. That s [...]

    25. Mazzetti traces the history and authority of the CIA as a contract killer for the American government, the rise of military intelligence, the turf battles between the two agencies and the growing reliance on outside private contractors for intelligence gathering. Why I started this book: I heard about this book as I was watching Jon Stewart and I was interested in learning more.Why I finished it: This book jumps all over the place and it was very difficult to follow on audio. I rewound it severa [...]

    26. 5/28/13 ** I heard about this book on NPR and thought the topic sounded very interesting. Also, I'd enjoyed reading books about actual political events such as All the President's Men and Richard A. Clarke's Against All Enemies.Unfortunately, I think two factors conspired against my full enjoyment of this book. First, I didn't feel like I was learning anything about the CIA that I hadn't already gleaned from NPR, and the reading was simply depressing me. Second, while the book was well-researche [...]

    27. A perfect book on how could an intelligence agency become a worldwide assasins' creed. With the upcoming retalitory demands after 9/11, Pentagon and recent intelligence assets of that time were incompetent to provide both threat assesments and threat identifications, which eventually led CIA to have extraordinary executive warrants beyond its legal terms: imminent identification of "they-and-us" and therefore hasty elimination of "they". Results were impressively sound that CIA became sole insti [...]

    28. I finished this book entirely because I am stubborn. This was awful. I heard about it on The Daily Show, but I can't imagine Jon Stewart actually read this. I suspect I would have given it an additional star if I'd read it rather than listening to it via audiobook - the narrator was abysmal, with strange pronunciation and a mind-numbing style. This book was horribly organized and would have benefited from a very heavy editing hand. If the subject of this book is a topic of interest, I'd recommen [...]

    29. I read this immediately after finishing the 500 plus pages of Dirty Wars by Scahill. There's no comparison -- Scahill is more comprehensive and better written. Once one reads Dirty Wars, reading the Way of the Knife is superfluous. And further demotivate the reader the narrative structure is weak. Read Dirty Wars.

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