Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

The shock of the 9/11 attacks sent the American intelligence community into hyperactive growth. Five hundred billion dollars of spending in the Bush-Cheney years turned the U.S. spy network into a monster: 200,000-plus employees, stations in 170 countries, and an annual budget of more than $75 billion. Armed with cutting-edge surveillance gear, high-tech weapons, and fleets of armed and unarmed drone aircraft, America deploys the most advanced intel force in history.

But even after the celebrated strike against Osama Bin Laden, America's spies are still struggling to beat a host of ragtag enemies around the world.


In Intel Wars, preeminent secrecy and intelligence historian Matthew Aid ("our reigning expert on the NSA"-Seymour M. Hersh) delivers the inside stories of how and why our shadow war against extremism has floundered. Spendthrift, schizophrenic policies leave next-generation spy networks drowning in raw data, resource-starved, and choked on paperwork. Overlapping jurisdictions stall CIA operatives, who wait seventy-two hours for clearance to attack fast-moving Taliban IE D teams. U.S. military computers-their classified hard drives still in place-turn up for sale at Afghan bazaars. Swift, tightly focused operations like the Bin Laden strike are the exception rather than the rule.


Intel Wars-based on extensive, on-the-ground interviews, and revelations from Wikileaks cables and other newly declassified documents-shows how our soldier-spies are still fighting to catch up with the enemy. Matthew Aid captures the lumbering behemoth that is the U.S. military-intelligence complex in one comprehensive narrative, and distills the unprecedented challenges to our security into a compelling- and sobering-read.

Title:Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror
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  • I wanted to like this book and it seemed extraordinarily well researched, but the final product just didn't come together particularly well. Time sensitive material like this tends to have its greates...

  • Well researched, but you get booged down in the groups. Needed? A broader sweeping pen....

  • while reading this, I bounced between the 3 and 4. it'd be 3 stars at $20, hardcover, a mere 272 page book that would leave you wondering where your andrew jackson went. at the 2.99 price point, for 2...

  • Great sourcing...maybe a little too good? Paints a disturbing picture of US Intelligence efforts. Very interesting read but feels a bit dated (written in 2012)...

  • so far, this is horrible. all i'm seeing is selected sound bytes to justify that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. We should have never gone after bin laden, everything is Bush's fault. Acts of tr...

  • Good book about the national intelligence architecture of the United States of America, with specific focus on its growth and development since September 11, 2001 and expansion of counter-terrorism op...

  • Damn this book was dense.So many acronyms I had to write some down.Also name dropping like crazy, often on someone who would never be mentioned again.It does a good job giving a look into the monster ...

  • More descriptive than anything, Aid droned on about the worrisome state of the intelligence community at present before really making any analytical points or arguments until he Conclusion/Epilogue. T...

  • I somehow was able to motivate myself to finish 30% of this book and I couldn't go beyond that. It's like a militRy historian took a giant dump on the pages and smothered it with his bare hands. All y...

  • Some interesting insights and an overall interesting description of intel challenges. In between there is a lot of story telling that contains information that I do not find useful. This book could ha...

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