Dirty Wars is story from the frontlines of the undeclared battlefields of the War on Terror. Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Jeremy Scahill documents the new paradigm of American war: fought far from any declared battlefield, by units that do not officially exist, in thousands of operations a month that are never publicly acknowledged. From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill speaks to the CIA agents, mercenaries and elite Special Operations Forces operators who populate the dark side of the many wars America is fighting. He goes deep into al Qaeda held territory in Yemen and walks the streets of Mogadishu with CIA-backed warlords. We also meet the survivors of US night raids and drone strikes, including families of US citizens targeted for assassination by their own government -who reveal the human consequences of the dirty wars the United States struggles to keep hidden.
From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA to hunt down and kill the people his administration has deemed — through secretive processes, without indictment or trial — worthy of execution. There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state’s power over life and death. The cutting edge journalistic team at The Intercept expose the shocking dystopian powers the United States and President Obama in particular have so roundly abused. The Democratic president, they say, has gotten away with crimes and repressive policies that liberals never would have let a Republican carry out. In 2015 alone, the U.S. dropped at least 23,144 bombs on six Muslim-majority countries, many in which it has not officially declared war. Among the many revelations in the book is that during a five-month period in a U.S. program in northeastern Afghanistan called Operation Haymaker, almost 90 percent of people killed in drone strikes were not the intended targets.
Blackwater USA was the private army that the US government quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. Its contacts ran from miltiary and intelligence agencies to the upper echelons of the White House; it had a military base, a fleet of aircraft and 20,000 troops, but since September 2007 the firm has been hit by a series of scandals that, far from damaging the company, have led to an unprecedented period of expansion. This revised and updated edition includes Scahill’s continued investigative work into one of the greatest outrages of our time: the privatisation of war. While Barack Obama pledged to rein in mercenary forces when he was a senator, once he became president he continued to employ a massive shadow army of private contractors. Blackwater — despite numerous scandals, congressional investigations, FBI probes and documented killings of civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan — remained a central part of the Obama administration’s global war machine throughout his first term in office.