[BOOK REVIEW] Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield

This post may contain affiliate links.

Dirty Wars Book Cover Dirty Wars
Jeremy Scahill
Political Science
Nation Books
April 23, 2013

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies. Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government. As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

I love reading books, particularly of the non-fiction genre because they are very good in getting you ready for sleep.   In other words, boring.  But kidding aside, I like them because of the information and the learnings I get from them.  Most of my favorite topics are history, espionage, government and religion. Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill is one of those types of books that are boring to read but highly recommended.  Why? It is a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller.  It was named the top investigative journalism book of 2013 by Nieman Reports.  And was selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2013.

After 9/11, The US government launched its War On Terror and declared that the world is a battlefield.  Jeremy Scahill, author of the best-seller Blackwater,  provides the reader an in-depth view of how the US government is combatting terrorism.  In Dirty Wars, we get to read about the covert campaigns conducted by the US government.  Culled from interviews with special forces, CIA personnel, Somali warlords and Yemeni citizens, we are taken into a world of crimes, cover-ups and assassinations which are the main strategy now being employed by the US government in combating terrorism.

dirty wars

The soldiers in Dirty Wars operate globally following orders from the White House and employ all the means necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the US president as targets.  Although the Bush administration started all of these, the Obama administration expanded the war on terror.  The Obama administration gave it more legitimacy by using executive privilege to prevent congressional oversight.

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill takes us to Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Iraq as he investigates these covert wars which he termed as a America’s global killing machine.  His interviews provide an in-depth look on what is actually seen on the ground which we normally do not see in conventional media.

We are taken into the world of shadow warriors who conduct night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes.  We also get to read about the violence from the point of views of the victims and witnesses.  Scahill also discusses the assasination of American citizens without due process just because they are suspected militants.  This book indeed exposes the dirty wars that the US government is employing and struggling very hard to keep hidden.

I would rate this book as an excellent read.  Not enjoyable but very informative.  This is highly recommended for people who are interested in finding out the inner workings of government.