I’ve shared thoughts in regard to JFK and going forward, and while the effort towards the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report begins to jell, I’m turning my attention to Shadow Warfare. The galleys are done and we are on our way towards actual printing in January and having the book in distribution in February, on bookstore shelves by March. I’m going to devote a few posts to what is in the book, and what might be of interest to a variety of individuals reading this blog.
Shadow Warfare deals with the operational history of American covert warfare, from its genesis in the days before WWII though the Cold War and into the current operations against jihadi terrorism and insurgencies. We tried very hard to be “balanced” with the book, letting the history speak for itself and simply bringing up the risks and issues associated with undeclared warfare. If you are interested in tradecraft, logistics, financing, covers and tactics – you will find them in Shadow Warfare. After a few hundred pages, they become familiar, and somewhat repetitive. If you want to know when and how “deniability” worked, and if it was worth the time and expense, you will find that as well. In addition, as we move from the Cold War into the War on Terror and contemporary operations, we deal with the new types of military/intelligence organizations and the weapons that are so much a part of contemporary operations. Shadow Warfare begins in 1939 and concludes with events as recent as September, 2013.
Its going to take a number of post to really convey the complexity of the book – which is hopefully much easier reading than you might imagine, based on the directions and multiple beatings around the head from several very good editors – so I will save a description of the “personality” aspects of the book – ranging from Presidents to the career “shadow warriors” themselves to those later posts. For the moment, the list below will at least give you an idea of the operations discussed in major chapters of the book:
Preemptive action against Japan / 1940-41
Deniable operations against China in Burma, against mainland China with Taiwan and in Tibet
Covert operations across IndoChina
Regime change in Guatemala
Black operations against North Vietnam and Cuba
Secret warfare against Cuba – JMATE, JMARC and Mongoose
Autonomous and Deniable – Round Three against Castro
Holding the Line in Africa – Cuban surrogates in The Congo and Angola
Around the world with the PBFORTUNE and JMWAVE alumnae
Infrastructure Warfare – Phoenix in Vietnam evolves into Condor in the Southern Cone
Pushing Back in Nicaragua and Afghanistan
Maintaining Anti-Communist Regimes – dictatorships and death squads across Latin America
New Enemies – the rise of the global jihadi network
Evolution of the “war on terror” – new forces, new weapons
The turn to “gray warfare”
Task Forces and the next generation of counter insurgency in Asia and Africa
The Libya/Syrian gambit
That should give you a bit of an idea of the breadth of operations explored in the book. But things go far beyond the operations themselves, there are other risks, there is always collateral damage and there is always the political element of both the decision to engage and frequently the unforeseen consequences. There are chapters on all those things, as well as the issue of Congressional oversight and the risks to the shadow warriors themselves. I’ll trying to give a better picture of the book’s full scope in successive posts.
For the moment however, in the interest of blatant hucksterism, if you think you may eventually be interested in this book – pre-order it now via Amazon. It’s considerably longer than described online, verging now on 600 pages not 350, you won’t pay until it ships and at some point I really need enough orders to convince my publisher to let me do yet another book someday….grin.