Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

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Macmillan, Aug 16, 2011 - Political Science - 336 pages
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Inside the Pentagon's secretive and revolutionary new strategy to fight terrorism--and its game-changing effects in the Middle East and at home

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States waged a "war on terror" that sought to defeat Al Qaeda through brute force. But it soon became clear that this strategy was not working, and by 2005 the Pentagon began looking for a new way.

In Counterstrike, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker of The New York Times tell the story of how a group of analysts within the military, at spy agencies, and in law enforcement has fashioned an innovative and effective new strategy to fight terrorism, unbeknownst to most Americans and in sharp contrast to the cowboy slogans that characterized the U.S. government's public posture. Adapting themes from classic Cold War deterrence theory, these strategists have expanded the field of battle in order to disrupt jihadist networks in ever more creative ways.

Schmitt and Shanker take readers deep into this theater of war, as ground troops, intelligence operatives, and top executive branch officials have worked together to redefine and restrict the geography available for Al Qaeda to operate in. They also show how these new counterterrorism strategies, adopted under George W. Bush and expanded under Barack Obama, were successfully employed in planning and carrying out the dramatic May 2011 raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.

Filled with startling revelations about how our national security is being managed, Counterstrike will change the way Americans think about the ongoing struggle with violent radical extremism.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Booksontape - LibraryThing

Despite progress in confronting terrorist organizations, the main lesson for Americans is to be resilient in the face of an inevitable terrrorist attack. Read full review

COUNTERSTRIKE: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against al Qaeda

User Review  - Kirkus

Spectacular events such as Osama bin Laden's assassination make headlines, but this book makes a case that intelligence (both tactical and cerebral) leads the battle against international terrorism ... Read full review


In the Beginning
Know Thine Enemy
The New Deterrence
The Exploitation of Intelligence
The Problem of Pakistan
Terror 2 0
Countering Al Qaedas Message
The New Network Warfare
The Rise of HomeGrown Extremism
Is Al Qaeda Just Kleenex?
The Obama Strategy
Counterstrike in Abbottabad
Tell Me How This Ends

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About the author (2011)

Eric Schmitt is a terrorism correspondent for The New York Times and has embedded with troops in Iraq, Somalia, and Pakistan. Schmitt has twice been a member of Times reporting teams that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Thom Shanker, a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, routinely spends time embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shanker was formerly a foreign editor and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, based in Moscow, Berlin, and Sarajevo.

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