The Way of the Knife - Mark Mazzetti

The Way of the Knife

By Mark Mazzetti

  • Release Date: 2013-04-09
  • Genre: Politics & Current Events
The Way of the Knife book review score

3.5 Score: 3.5 (From 209 Ratings)

The Way of the Knife Mark Mazzetti Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war The most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war: a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops; trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks; and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies. This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict. But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them. It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime. Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain-smoking Pentagon official running an off-the-books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash. At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy. Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated. Other...

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User reviews about this book

  • The Way of the Knife

    By Super Clock
    Very slow reading. Author goes into depth in his chapters, however, his wring is drawn out and tedious to read
  • The Way of the Knife

    By Fphilli
    Great read on the covert war on terror and the morphing of the CIA's role. Level of detail, research and roles and interplay between key players is excellent.
  • Great read

    By Jeep21243
    I found the material very interesting. Not having read much on this topic before I found it very hard to put down. The material is presented in a great way with very little bias or opinion (it felt a lot like an information dump) which is how I like my non fiction. The only thing I didn't like was there needed to be a little more history. I think A LOT of Americans are clueless about a great many background things presented in the book, for example he mentions the following event in very little or no detail; Iran-contra, black hawk down in Mogadishu, the socio political systems of Yemen, Ethiopia and to a lesser extent Somalia. Pakistan got A LOT of ink which is nice but I think the average American has no concept that these nations literally have no control over their own territory or citizenry. I would have liked the history of these territory and events a little more but I suppose that's what other books are for. Overall an excellent read

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