Predators: The CIA's Drone War on Al Qaeda

Potomac Books, Inc.
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Predators is a riveting introduction to the murky world of Predator and Reaper drones, the CIAas and U.S. militaryas most effective and controversial killing tools. Brian Glyn Williams combines policy analysis with the human drama of the spies, terrorists, insurgents, and innocent tribal peoples who have been killed in the covert operationthe CIAas largest assassination campaign since the Vietnam War erabeing waged in Pakistanas tribal regions via remote control aircraft known as drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles. Having traveled extensively in the Pashtun tribal areas while working for the U.S. military and the CIA, Williams explores in detail of the new technology of airborne assassinations. From miniature Scorpion missiles designed to kill terrorists while avoiding civilian collateral damageA to prathrais, the cigarette lightersize homing beacons spies plant on their unsuspecting targets to direct drone missiles to them, the author describes the drone arsenal in full. Evaluating the ethics of targeted killings and drone technology, Williams covers more than a hundred drone strikes, analyzing the number of slain civilians versus the number of terrorists killed to address the claims of antidrone activists. In examining the future of drone warfare, he reveals that the U.S. military is already building more unmanned than manned aerial vehicles. Predators helps us weigh the pros and cons of the drone program so that we can decide whether it is a vital strategic asset, a frenemy, A or a little of both.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Potomac Books, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 31, 2013
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Pages
281
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ISBN
9781612346182
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan at the height of the campaign, fighting the longest war in the nation's history. But what do Americans know about the land where this conflict is taking place? Many have come to have a grasp of the people, history, and geography of Iraq, but Afghanistan remains a mystery.

Originally published by the U.S. Army to provide an overview of the country's terrain, ethnic groups, and history for American troops and now updated and expanded for the general public, Afghanistan Declassified fills in these gaps. Historian Brian Glyn Williams, who has traveled to Afghanistan frequently over the past decade, provides essential background to the war, tracing the rise, fall, and reemergence of the Taliban. Special sections deal with topics such as the CIA's Predator drone campaign in the Pakistani tribal zones, the spread of suicide bombing from Iraq to the Afghan theater of operations, and comparisons between the Soviet and U.S. experiences in Afghanistan.

To Williams, a historian of Central Asia, Afghanistan is not merely a theater in the war on terror. It is a primeval, exciting, and beautiful land; not only a place of danger and turmoil but also one of hospitable villagers and stunning landscapes, of great cultural diversity and richness. Williams brings the country to life through his own travel experiences—from living with Northern Alliance Uzbek warlords to working on a major NATO base. National heroes are introduced, Afghanistan's varied ethnic groups are explored, key battles—both ancient and current—are retold, and this land that many see as only a frightening setting for prolonged war emerges in three dimensions.

Counter Jihad is a sweeping account of America's military campaigns in the Islamic world. Revising our understanding of what was once known as the War on Terror, it provides a retrospective on the extraordinary series of conflicts that saw the United States deploy more than two and a half million men and women to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Brian Glyn Williams traces these unfolding wars from their origins in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan through U.S. Central Command's ongoing campaign to "degrade and destroy" the hybrid terrorist group known as ISIS. Williams takes readers on a journey beginning with the 2001 U.S. overthrow of the Taliban, to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, to the unexpected emergence of the notorious ISIS "Caliphate" in the Iraqi lands that the United States once occupied.

Counter Jihad is the first history of America's military operations against radical Islamists, from the Taliban-controlled Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, to the Sunni Triangle of Iraq, to ISIS's headquarters in the deserts of central Syria, giving both generalists and specialists an overview of events that were followed by millions but understood by few. Williams provides the missing historical context for the rise of the terror group ISIS out of the ashes of Saddam Hussein's secular Baathist Iraq, arguing that it is only by carefully exploring the recent past can we understand how this jihadist group came to conquer an area larger than Britain and spread havoc from Syria to Paris to San Bernardino.

Predators is a riveting introduction to the murky world of Predator and Reaper drones, the CIA's and U.S. military's most effective and controversial killing tools. Brian Glyn Williams combines policy analysis with the human drama of the spies, terrorists, insurgents, and innocent tribal peoples who have been killed in the covert operation-the CIA's largest assassination campaign since the Vietnam War era-being waged in Pakistan's tribal regions via remote control aircraft known as drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles.

Having traveled extensively in the Pashtun tribal areas while working for the U.S. military and the CIA, Williams explores in detail of the new technology of airborne assassinations. From miniature Scorpion missiles designed to kill terrorists while avoiding civilian "collateral damage" to prathrais, the cigarette lighter-size homing beacons spies plant on their unsuspecting targets to direct drone missiles to them, the author describes the drone arsenal in full.

Evaluating the ethics of targeted killings and drone technology, Williams covers more than a hundred drone strikes, analyzing the number of slain civilians versus the number of terrorists killed to address the claims of antidrone activists. In examining the future of drone warfare, he reveals that the U.S. military is already building more unmanned than manned aerial vehicles. Predators helps us weigh the pros and cons of the drone program so that we can decide whether it is a vital strategic asset, a "frenemy," or a little of both.

Counter Jihad is a sweeping account of America's military campaigns in the Islamic world. Revising our understanding of what was once known as the War on Terror, it provides a retrospective on the extraordinary series of conflicts that saw the United States deploy more than two and a half million men and women to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Brian Glyn Williams traces these unfolding wars from their origins in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan through U.S. Central Command's ongoing campaign to "degrade and destroy" the hybrid terrorist group known as ISIS. Williams takes readers on a journey beginning with the 2001 U.S. overthrow of the Taliban, to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, to the unexpected emergence of the notorious ISIS "Caliphate" in the Iraqi lands that the United States once occupied.

Counter Jihad is the first history of America's military operations against radical Islamists, from the Taliban-controlled Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, to the Sunni Triangle of Iraq, to ISIS's headquarters in the deserts of central Syria, giving both generalists and specialists an overview of events that were followed by millions but understood by few. Williams provides the missing historical context for the rise of the terror group ISIS out of the ashes of Saddam Hussein's secular Baathist Iraq, arguing that it is only by carefully exploring the recent past can we understand how this jihadist group came to conquer an area larger than Britain and spread havoc from Syria to Paris to San Bernardino.

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