The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB

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A landmark collaboration between a thirty-year veteran of the CIA and a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, The Main Enemy is the dramatic inside story of the CIA-KGB spy wars, told through the actions of the men who fought them.

Based on hundreds of interviews with operatives from both sides, The Main Enemy puts us inside the heads of CIA officers as they dodge surveillance and walk into violent ambushes in Moscow. This is the story of the generation of spies who came of age in the shadow of the Cuban missile crisis and rose through the ranks to run the CIA and KGB in the last days of the Cold War. The clandestine operations they masterminded took them from the sewers of Moscow to the back streets of Baghdad, from Cairo and Havana to Prague and Berlin, but the action centers on Washington, starting in the infamous "Year of the Spy"--when, one by one, the CIA’s agents in Moscow began to be killed, up through to the very last man.

Behind the scenes with the CIA's covert operations in Afghanistan, Milt Bearden led America to victory in the secret war against the Soviets, and for the first time he reveals here what he did and whom America backed, and why. Bearden was called back to Washington after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and was made chief of the Soviet/East Euro-pean Division—just in time to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall, the revolutions that swept across Eastern Europe, and the implosion of the Soviet Union.

Laced with startling revelations--about fail-safe top-secret back channels between the CIA and KGB, double and triple agents, covert operations in Berlin and Prague, and the fateful autumn of 1989--The Main Enemy is history at its action-packed best.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

A thirty-year veteran of the CIA’s clandestine services, Milt Bearden was chief of the Soviet/East European Division at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. As CIA chief in Pakistan, he supplied the Afghan freedom fighters who overthrew the Soviets. He received the Donovan Award and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA's highest honor. He is featured in the Discovery Channel's Secret Warriors and the BBC's Covert Action. He was born in Oklahoma and spent his childhood in Washington State, where his father worked on the Manhattan Project. He served in the Air Force before joining the CIA in 1964 and currently lives outside Washington, D.C., with his French-born wife.

James Risen covers national security for The New York Times. He was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2002 for coverage of September 11 and terrorism, and he is coauthor of Wrath of Angels. He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and three sons.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
May 6, 2003
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Pages
576
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ISBN
9781588363060
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
History / United States / General
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“At times frightening, Risen’s book is a strong reminder of the importance of a free press keeping a powerful government in check.” —The Daily Beast
With relentless media coverage, breathtaking events, and extraordinary congressional and independent investigations, it is hard to believe that we still might not know some of the most significant facts about the presidency of George W. Bush. Yet beneath the surface events of the Bush presidency lies a secret history -- a series of hidden events that makes a mockery of current debate.

This hidden history involves domestic spying, abuses of power, and outrageous operations. It includes a CIA that became caught in a political cross fire that it could not withstand, and what it did to respond. It includes a Defense Department that made its own foreign policy, even against the wishes of the commander in chief. It features a president who created a sphere of deniability in which his top aides were briefed on matters of the utmost sensitivity -- but the president was carefully kept in ignorance. State of War reveals this hidden history for the first time, including scandals that will redefine the Bush presidency.

James Risen has covered national security for The New York Times for years. Based on extraordinary sources from top to bottom in Washington and around the world, drawn from dozens of interviews with key figures in the national security community, this book exposes an explosive chain of events:
Contrary to law, and with little oversight, the National Security Administration has been engaged in a massive domestic spying program. On such sensitive issues as the use of torture, the administration created a zone of deniability: the president's top advisors were briefed, but the president himself was not. The United States actually gave nuclear-bomb designs to Iran. The CIA had overwhelming evidence that Iraq had no nuclear weapons programs during the run-up to the Iraq war. They kept that information to themselves and didn't tell the president. While the United States has refused to lift a finger, Afghanistan has become a narco-state, supplying 87 percent of the heroin sold on the global market.
These are just a few of the stories told in State of War. Beyond these shocking specifics, Risen describes troubling patterns: Truth-seekers within the CIA were fired or ignored. Long-standing rules were trampled. Assassination squads were trained; war crimes were proposed. Yet for all the aggressiveness of America's spies, a blind eye was turned toward crucial links between al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, among other sensitive topics.

Not since the revelations of CIA and FBI abuses in the 1970s have so many scandals in the intelligence community come to light. More broadly, Risen's secret history shows how power really works in George W. Bush's presidency.
A New York Times Notable Book: A look at the hidden costs of America’s war on terror from “the finest national security reporter of this generation” (Newsweek).
 
Since 9/11, the United States has fought an endless war on terror, seeking enemies everywhere and never promising peace. In Pay Any Price, Pulitzer Prize winner James Risen reveals an extraordinary litany of the hidden costs of that war: billions of dollars that went missing from Iraq only to turn up in a bunker in Lebanon; whistleblowers abused, including a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee persecuted by the FBI for expressing her concerns about the NSA spying on US citizens; and an entire professional organization, the American Psychological Association, forced to investigate its own involvement with the government’s use of torture.
 
In the name of fighting terrorism, our government has perpetrated acts that rival the shameful historic wartime abuses of generations past, and it has worked very hard to cover them up. This “important and powerful book” brings them into the light (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“A wide-ranging look at consequences of the so-called war on terror [that] includes stories of shocking thievery during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.” —U.S. News & World Report
 
“A memorable chronicle of the long-range consequences of the panicky reaction of top American officials to the Sept. 11 attacks . . . Mr. Risen certainly makes the case in this book that America has lost much in its lashing out against terrorism, and that Congress and the people need to wake up and ask more questions about the political, financial, moral and cultural costs of that campaign.” —Thomas E. Ricks, The New York Times
 
“At times frightening, Risen’s book is a strong reminder of the importance of a free press keeping a powerful government in check.” —The Daily Beast
With relentless media coverage, breathtaking events, and extraordinary congressional and independent investigations, it is hard to believe that we still might not know some of the most significant facts about the presidency of George W. Bush. Yet beneath the surface events of the Bush presidency lies a secret history -- a series of hidden events that makes a mockery of current debate.

This hidden history involves domestic spying, abuses of power, and outrageous operations. It includes a CIA that became caught in a political cross fire that it could not withstand, and what it did to respond. It includes a Defense Department that made its own foreign policy, even against the wishes of the commander in chief. It features a president who created a sphere of deniability in which his top aides were briefed on matters of the utmost sensitivity -- but the president was carefully kept in ignorance. State of War reveals this hidden history for the first time, including scandals that will redefine the Bush presidency.

James Risen has covered national security for The New York Times for years. Based on extraordinary sources from top to bottom in Washington and around the world, drawn from dozens of interviews with key figures in the national security community, this book exposes an explosive chain of events:
Contrary to law, and with little oversight, the National Security Administration has been engaged in a massive domestic spying program. On such sensitive issues as the use of torture, the administration created a zone of deniability: the president's top advisors were briefed, but the president himself was not. The United States actually gave nuclear-bomb designs to Iran. The CIA had overwhelming evidence that Iraq had no nuclear weapons programs during the run-up to the Iraq war. They kept that information to themselves and didn't tell the president. While the United States has refused to lift a finger, Afghanistan has become a narco-state, supplying 87 percent of the heroin sold on the global market.
These are just a few of the stories told in State of War. Beyond these shocking specifics, Risen describes troubling patterns: Truth-seekers within the CIA were fired or ignored. Long-standing rules were trampled. Assassination squads were trained; war crimes were proposed. Yet for all the aggressiveness of America's spies, a blind eye was turned toward crucial links between al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, among other sensitive topics.

Not since the revelations of CIA and FBI abuses in the 1970s have so many scandals in the intelligence community come to light. More broadly, Risen's secret history shows how power really works in George W. Bush's presidency.
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