512 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.25 in
April 9, 2013
Penguin Press (HC)
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1594204802
ISBN - 13: 9781594204807
About the Book
A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's explosive account of the transformation of the CIA and "America's special forces" into competing covert manhunting and killing operations--the new American way of war.
Read from the Book
3: CLOAK-AND-DAGGER MEN “Certainly we don’t need a regiment of cloak-and-dagger men, earning their campaign ribbons—and, indeed, their promotions—by planning new exploits throughout the world. Theirs is a self-generating enterprise.”—Senator Frank Church, 1976There was a time, not very long ago, when the CIA was out of the killing business.When Ross Newland joined the spy agency, in the late 1970s, the CIA wasn’t looking to pick any fights abroad. Newland was fresh out of graduate school, and the CIA was reeling from the body blows it had absorbed from congressional committees that had investigated the agency’s covert actions since its founding, in 1947. Congress was tightening its control over secret activities, and chastened CIA leaders began to refocus the agency’s activities on stealing the secrets of foreign regimes—traditional espionage—rather than overthrowing them or trying to kill their leaders.President Jimmy Carter, who had campaigned to put an end to the CIA’s overseas adventures, had installed Admiral Stansfield Turner at Langley partly to rein in a spy agency he thought had run amok. Newland and a generation of CIA case officers who joined the agency during this period were told that the CIA would only invite trouble if it got back into the work of killing. By the end of his career, Newland would see the agency come full circle on the matter of lethal action, and he would come to question the wisdom of the CIA’s embrace of its role as the willing executioner of
From the Publisher
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 times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not. For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.
About the Author
MARK MAZZETTI is a national security correspondent for The New York Times. In 2009, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the intensifying violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Washington’s response, and he has won numerous other major journalism awards, including the George Polk Award (with colleague Dexter Filkins) and the Livingston Award, for breaking the story of the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes. Mazzetti has also written for the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, and The Economist. He lives in Washington, D.C.
The New York Times:“Superb…the best account yet.”Foreign Policy:“[An] indispensable CIA history.”The Hindu (India):"[A] masterpiece."Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War:"The story of how the CIA got back into the killing business is as chilling and dramatic as a spy novel--except it’s true. Mark Mazzetti has laid out an extraordinary tale, tracking the spies as they track the terrorists. The Way of the Knife is as close as you'll ever get to the real thing."Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker; author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals:"The Way of the Knife provides a stunning, inside account of the CIA's transformation after 9/11 from an intelligence agency into a global clandestine killing machine. Mazzetti, who is one of America's best national security reporters, has written a frightening, must-read book."Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Generals:"The United States fought three wars after 9/11: Iraq, Afghanistan and the one in the shadows. This is an authoritative account of that that third war, conducted by the CIA and military Special Operators in Yemen, East Africa and, most of all, Pakistan. If you want to understand the world we live in, you need to read it."The Week:“The definitive history of how the intelligence agency became something much more like a paramilitary wing—de-evolving, in a sense, back to the days when the agency's adventurism influenced foreign policy around the world. I