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Shadow Warfare now shipping

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In a fit of crass merchandising, I just wanted to let everybody know that Shadow Warfare is now shipping though Amazon and in bookstores..


I stand ready to answer questions but somebody has to read it first...grin. Larry

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Congratulations, Larry, and good luck to the book.

Paul, if you click the Kindle Edition tab (next to the Print Edition tab) on the book's Amazon page, you can request that the book be made available for Kindle. Is it OK with you that people do this, Larry?

Edited by David Andrews
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That's fine David but its my understanding the Kindle version should be out shortly in any event; I'll try get a date on that from the publisher.

Oh, I should note that its been difficult to get the Amazon product description updated. The book is actually 600 pages in length (606 to

be specific) almost 50 pages of end notes...a great number with appropriate source document or article url links....

-- Larry

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Giving a brief summary of Shadow Warfare has proved really challenging for me given its breadth - but I'll give it a try. If anyone would like to read the introduction it is on the Mary Ferrell site:


The book operates on four distinct levels. Fundamentally it is a tutorial on the statecraft of covert action, not spy trade-craft but the practices and resources used for deniable action and surrogate warfare. To do that we begin with one of seminal projects, conducted years before the CIA was established. That deniable activity, under FDR, was intended to establish a Chinese bombing mission to attack Japan and divert it from the southern expansion which produced WWII. The personnel for the bomber group were departing San Francisco at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. Many of the names from that project turn up again in CIA operations from Guatemala to Cuba. As the book proceeds we study the personnel and practices in virtually every major CIA covert operation from Guatemala through Tibet to Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, the Congo, Angola, the Southern Cone, Nicaragua, Angola, Chad, and on to Afghanistan.

The next level explores the evolution of covert action through the Cold War, and on though the war on terror up to 2013. That involves a study of the melding in of special operations, of combined intelligence/military assistance activities and the study of both infrastructure warfare (Phoenix and Condor) and counter-insurgency practices. As we discuss that evolution we trace the changes in personnel, discussing CIA paramilitaries, military detailees and eventually the incorporation of commercial contract personnel - as distinct from the CIA security services and old school type contract employees.

As the decades progress, we turn to the merger of covert action under the National Security Act of 1947 with military special operations and to the melding of covert and conventional which began in the 1980's but truly exploded following the attacks of 2001 and the decisions of the Bush Administration. We refer to this new form of action as "gray warfare" because so many legal issues are blurred between what the national security act and its code support vs. what is allowed under the military UCMJ code. As one of the book reviewers (publishers weekly I think) notes, readers will be "sated" in regard to discussions of the constitutional and legal issues related to covert warfare. In doing that study we also spend time examining the core legal issues of the various covert action projects - including not only familiar issues such as Gary Webb's exposure of the Contra drug traffic and a discussion of the "understanding" with the Justice Department which freed the CIA - if you were into Dark Alliance this should prove really interesting but a number of issues which relate to intelligence and military personnel themselves.

Finally, at the highest level, the book is a study of presidents, administrations, and the personalities that made decisions for covert action. It discusses how that happens, the interaction with Congress and goes on at length to examine Congressional attempts at oversight but also to illustrate what amounts to virtual hypocrisy of Congress in regard to covert action - and the apparent willingness of Congress to totally avoid the fundamental issues in contemporary affairs of national security legislation and code passed some 70 years ago....

Well OK, so maybe that wasn't exactly brief but it is some 600 pages long so... Larry

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Larry, do you take a look at William Stephenson and the British Security Coordination (BSC) that was established in the United States in 1940? Amazingly FDR gave permission for British intelligence to establish its own unit in the US. Its main objective was to bring the US into the war. Stephenson worked closely with William Donovan, who later became the chief of the Office of Strategic Service (OSS). Allen Dulles was one of BSC agents.

As soon as the Second World War ended President Truman ordered the OSS to be closed down. However, it provided a model for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established in September 1947. According to Joseph C. Goulden several of the "old boys" who were around for the founding of the CIA like repeating a mantra, “The Brits taught us everything we know - but by no means did they teach us everything that they know.”



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No John, our focus is pretty tightly on covert military action. We do stray into some instances of political action but usually as that relates to surrogates and their own agendas. For its size SW is a very tightly focused work. ...the editors (four of them) were vicious..grin.

My impression is that British intelligence was far more sophisticated in political action, spy work and areas of classic intelligence. I suspect the remark quoted has to do with intelligence collection,

spy work and in particular counter intelligence. The sort of tradecraft one sees in the British operations against German intelligence is amazing.

The first post War American covert ops specialists brought in a mix of WWII military experience, OSS field experience in Asia and American commercial business practice. The first place that really jelled was in the Burma triangle/Yunnan invasions authorized by Eisenhower. There the CIA folks profited heavily from the experience of OSS types who stayed behind in Burma and Thailand after wartime service there. And as you know, a number of the commercial covers from that region became fundamental CIA resources for the next two decades, some becoming proprietaries but others simply affiliated and vetted as service organizations for the Agency.


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