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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a blizzard of quasi military acronyms, 18 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Dirty Wars: The world is a battlefield (Wellcome) (Paperback)
This book charts how after 9/11 American policy makers decided that they did not want to be "all lawyered up" and declared 'the world a battlefield' that thereby 'legitimized' them unleashing a blizzard of quasi military acronyms against their Islamist enemies and anyone else who was in the vicinity or might 'usefully' be declared complicit.

The controversies of Guantanamo Bay under George Bush are well known - he wanted to detain people without legalistic oversight - but less well understood is how Nobel Peace Prize winning president Barack Obama decided to extend the policy direction to killing people without legal oversight. So let's spell it out. A new covert military organisation was formed (JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command) whose primary job was to draw up kill lists that were pursued with the might and coordination facilities of American power - on 'terror Tuesdays' Obama personally over saw the authorizations to kill. Moreover, this has created a streamlined process by which future American presidents can - in case you have a soft spot for Obama - personally authorise the non-judicial killing of America's perceived enemies.

Reading this book entails trying to get your head round over 100 acronyms as American bureaucracy confronts Islamist factions that are spreading virus like across parts of the developing (or disintegrating) world. The chosen Islamacists weapons are IED's and suicide bombers, the chosen American weapons are drone strikes and covert assassination/renditions. America is successfully killing those on its 'list' (with attendant 'collateral damage') but it is also appears to be alienating and radicalising many more. The pertinent question the author asks is "how does a war like this ever end?"
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