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Killer Elite: America's Most Secret Soldiers (Cassell Military) Paperback – 14 Jul 2011


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Product Description

Review

"An extensively researched and crisply written expose . . . An important primer for anyone hoping to understand the successes and failures of U.S. intelligence in the last twenty-five years." ---"Publishers Weekly"

""

"Well written and authoritatively sourced, "Killer Elite" is the first detailed account of a Special Operations unit that Smith regards as America's most effective."---"Sunday Telegraph "(UK)

An extensively researched and crisply written expose . . . An important primer for anyone hoping to understand the successes and failures of U.S. intelligence in the last twenty-five years. "Publishers Weekly"

Well written and authoritatively sourced, "Killer Elite" is the first detailed account of a Special Operations unit that Smith regards as America's most effective. "Sunday Telegraph (UK)"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The first book about SEAL Team Six and Bin Laden

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for Americans interested in our war against terror 26 Aug. 2012
By Charles G. Chapin, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former Green Beret who was involved in top secret missions during the Vietnam war, I was particularly interested in how logic and authenticity follow each other in this book. It is very insightful and intriguing, written by someone who truly understands the intelligence community and its essential role in protecting America. One of the key pieces for me was the observation that all of the harsh interrogation that was instituted during the Bush Administration did not result in "one shred of actionable intelligence." That's consistent with my own experience. To his credit, it appears to me that President Obama has fully embraced the resource that Special Forces, The Seals, and other similar assets provide. The book is extremely well done and was recommended by a brother from Special Forces who knows from personal experience how accurate this accounting is. I highly recommend it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on the ISA and their intelligence, both kinds. 17 Feb. 2013
By Arcite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like special operations books I highly recommend this book. The ISA and their members are some of the most skilled operators in the world. This books is a great read into the history and world of the ISA on the unclassified surface. I am sure that the truth is stranger than the one presented in this book. I keep it handy when I ready other books on special operations and intelligence gathering missions. The CIA, ISA, DIA, NSA, and all other military special operations and intelligence operators are of particular interest to me, so if you like reading about this secretive world I would recommend this to you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good history 21 Feb. 2013
By Roger Weston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a good history of a little-known unit that plays an important role in national security. The chapters go into detail on different missions of the past, emphasizing the roles played by the Activity, but also showing the contributions of other units such as the SAS, delta, SEALS, etc.
--Roger Weston, author of The Recruiter
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars time consuming and frustrating for any author- and Michael Smith does it with great professionalism. It's a fine line trying to 2 Aug. 2014
By R. Guinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written and very informative book. Sourcing and compiling information about such secretive military units such as "The Activity", are difficult, time consuming and frustrating for any author- and Michael Smith does it with great professionalism. It's a fine line trying to document historical events while simultaneously trying to maintain OPSEC (Operational Security) for current and former operators. Additionally, navigating through first hand accounts of largely classified operations as no simple task.

Killer Elite informs readers about how essential these soldiers were- and in doing so helps paint a picture of how future US combat operations will be executed- with the "Killer Elite" at the very tip of the spear. For anyone looking to dive into the world of 21st Century special ops and hostile area intelligence gathering- this is a MUST read.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really a story about the ISA 11 Jun. 2013
By BrianAz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure I read the same book that was reviewed by others. I purchased this item based thinking I would gain insight into the ISA, it's mission, organization, capabilities, history, etc. The actual information regarding the ISA in this book is so light that it could be condensed into a a few pages. Primarily the only real information on the ISA that is revealed in this book is about a series of incidents in Beruit and Iran in the 1970s and 1980s and how the ISA agents supposedly drafted a few reports that nobody read.

Most of the content in the book about the ISA "missions" or "successes" are very poor. Instead it focuses on mostly the history of infighting in the Pentagon, or other government agencies like the State Department, or theater commanders, didn't want the ISA to be involved in anything significant. It reads more like a in-depth review of a junior high peer group "so and so doesn't like him, so they passed rumors in the halls of the Pentagon....".

Most of the content of the book that is supposed to be about ISA missions is ridiculous. I was initially excited by the table of contents regarding major incidents like "Black Hawk Down", thinking I'd learn about how the ISA provides useful intel to Delta, DevGRU, or other "shooters". Instead the author skips over any activity/functions of the ISA and simply mentions that because Delta, DevGRU, or even the CIA was deployed the ISA must have been there too. Really? How do we know? What did they do? Is there any evidence of that. In several instances it really just seems that the author is making assumptions, as he often claims that because a group like Delta was deployed, the ISA must have been there as well. He never talks about what they supposedly did (outside of Centra Spike in the hunt for Pablo Escobar which was far more accurately described in the book "Killing Pablo"), how they got intel, how they worked with other Tier 1 organizations, or anything of note that an actual reader who would buy this book is expecting to find out.

Here is all I learned from this book:
-The Pentagon, Joint Chiefs, and State Department don't like the ISA and act like a bunch of insecure adolescents.

-Delta, DevGRU, and the CIA/NSA often get involved in dangerous and risky missions. Because of that, one can infer that the ISA is involved as well. What they did, or how they did it (assuming they were actually involved) is a mystery.
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