Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Inside the Pentagon's secretive and revolutionary new strategy to fight terrorism--and its game-changing effects in the Middle East and at home

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States waged a "war on terror" that sought to defeat Al Qaeda through brute force. But it soon became clear that this strategy was not working, and by 2005 the Pentagon began looki...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Times Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 306)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jerome
Counterstrike tells a brief but fast-paced and mildly optimistic story of how US counterterrorism policies, strategies, and tactics evolved after 9/11 up to the killing of bin Laden. The authors argue that such a quick,smooth surgical in-and-out operation could not have been carried out ten years ago.

It mainly focuses on a group of intelligence, law enforcement and military officials and how they devised a new counterterrorism strategy.. It is also an interesting case study of how to apply "det...more
Mal Warwick
One of democracy’s most remarkable characteristics is the sheer volume of closely guarded information that can be reported and published without resulting in jail time or torture for the authors. Counterstrike, a remarkable bit of longitudinal reporting by two veterans of the New York Times, brings to light a host of insights and behind-the-scene details about America’s decade-long campaign against Al Qaeda and its affiliates and imitators.

The principal theme of Counterstrike is how in the cours...more
Johnny
This book provides the narrative for a major shift in dealing with terrorism, a shift which began (surprisingly to me) in the administration of George W. Bush. Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda is the story of an attempt to apply the principles of nuclear deterrence as applied during the Cold War to the War on Terror. At first, this approach to counterterrorism seems counterintuitive. During the Cold War, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) assumed that...more
Lee Holz
Counterstrike is an authoritative and comprehensive account of America’s campaign against Al Qaeda. It is a must read for anyone interested in the topic. One understands that the price of access to the players and those in the know was certain limitations on what the authors could say on all points. Still, the book has one substantial flaw or rather omission. Putting aside the intelligence failures and the geopolitical stupidity that lead to the invasion of Iraq, the invasion was a disaster in t...more
Noel Burke
The one thing I was most surprised about was the apparent level of detail of operations and strategy that was presented in this book. Towards the end of the book they were talking about things that had occurred only a few years ago. It seems to me that this book could be treasure trove of info for the enemy. I don't mind bring light to operations if it is declassified (i.e. this is what happened during a war 20 years ago), but the American public does not need to know that much detail about how...more
Owen
It is rare that I rate a book higher than the general population. I will tell you, having been in Aghanistan, having trained Afghans as a Marine and worked within the intelligence cycle, this is a fantastic book. The general population is missing the boat on this one. This was an exceptional book, recommended to me by a former intel operative. The concept of the evolution of deterrance fascinated me, as did the speed with which intelligence could be transferred up and down the chain (shown relat...more
Sean
Well researched look at the sausage making requires to respond to the new terrorism threat. Interesting background on how the Cold War philosophy of deterrence was used upon terrorists. The book leaves the reader with the understanding that we will never defeat terrorism, but we can minimizes its physical and psychological impacts.
Mark
If you want a behind the scenes look at the American intelligence and special operations actions in Southeast Asia, this is an excellent book. From the fall of the Twin Towers to the killing of Bin Laden, this book describes actions of policy makers trying to deal with the elusive war on terror. If you are a policy/state type wonk, you will enjoy this book as it struggles to deal with conducting a war but not against a defined state.
Matt
A very dry book that is mainly focused on how the gov't is adopting cold war deterrence strategies for its antiterrorism efforts, using foreign PR campaigns to counter the message of extremist groups & terrorist recruiters, trying to maintain relations with Pakistan, dealing with "lone gunman" type terrorist and terrorist cells, etc. One is left with more of a feeling of hopelessness than hopefulness for the future.
Douglas Hackney
Horribly titled book. Decently written compilation of primarily the strategic level actions taken before and after 9/11. The book is about as far from what you think the title implies as possible. I bought it based on a review and recommendation and never would have purchased it based on the title and cover design, which belong on a dime-store paperback.

The authors were not well served by their publishers here.
Steven
This is a very good book. It reads like a 300 page NYT investigative feature. The historical allegory to the Cold War doctrine of deterrence, which is the recurring theme of the book, is exceptionally well done.
Counterstrike is hard-hitting, easy-to-read, and offers a very unique and exclusive perspective on how America's counter-terrorism apparatus works and how it evolved.
Wade
The narrator on the audio book had a tone that almost put me to sleep but the book was good. It was great to hear about all the government is doing to combat terrorism. I never hear of most of these techniques in the newspaper. The holistic plan by the US is wider than expected. It makes you feel better about the US military than any other press they get.
Ndm Krd
A very rich book. It shows all the efforts against terrorism from government point of view. The most interesting aspect is seeing how strategies are developed, adjusted and influenced. The book is a bit naively optimistic in my opinion, but still very valuable. I enjoyed reading it.
John
Encouraging in that it documents an improving coordination among our terrorist-fighting agencies. The account of Bin Laden's take-down interesting especially in the amount of preparation made. Good reporting but not an engaging read.
Katie
A worthwhile read for those looking at the war against al Qaeda in layman's terms. I would not plan on reading this twice.
Rick Cheeseman
Easy read, enjoyable. Good look at the non-kinetic efforts behind fighting terrorism.
Jennifer
One of 5 finalists for the NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Mazen Loujami
It's in the domain of propaganda more than real history. I don't like it.
James White
James White marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2014
Hristo
Hristo marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2014
Rich
Rich marked it as to-read
May 29, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book