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Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA & Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II Through the Persian Gulf War
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Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA & Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II Through the Persian Gulf War

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
In this newly revised and updated edition of his essential work, John Prados adds his concluding findings on U.S. covert operations in Angola, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and the Persian Gulf. Acclaimed as a landmark book about U.S. intelligence agencies in the postwar era, Presidents' Secret Wars describes the secret warfare mounted by the president, the CIA, and the Pentagon ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published February 25th 1996 by Elephant/Ivan R. Dee, Publisher (first published November 1986)
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Stephen Phillips
In the current era of asymmetric warfare, accurate and timely intelligence is of increasing significance. Likewise, the nation’s leaders often employ non-kinetic methods or irregular forces to achieve national security objectives. John Prados introduces this world in Presidents’ Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II through the Persian Gulf.

The view Prados provides spans from the strategic, such as making plans and policy in the Oval Office, to the tactical, such as
...more
Erik Graff
Apr 14, 2013 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Having read his book about US contingency plans to nuke the Viet Minh on behalf of France in the fifties, Prados' President's Secret Wars caught my eye at the Children's Memorial Hospital resale shop. I bought it, brought it home with a few other volumes purchased there and read it soon thereafter.

The first four-fifths of this book is a straightforward history of covert military operations conducted by the Executive Branch from the end of WWII through our first adventure in Afghanistan in the e
...more
Mike Hankins
Dec 22, 2015 Mike Hankins rated it really liked it
Really cool book that chronicles many of the covert CIA ops throughout the Cold War -- focuses on ones that employed actual military forces (as opposed to spy missions, assassinations, etc.) and reveals just how much the CIA was up to, how little oversight they had (and have) and how off the mark some of the Cold War rhetoric was. What I thought was most revealing is two things: first, that any time America had to choose between its principles of popular sovereignty and freedom, or it's own ...more
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