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Black Ops: The Rise of Special Forces in the CIA, the SAS, and Mossad

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  12 reviews
After eight challenging years in Afghanistan, the new U.S. strategy, aimed at winning hearts and minds rather than search-and-destroy, refocuses the conflict on Special Forces: unorthodox soldiers who work outside of traditional military forces to combine secret military operations with nation building. Tony Geraghty, an expert author in this field for almost thirty years, ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 19th 2010 by Pegasus Books
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Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a bad book overall. Though it suffers from one of the main issues that I see repeated in many books about the darker sides of geopolitical use of covert action. The book is great when going over the history of Spec Ops in all its modern incarnations. It's when he starts throwing in editorial assides it goes from a history to an opinion piece.

I listened to the audiobook. Don't. The reader is one of the worst I have ever heard. He mangles even normal English words. I won't even talk about his
Ajay Palekar
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A difficult and complex read, this book is a wealth of insight, knowledge, and painstaking research into the opaque world of covert operations. I couldn't discerne too many concrete takeways, conclusions, or even a coherent historical narrative from Tony's writings, but there are more than enough interesting anecdotes and insights into this lesser covered topic to make this an interesting read.

Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 12th-grade
Black Ops by Tony Geraghty is a narrative about Special Forces in three Allied countries and their growing influence since the end of World War II and the Cold War. "Black Ops" represent secret government operations hidden from the public. During the Cold War there was an big increase in Black Ops due to the growing threat of a third World War and conflict between communist East and Democratic West. The United Staes, the United Kingdom, and Israel are three countries which are well known for the ...more
Kevin Johnson
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fairly interesting book on the history of special forces through the ears. It was really interesting hearing how much of the special forces history was viewed as coming from the british special forces history, and especially around the uk's experience and failures in northern Ireland during the time of troubles. It also gave a good history of the American versions from the end of ww2 up to the present day issues in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book is pretty matter of fact on the things that happ ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans, Brits, Israelis
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
This book is a rather chatty overview of the use of Special Forces, primarily by the U.S.A., the U.K. and Israel, since WWII. Most of the text consists of stories describing particular operations with especial emphasis on the U.S./U.K. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. If intended as a policy guide, which it appears to be, the advice is unclear beyond the British author's belief that often black operations can obviate the need for more drastic conventional means of violence.

Author Geraghty is n
I was hoping for more history of Mossad. Mossad's history was merely a glance. The author championed mostly the SAS (naturally, I suppose, since the author I think is British). As well, I was confused often with the change in timelines. I preferred Eric Haney's book "Inside Delta Force".

However, attempting to write at history of the world's sf's is an unwieldy task and the effort us commendable.
Frank Pinelander
May 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I aquired this via kindle, and I'm glad I did.

A friend brought it to my attention, as he felt it it discussed some, uh, "programs" that a mutual acquaintance was involved in.

It did, rather poorly.

The author, seems to feel he has his finger on the pulse of Special Ops. He doesn't. He is a tool.

Save your money, this tome breaks no new ground

May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Vincent Andersen
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting.....there's plenty of great info here and it's well written, but if you're looking for a story-like narrative, look elsewhere.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great read with constant detailed references. Got a bit lost at time with timeline changes. Also surprise at three typos!
Long Williams
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good insight into a very secret world. Can't help when reading these types of books that we are just seeing the tips of the iceberg. Concentrates on US Ops mainly.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
very interesting, full of deep explanation how special forces operatates during war and diplomatic crisis. Suggested
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Tony Geraghty is a British-Irish writer and journalist. He served in the Parachute Regiment, and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his work as a military liaison officer with U.S. forces during the Gulf War (1991). He has been a journalist for The Boston Globe and was the Sunday Times Defence Correspondent in the 1970s.

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