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Publisher's Summary

Dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA", Stratfor, George Friedman's global intelligence company, has provided analysis to Fortune 500 companies, news outlets, and even the U.S. government. Now Friedman delivers the geopolitical story that the mainstream media has been unable to uncover, the startling truth behind America's foreign policy and war effort in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.

Stratfor, one of the world's most respected private global intelligence firms, has an unmatched ability to provide clear perspective on the current geopolitical map. In America's Secret War, George Friedman identifies the United States' most dangerous enemies, delves into presidential strategies of the last quarter century, and reveals the real reasons behind the attack of September 11, and the Bush administration's motivation for the war in Iraq. It describes in eye-opening detail America's covert and overt efforts in the global war against terrorism: Not only are U.S. armies in combat on every continent but also, since September 11, the intelligence services of dozens of nations have been operating in close partnership with the CIA.

America's Secret War is an unprecedented look at the new world war being waged behind the scenes today. It is sure to stir debate and capture headlines around the world.

©2004 George Friedman (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Stratfor is changing the way we think about news." (American Spectator)
"A clearer, deeper, and subtler understanding of the post-9/11 world than we will ever get from listening to the cacophony of talking heads on television." (Booklist)

What listeners say about America's Secret War

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best

Exceptional. I have read (or listened to) most of the other books on this subject, many of them quite good, but "America's Secret War" was by far the best of the bunch in every important way. It is perfectly clear, concise and forthright. It is full of "I didn't realize that!" moments, and even readers who know a lot about this subject matter are likely to find nuggets of truth and perspective that will surprise them (if only because the concepts are so well explained and put into such clear perspective that you find yourself grasping concepts with a depth you might not have otherwise). It takes no political stance, but instead outlines and analyzes events as they happened without partisan spin (something that I appreciate all the more in this age of increasingly whiny, partisan, adversarial screeds by authors with openly political agendas and a total lack of shame flaunting them). Moreover, this book is truly interesting, fast-paced, and novelistic: I found myself compelled to continue listening to it not just by my desire to learn more, but also by the same "can't wait to find out what happens next" story-telling that the best adventure novels benefit from. That is partly due to the writing, of course, but the narrator was also among the best I've heard. He was one of only 2 narrators that were so good that I looked up their other books and purchased titles I would never have bought otherwise (most of which turned out to be excellent as well, so the narrator really can make or break an audiobook listening experience). This is simply one of the best books I have ever listened to.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, very unbiased

What really stood out about this book to me was the lack of a political slant, Friedman doesn't rail for or against the US, nor for or against Bush. He just thoroughly lays out the strategies, politics and underlying motivations behind the actions of various countries and groups.

Personally it was exactly what I wanted, a book that laid out the information to me, and allowed me to decide whether or not I think the actions are right or not. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subjects of iraq, intelligence, and geopolitics

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding book, answers so many questions.

I am far from a 9/11 fanatic. I work in NYC and was there the weekend before and the weekend after. Life goes on, and most of those that were taken I'm sure would agree. However, it has been frustrating watching the confusing actions of this administration. This book provided so much clarity, not so much to the correctness of each decision but the context in which things were done. I can't praise it highly enough. I now realize that if a person hasn't read this book it would very difficult to have an intelligent conversation about the subject. Equally helpful regardless of your politics, I higly, highly reccomend it. Very fast paced and holds your attention. Answers so many question!! One of the best audible book/books I have read.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Behind the soundbites

This book provided a fascinating look at the human beings making decisions affecting all our lives. It is simply not possible to get this kind of in-depth thinking from newspapers or nightly news programs. After listening to this book I came away with a completely different understanding of the how and why of the war we are in. I can?t say the analysis is correct, but the perspective presented is not easily found elsewhere. If you want a better understanding of current events and the people making the decisions causing those events to happen I highly recommend this book.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Guide for Understanding Strategies of War

This is the best guide for understanding the components leading up to and currently effecting the war in Iraq. Stories and explanations are too often biased or spun to the writer's persuasion, but this is not one of them. Once I started the story, I realized that this was a rare inside view of what was happening at the highest of levels and it was extremely helpful in pulling the facts and actions together, a must read! This is one of the best buys I have made this year and I am hoping that he will write a sequel so that I can gain a clearer picture of what the startegy is after the Iraq election.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Every American should read this book

The War on Terror has devolved into a highly polarized debate over America's involvement in Iraq. At one extreme are the flag-wavers who insist that America's freedom and way of life are threatened by bloodthirsty terrorists bent on our destruction. At the other end of the spectrum are the liberals who decry the war in Iraq, spread defeatism, and seek to portray George W. Bush as an incompetent, nearly criminal idiot. George Friedman's astute analysis of the context for the war on terror dispels both sets of myths. With logic and lucidity, Mr. Friedman deftly explains the global context from which the War on
Terror sprang. Without excusing the barbarity of September 11 and other atrocities, he helps us to question the simplistic label of "terrorist" and to understand Al Qaeda's true aims. This book was a fascinating look at the complexity of political and military maneuvering on both sides, as well as with other nations. Who is an ally? Who is an enemy? The answers are not so simplistic as we've been led to believe. If you want to understand the world that you live in, you must read America's Secret War.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Putting facts in Perspective!

If you buy this book to discover secrets in the secret war you probably won't find them. The book doesn't really reveal any new facts (read Charlie Wilson's war for that!).

What the book does is take a step back and examine the motives, tactics and strategies involved. The book does point out the US sucesses AND mistakes as well as the Al-Qaida successes and mistakes. In this sense it is a welcome refresher after the Coulters(liberals =bad) , Michael Moores and German WW2 revisionists (Bush = bad, everybody else is good). In this respect the book did a great job at actually trying to be objective.

When reading this a lot of puzzles pieces of the last few years fell into place. It offers reflection on all the stacks of "breaking news" we endure every day.

A point of critique:
The book does focus very much on 09/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and lacks in describing the other "battlefields". Like the Philippines, Nigeria, Western Europe , Bosnia, Kosovo, Global shipping, global finance etc. etc. In that way the book lacks a bit the unprecedented broadness of the war.

A good analyses, some more of this is badly needed. (Sorry partisan writers)

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What an ABSOLUTE piece of JUNK!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

For there to be ANY truth to this book AT ALL! The author has NEVER served in ANY branch of the military, has never been deployed, nothing. Yet he tries to speak as an authority of how other countries view us. PLEASE! I was there, I fought in Desert Storm, and the thousands of Iraq's we took as prisoners, the Saudi's, the Kwaitie's, and the many others I saw were scared to death of us. Physically we American's stand taller than 99% of the people from that region, militarily wise we train better than any of the other countries that I served with which include the British Desert Rats, the French, the Saudi's, and on and on. This junk of the Saudi's think American's are a "weak" fighting force is just plain absurd! When I looked into the Saudi's eye's before the war all I saw was fear. I could go on and on, because I WAS THERE unlike the author.

What could George Friedman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I really thought this book was going to be factual and speak to the little skirmishes that happen under the radar. Nope, the author decided to speak about the Gulf War's, what caused the Afghanistan war(like he would know). And it really irked me when he spoke about Generals as if they were stupid. Dude if you know so much enlist and show them how it's done. You'd never make it out of basic.

Would you be willing to try another one of Brian Emerson’s performances?

Absolutely not.

What character would you cut from America's Secret War?

Geez, who cares, this book was so fiction it wasn't funny.

Any additional comments?

Yes, can I get my credit back to purchase another book? And can I rate this book any lower than 1 star?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative and insightful

This is by far the best audiobook I have purchased yet. If you want to know how the "chessgame" of geopolitical events has been played leading up to and since 9/11, this is a must-listen book. Well written and very informative.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative

As with any information now days I tend to be skeptical. Throughout my life news media taught me to be this way by misrepresenting the truth. The book contains a lot of history about the Arab people. A lot of intelligence the author says is true based on the intelligence his company has gathered. Some of the things he is talking about in the book (written in 2004) are coming to fruition recently. It's fascinating stuff. If you are interested in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars at all it is worth your time to listen to. Enjoy!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stewart Gibson
  • 06-14-15

Hugely informative and relevant

Suggest elsewhere as a means to get a handle on what's happening in the Middle East. Was not disappointed. Almost regard as an essential read. Needs a revised version, though. Couples of years behind, but still excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Demetri D
  • 06-07-22

Finishes at 2004 … needs updating

Fascinating analysis of events, the people involved, and the brutal human nature seeking power in the name of faux nationalism, greed, revenge, and the belief in some imaginary supreme being favours one side more than another.

The book and narrator bring to life, in a clear and dispassionate way views from all sides of an undeclared war which on the face of it destroys people, buildings and cultures but is really played out in the minds of psychotic megalomaniacs.

Reasons and explanations behind what is seen by the rest of us are exposed and investigated but sadly no solutions or answers are offered, only an exposé of unintended consequences of stupidity.

The book leads to draw our own conclusions but offers no answers and avoids comment on the futility of it all.

On the whole, a bit depressing really, but an essential step to take.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-22

Excellent insight

George Friedman has an exceptional outlook and he understands geopolitics like no one else. It is refreshing to find a book that reveals the real nature of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan affairs without heavy ballast, misinformation and propaganda. The facts in his book are very well researched and presented in very understandable manner.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zafar
  • 04-03-22

Very interesting

Very thought provoking book. I would recommend it even though it’s more than 15 years old, in terms of the events and the war.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Herron
  • 03-15-22

Good American based insight into the war on terror

well worth a listen as it has great insights into the "war on terror" as seen through the American eyes of the author.

interesting to hear how some nations worked with and against each other for their own gains.

would recommend a listen if you are or are not interested in this material.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 01-08-22

Fascinating and illuminating Journey into the dark Waters of war

It’s amazing to think that this conflict happened not so many years ago in my own lifetime. So pleased to stumble across this informative audiobook … Gave my basic understanding of this conflict a “Supercharge” of what I thought I knew …The look behind the curtain into the backstory of intrigues, double dealing of what was going on.. not information you get in the headline News.. Well written and easily digested with clear and Professional narration … Will be watching out for the sequel so much more of the story to be told from 2004 to 20..!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lenny murray
  • 10-11-21

If only

Would love to hear writers thoughts from book end 2004 till present, would be worth a listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom O'Rourke
  • 10-04-21

Superb

A well constructed tome with exceptional insight a none biased and none dogmatic point of view.
There are no answers in any books only clues, and in this book Americas Secret War the clues are undoubtedly evident in every chapter.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • HellRazor
  • 10-02-21

If Interested in the Topic, Well Worth Your Time

The two main reasons to not-read this book, the publication date (2004) and, of course, the title are not really strong enough arguments to not read this book. “America’s Secret War” immediately conjures an image of just another eccentric, left-leaning, conspiracy theory mish-mash. Don't be put off, it isn't .

On the other hand, a good reason to spend your time with Friedman is that you will walk away with a little more confidence, be a little less mystified, unbalanced and overwhelmed by your ignorance on the subject.

No, Friedman is not without prejudice or ego, but the work's capable, prescient, knowledgeable and informed attempt to furnish the reader with a relatively sound foundation on which to view the whole gargantuan and contradictory job of explication of the events involved, geopolitical fundamentals and motivations leading up to and surrounding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will be valuable enough to offset it's weakness & limitations.

The narration was clear and straightforward enough to deliver this work satisfactorily as an audiobook.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • franklin
  • 08-09-17

behind the curtains

The book brilliant clarifies the events leading up to and surrounding important historical events - 911 and the subsequent wars