The holiday shopping season serves as a good opportunity to share some of the favorite new books that have informed the analysis of our Threat Lens team.
By Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz
Beirut Rules tells the story of William Buckley, a CIA station chief who volunteered to serve in Lebanon following the 1983 Marine barracks bombing — until 9/11, the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history — only to be taken hostage and slain by Hezbollah. This engrossing story gives insights into the chaotic maelstrom that was the Lebanese Civil War as well as into operations by the CIA, Mossad, Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence services. The book has garnered positive reviews from former President George H.W. Bush and former CIA counterintelligence chief Jim Olson, among others. Beirut Rules is a great read for anyone interested in intelligence history, covert operations, Hezbollah and Iranian activity, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Middle Eastern politics in general.
The Fifth Risk
By Michael Lewis
Lewis examines the enormous complexity of the federal bureaucracy and the nuts and bolts of running a country of more than 300 million people. He then looks at the impact of the political inexperience of the Trump administration on taking over this machine, warning of the risks to societies that become fixated on short-term fixes rather than long-term solutions.
Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations
By Ronen Bergman
Rise and Kill First is a fascinating history of the targeted killings conducted by Israel's world-renowned intelligence services. These skilled operatives killed their enemies on four continents using parcel bombs, poison, sniper fire and hellfire missiles, among a variety of other tactics. As tensions in the Middle East rise, we may see similar operations, tactics and trends conducted by Israeli intelligence and its adversaries. This book is a must read for anyone interested in covert operations, espionage, the Middle East and the psychology and history of Israel.
With Us and Against Us: How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror
By Stephen Tankel
The often-troubled history of the U.S. partnership with many of its regional partners in waging a global counterterrorism campaign is the topic of this book, in which the author explores how the United States needs Pakistan to fight the Afghan Taliban even as Pakistan is supporting the Afghan Taliban to prevent India from gaining influence in Afghanistan.