America's Secret War : Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies
THE STARTLING TRUTH BEHIND AMERICA'S FOREIGN POLICY AND WAR EFFORT IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, AND BEYOND--FROM THE FOUNDER OF THE COMPANY DUBBED BY BARRON'S AS "THE SHADOW CIA"Dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA," George Friedman's global intelligence company, Stratfor, 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.
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October 04, 2004
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Excerpt from America's Secret War by George Friedman
The war that began on September 11, 2001, might be called the Fourth Global War, the U.S.-Jihadist War, the U.S.-Al Qaeda War, or the U.S.-Islamist War. Some would argue that it isn ' t a war at all but an isolated act of terrorism that has been manufactured into a war. Nothing tells us more about the extraordinarily ambiguous and divisive nature of the war than the fact that three years into it, we do not even have a name for it.
This book is called America ' s Secret War not only because so much of the war is hidden. It is the nature of war that each side must hide as much as can be hidden. The secrecy of this war goes deeper. More than in any other war I have studied, the true reasons for each side ' s actions are hidden from view. If I look at the war through the lens of public discourse, nothing makes very much sense. Actions seem unconnected to one another, leading nowhere, lacking meaning. In the words of Macbeth, it is ' a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. '
That is not how I view the last three years. In retrospect, sometimes we can see that the apparent chaos actually had a clear if deep order to it, an order sometimes not even apparent to the actors who, having said their lines and done their deeds, shuffle off the stage, unaware of the full meaning of what has happened. But it is my belief as well that if one fully understands the motives and reasoning of the players, it is possible to understand events while they are happening, or even before. The key is to understand the actors as they understand themselves and to understand the forces that drive and constrain them even better than they understand them.
In a game of chess, it appears that there are many moves available. There seem to be twenty possible first moves, for example. In fact, there are perhaps six. The better you understand chess, the fewer options you have. You come to realize that most of the apparent moves are disastrous, and the good moves are limited. The better the players, the more predictable and understandable the game is, until that extraordinary moment when a brilliant player invents a new variation on an established theme.