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American War Machine
Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan
Peter Dale Scott
This provocative, thoroughly researched book explores the covert aspects of U.S. foreign policy. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott marshals compelling evidence to expose the extensive growth of sanctioned but illicit violence in politics and state affairs, especially when related to America's long-standing involvement with the global drug traffic. Beginning with Thailand in the 1950s, Americans have become inured to the CIA's alliances with drug traffickers (and their bankers) to install and sustain right-wing governments. The pattern has repeated itself in Laos, Vietnam, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama, Honduras, Turkey, Pakistan, and now Afghanistan—to name only those countries dealt with in this book. Scott shows that the relationship of U.S. intelligence operators and agencies to the global drug traffic, and to other international criminal networks, deserves greater attention in the debate over the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. To date, America's government and policies have done more to foster than to curtail the drug trade. The so-called war on terror, and in particular the war in Afghanistan, constitutes only the latest chapter in this disturbing story.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-7425-5594-5 • Hardback • November 2010 •
978-0-7425-5595-2 • Paperback • May 2014 •
978-1-4422-0589-5 • eBook • November 2010 •
War and Peace Library
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / Terrorism
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Peter Dale Scott
, a former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading political analyst and poet. His most recent books are
The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America
The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War,
Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina.
He has been awarded the Lannan Poetry Award, and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass wrote that Scott's
Coming to Jakarta
"is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time." His website can be found at
Introduction: Deep History and the Global Drug Connection
Part I: Overview
Chapter 1: Sanctioned Violence, the Dominance Machine, and the Overworld
Part II: The CIA and Drugs Abroad
Chapter 2: Mexico, Drugs, the DFS, and the United States
Chapter 3: Operation Paper: The United States and Drugs in Thailand and Burma
Chapter 4: Rollback, PARU, and Laos: Preparing for Offensive War
Chapter 5: Laos: Financing a War by Drugs
Chapter 6: The War on Drugs in Asia: A Phony War with Real Casualties
Part III: Deep Events and the Drug Connection at Home
Chapter 7: The CIA, the Global Drug Connection, and Terrorism
Chapter 8: Inside the War Machine: The Profiteers from Enduring Violence
Chapter 9: 9/11 and the American Tradition of Engineered Deep Events
Part IV: America and Afghanistan Today
Chapter 10: Obama and Afghanistan: America's Drug-Corrupted War
Chapter 11: Conclusion: The War Machine and the Deep Politics of Drugs
In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This 'overclass,' often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the '80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last fifty years have not benefited America's military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. . . . [His] carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Scott has written a provocative account of CIA machinations and their link to spikes in global drug production, war, and terrorism. His chapters on Thailand and the Far East are especially well-grounded and of great use to historians. . . . [Scott] is a creative thinker who deserves credit for delving into the netherworld of clandestine operations and global corruption which most academics choose to ignore. . . . At his core, Scott is an idealist who believes that in exposing the sinister forces accounting for the spread of unnecessary violence, an aroused citizenry can mobilize to rein them in. The stakes today are especially high, because if left unchecked, the pattern of warfare and destabilization which Scott describes may lead to a global confrontation of truly catastrophic proportions as well as irreversible environmental damage and the economic bankruptcy of the United States.
History News Network
There are certain books that, once read, alter one’s mind permanently. This is such a book. Naïve readers and patriots beware: You will never think about the world in the same way after you have read just the first two chapters of
American War Machine
The Erowid Review
American War Machine
explains how one of the principal techniques of [commandeering power in the United States by secret, undemocratic means] has been the CIA’s utilization of the drug traffic to combat communism, the governments and movements of the left, and, in our time, to maintain American supremacy in the world. . . . The demonstration is, one could say, stupefying. . . . This book reads like a real thriller filled with twists and suspense; a thriller for which one does not, yet, know the end. But can there be an end? In this world where the honest citizen is overwhelmed by mountains of data, this book must absolutely be read because it allows us to understand to what degree we have been so manipulated and misinformed. . . . [A] solid and convincing document, the mind-blowing reading of which truly leads to original and non-conformist
elements of reflection, indispensable for attempting to understand the world which surrounds us, and for trying to discern where it is going.
; Revue Défense Nationale
Peter Dale Scott has published a book of stunning richness. . . . I know of no study that so precisely captures a period as dangerous as our own. . . . Indeed, empires, kingdoms, and republics have their state secrets, but when the entire state becomes a secret, when in so-called democratic nations everything is decided without the people, elections themselves being open to doubt, it is necessary that one escape from the fear of ordinary people in the presence of the powerful and try to understand where these decisions are trending that are contrary to our interest. . . . Peter Dale Scott is the Tocqueville of this era, helping us understand how we are sliding into a world that can only be revolutionary if it wishes to survive. . . . Buy this book, read it, make it known.
What I like most about Peter Dale Scott are his fierce intellectual curiosity, his willingness to investigate radioactive topics, and his tireless commitment to unearthing the truth. Over the years, he has done more than almost anyone to discover and chronicle the forces that covertly shape our policies.
American War Machine
may be his greatest work yet.
Russ Baker, award-winning investigative journalist and author of Family of Secrets
Peter Dale Scott is our most fearless and illuminating chronicler of the lethal and mysterious web of unaccountable violence linking government to organized crime, the drug trade, state terror, and eventuating in disastrous wars. Read this extraordinary book to understand why this country finds itself gridlocked in Afghanistan, yet another costly quagmire, because a small cabal at the top is still dedicated to the mirage of American global dominance.
Richard Falk, Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara
Peter Dale Scott writes with his inimitable eloquence about the intersection between U.S. covert operations and international narcotics trafficking and its destructive undermining of American democracy. The past half-century of drug politics—and the country’s complicit acceptance of the violence it has spawned—is an ominous portent for our present and future.
American War Machine
should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the upper- and underworld marriage that drives contemporary foreign policy.
Sally Denton, author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy
Peter Dale Scott flashes a bright light on a dark illicit world of lowly thugs and high-placed political and moneyed cabals. Thoroughly researched and deeply informed, this book makes for an intriguing read.
Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and God and His Demons
I said of Scott's last brilliant take on this subject,
Drugs, Oil and War
, that 'It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.' Now Scott has written an even better book. Read it!
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
Staggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy—of which the assassination, Scott says, is symptomatic.
For the evidence that narcotics . . . have been instruments of U.S. foreign policy, you simply have to read
. This, one of the most enlightening books of the year, will redefine your usage of the silly term 'drug war.'
; The Nation
An authoritative account of a crucial but underpublicized issue.
This important, explosive report forcefully argues that the 'war on drugs' is largely a sham, as the U.S. government is one of the world's largest drug pushers.
The Road to 9/11
The broad picture he paints is all too accurate. . . . This book, like all of Scott's prose works, is meticulously researched and sourced. His formulations are grounded in the evidence. . . . In short, the scholarship is excellent.
Drugs, Oil, and War
A new book by Scott is an occasion.
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