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Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World cou Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World countries through alliances with drug-trafficking proxies. This strategy was originally developed in the late 1940s to contain communist China; it has since been used to secure control over foreign petroleum resources. The result has been a staggering increase in the global drug traffic and the mafias associated with it-a problem that will worsen until there is a change in policy. Scott argues that covert operations almost always outlast the specific purpose for which they were designed. Instead, they grow and become part of a hostile constellation of forces. The author terms this phenomenon parapolitics-the exercise of power by covert means-which tends to metastasize into deep politics-the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy initiators. We must recognize that U.S. influence is grounded not just in military and economic superiority, Scott contends, but also in so-called soft power. We need a "soft politics" of persuasion and nonviolence, especially as America is embroiled in yet another disastrous intervention, this time in Iraq.


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Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World cou Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intelligence networks that have been so central to the larger workings of U.S. intervention and escalation in Third World countries through alliances with drug-trafficking proxies. This strategy was originally developed in the late 1940s to contain communist China; it has since been used to secure control over foreign petroleum resources. The result has been a staggering increase in the global drug traffic and the mafias associated with it-a problem that will worsen until there is a change in policy. Scott argues that covert operations almost always outlast the specific purpose for which they were designed. Instead, they grow and become part of a hostile constellation of forces. The author terms this phenomenon parapolitics-the exercise of power by covert means-which tends to metastasize into deep politics-the interplay of unacknowledged forces that spin out of the control of the original policy initiators. We must recognize that U.S. influence is grounded not just in military and economic superiority, Scott contends, but also in so-called soft power. We need a "soft politics" of persuasion and nonviolence, especially as America is embroiled in yet another disastrous intervention, this time in Iraq.

30 review for Drugs, Oil & War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia & Indochina

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    I was originally really gung-ho to read this book because of the subject matter. That faded fast. The author's incessant need to cite himself, his general reliance on secondary sources rather than primary sources, citation overkill and writing style (I suppose) made this a really tough read for me. I agree with an earlier assessment that the book was "too conspiracy". Maybe the author knew that going in which is why he was bound and determined to cite this book to death; I'm talkin to the tune o I was originally really gung-ho to read this book because of the subject matter. That faded fast. The author's incessant need to cite himself, his general reliance on secondary sources rather than primary sources, citation overkill and writing style (I suppose) made this a really tough read for me. I agree with an earlier assessment that the book was "too conspiracy". Maybe the author knew that going in which is why he was bound and determined to cite this book to death; I'm talkin to the tune of something like 150 per 40 pages or so, half of which were to himself; or at least that's my best ballpark guess. This book was painful for me to read, and I assume I'm not alone in this; which is disappointing because like I said earlier, the subject matter interests me so much.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Bigelow

    I don't believe all of the drug assertions but as a rule when the US military gets involved in a country drug production flourishes. That's a fact. I'm surprised the tire manufacturing in Vietnam wasn't mentioned. In the 1950's almost all the tires sold in the US was made in Vietnam. There was attempts made to protect that production. Of course, since then those manufacturing concerns moved to Venezuela. I don't believe all of the drug assertions but as a rule when the US military gets involved in a country drug production flourishes. That's a fact. I'm surprised the tire manufacturing in Vietnam wasn't mentioned. In the 1950's almost all the tires sold in the US was made in Vietnam. There was attempts made to protect that production. Of course, since then those manufacturing concerns moved to Venezuela.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Johnson

    This book is very academic and dry. Every sentence has important information and it was slow reading for me. I wouldn't go into the book blind either, it helps to have some background on the Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern wars with the US. His thesis is great and I am convinced he is correct: that the United States allies with drug cartels to destabilize the countries who's resources they want control of. At the same time using the money they make from the cartels to fund further covert invo This book is very academic and dry. Every sentence has important information and it was slow reading for me. I wouldn't go into the book blind either, it helps to have some background on the Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern wars with the US. His thesis is great and I am convinced he is correct: that the United States allies with drug cartels to destabilize the countries who's resources they want control of. At the same time using the money they make from the cartels to fund further covert involvement. The introduction and chapter on Afghanistan were really great. I learned a lot about Afghanistan and how the US relationship changed over time. A good background of CIA involvement with the Taliban and Mujahideen. The Colombia chapter was interesting but felt scattered to me, I know the least about it. I didn't read much of the last chunk of the book on Southeast Asia because it was extremely descriptive and felt like more detail than I needed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Q

    Scott is the real deal. An intellectual who tells the truth even if it pisses off the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and the cocaine importation agency (CIA).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    A must-read for anyone interested in the history of America's military interventions. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of America's military interventions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another book you should stay away from if you want to maintain your illusions about the sanity of the ruling classes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Randy Johnson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fernanda

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  10. 4 out of 5

    LPenting

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Thompson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  13. 4 out of 5

    David A (Doc/Santa) McKelvie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dafne Von

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gordon

  17. 4 out of 5

    DRabbas Allamy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  19. 5 out of 5

    William

  20. 5 out of 5

    Darrin Fiddler

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Harkness

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Oakes

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abdul Bharwana

  25. 4 out of 5

    Murad22

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ahmedmaqsood

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shin Furuya

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cyber

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aladdin Elaasar

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

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