Cover image for Fighting dirty : the inside story of covert operations from Ho Chi Minh to Osama Bin Laden
Fighting dirty : the inside story of covert operations from Ho Chi Minh to Osama Bin Laden
Harclerode, Peter, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Cassell, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 625 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
U262 .H37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From CIA operations in Eastern Europe after 1945 to the Afghan war and its legacy, FIGHTING DIRTY investigates the use of secret armies.
As Peter Harclerode reveals, the Afghan war was not the first time western governments have resorted to secret armies -- and not the first time one has turned against its creator. French undercover units in the Algerian war led the 1961 mutiny and tried to assassinate their own President. Others achieved great success: covert operations in Malaya and Oman defeated communist guerrilla movements. Britain's secret war in Borneo held the line against Indonesian aggression.
From MI6 and the CIA in Eastern Europe to the CIA in Tibet, the MACV-SOG in Vietnam, the SAS in Oman and the CIA in Afghanistan - this is the secret story of covert operations.

Author Notes

Peter Harclerode is a former British Army officer whose most recent book is SECRET SOLDIERS (Cassell Military Paperback, October 2001). He is an acknowledged authority on guerrilla and terrorist warfare.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Covert military operations have a certain mystique, a peculiar attractiveness that few other topics elicit among contemporary readers, especially as events unfold in the war against international terrorism. As the public watches CNN reports from Afghanistan, a handful of writers have tackled the complexities of the subject, yet few, if any, have done as well as Harclerode in this book. The author provides a comprehensive historical account of unconventional warfare since 1945, including the unfinished business in the rugged terrain along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The most fascinating aspect is Harclerode's account of US and British efforts to destabilize Soviet domination in Eastern Europe immediately following WW II. Yet Kim Philby, Moscow's most important intelligence asset, compromised those efforts. Dangers existed for the West in employing covert means to achieve political ends during the Cold War. The most glaring example, according to Harclerode, was arming the Mujadhideen during the Soviet-Afghan conflict and then, on September 11, 2001, facing the demons the CIA helped to create. This book provides valuable information for both scholars and general readers seeking information on the secret war fought by stealth and cunning, often in the shadows far from prying eyes. All levels and collections. C. C. Lovett Emporia State University