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By All Means Available

By All Means Available

Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy

by Michael G. Vickers


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A vivid insider's account of a life in intelligence, special operations, and strategy from the Cold War to the war with al-Qa’ida • "[An] illuminating and richly detailed memoir." —The New York Times Book Review

"Deeply insightful...A sweeping and breathtaking journey that gives the reader unprecedented access to the courage, sacrifice, and bravado of our nation’s finest warriors, in their finest hours." —Admiral William H. McRaven, author of Wisdom of the Bullfrog and #1 New York Times bestseller, Make Your Bed

In 1984, Michael Vickers took charge of the CIA’s secret war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. After inheriting a strategy aimed at imposing costs on the Soviets for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Vickers transformed the covert campaign into an all-out effort to help the Afghan resistance win their war. More than any other American, he was responsible for the outcome in Afghanistan that led to the end of the Cold War.

In By All Means Available, Vickers recounts his remarkable career, from his days as a Green Beret to his vision for victory in Afghanistan to his role in waging America’s war with al-Qa’ida at the highest levels of government. In captivating detail, he depicts his years in the Special Forces—including his training to parachute behind enemy lines with a backpack nuclear weapon in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe—and reveals how those experiences directly influenced his approach to shaping policy. Vickers has played a significant role in most of the military and intelligence operations of the past four decades, and he offers a deeply informed analysis of the greatest challenges facing America today, and in the decades ahead.

Riveting and illuminating, this is a rare and important insider’s account of the modern military and intelligence worlds at every level.

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