Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team

A top secret U.S Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world, from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda members, including Iraqi leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and, in one of their greatest missions, capturing Saddam Hussein The Activity, as it became known to insiders, has achA top secret U.S Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world, from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda members, including Iraqi leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and, in one of their greatest missions, capturing Saddam Hussein The Activity, as it became known to insiders, has achieved near mythical status, even among the world s Special Operations elite Now journalist Michael Smith gets inside this clandestine military team to expose their explosive history and secrets.The Activity s story begins with the abortive attempt to rescue the American hostages from Iran in 1980 One of the main reasons Operation Eagle Claw failed was a chronic lack of intel on the ground, so in January 1981, U.S military chiefs set up the Intelligence Support Activity, a cover name for a secret army surveillance team that could operate undercover anywhere in the world Hidden from the politicians and the government bean counters, it would carry out deniable operations preparing the way for Delta and SEAL Team Six.Michael Smith has spoken to many former members of the Activity, and we follow them on operations from the war on the drug barons that led Colombian death squads to the hideouts of Pablo Escobar and his men We learn of recent missions, including snatching war criminals from their safe houses in the Balkans at one time disguising themselves as French soldiers to lull a Serb warlord into a false sense of security , and operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa Killer Elite reveals the incredible truth behind the world s most secret Special Operations organization, a unit that is at the forefront of the War on Terror.
Killer Elite The Inside Story of America s Most Secret Special Operations Team A top secret U S Army Special Operations unit has been running covert missions all over the world from leading death squads to the hideout of drug baron Pablo Escobar to assassinating key al Qaeda me

  • Title: Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team
  • Author: MichaelSmith
  • ISBN: 9780312362720
  • Page: 147
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team”

    1. It is often (confidently) stated that the modern CIA grew out of the WW2 OSS. That is true so far as it goes but since the CIA's actual inception it has lived with a sort of split personality. The OSI was a direct action "group" that was directly involved in sabotage, infiltration, combat and even assassination. Historically the role of the CIA has been seen as more a "primarily" intelligence gathering organization. That is however only part of the story.There has always been a "directive" in th [...]

    2. I first heard about this book in the footnotes of Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man and foolishly assumed that the book was about Delta Force.This was a very good, very interesting, but very dry account of a largely unknown US special operations unit. The title makes the lay reader think this an action-packed account of "top-secret"(what else?) Hollywood-style Special Forces missions to track and kill terrorists all over the world. So d [...]

    3. A dry read but I'd not expected nothing else. Killer Elite delivered what I didn't expect it would: inside information on a world the regular citizen won't ever see. I liked the wealth of detail and explanations of how world events, political decisions and technological advances affected The Activity and the methods it employed in the field. Sadly, I wasn't up to par on all the linguo and designations, which left me confused at times. But that's not something I can chalk up to the book itself. A [...]

    4. This book was a bit dry for my tastes, probably just due to its very nature. While it covered the general "who" and "what" of the Activity, it left absent most of the "how". There was no exciting tales or intricate details of trade, but instead a lot of vaguery amidst historical events. Most of the book doesn't even really talk about the Activity, but about other special operations teams and what events they were involved in and successes they achieved.

    5. Although skipping through several decades and distant global counter-terrorism operations, discerning that the truest enemy lay within our own traditional military hierarchy was disturbing. From the final chapter, The Activity and other special operations forces, such as Delta and Dev Gru, appear to be well supported and established and flourishing globally ; and hopefully, they will continue to remain immune from political winds.

    6. I never could really get into this book. It covers an interesting area and I found it to be more generic than cutting edge as nothing inside was really revealing to those who had read this subject matter.It is however a quick read and however much truth is found inside one will be entertained all the same.35 %

    7. Incredible insight into the history of the United States Army Intelligence Support Activity. Think of them as the military's version of the CIA, albeit with less oversight and more capabilities. A wonderful read if you're interested in how politics plays into military operations, as well a the bureaucracy of rivalries between different special operations forces. Michael Smith has truly pulled back the curtain on one of the most secretive units in the American military and gives it context for ho [...]

    8. Alanına göre epey başarılı bir kitap, zira yazar Michael Smith'in kitapta ışık tuttukları direkt olarak ABD'nin gizli operasyonlarını yürüten bir birimiyle ilgili, hakkında somut bilgiye sahip olunamayan operasyonlar yani, doğası gereğiyle. Böyle söyleyince fazla "keko" duruyor ama hoşunuza gitmediyse "covert ops" olarak değiştirebilirsiniz, daha afilli ve anlamlı duruyor.Edebî olarak yazılmaya çalışılmış bir kitap lâkin pek o havayı veremiyor, bilgi edinme amaç [...]

    9. Not a shoot em up book but very interestingIf you're looking for a door kicking, shoot em up book this is not it, however, if you ever been in the military or even know anybody that's been in the military this book will make your hair stand on end . It shows the ineptness of our government and our most senior military leaders. It should make you shiver in fear for our military, at least now they figured out what we need to do to defeat our enemies. Every time our military had a bad guy in their [...]

    10. Intriguing I enjoy and love most of what I finish reading. This book is one of the few in which I could actually say kept me up into the wee hours of the night or up early mornings before work. I truly enjoyed every chapter and look forward to continued learning. Zeke Contreras San Antonio, TexasMay 2017

    11. Excellent read.Gives a real insight into the role of the special services and there struggle to get fully operational in the fight against terrorism.

    12. Two things: this was a dry read, and it wasn't truly about the hunting down of Osama Bin Laden. I anticipated the book being a dry read, but I was using it as a reference book for another project. So that really was a moot point for me. As for critics who bought the book expecting adventure and violence, I think you should take their negative reviews with a grain of salt because they're attacking the book's positioning more so than the content. They read into the title and made an assumption as [...]

    13. "Killer Elite" is about the history of "The Activity" which is a special operations intelligence unit. The Activity was created to provide actionable intelligence for other special operations forces around the world. As with other books about SOFs, a lot of the material is devoted to the institutional barriers that have limited the use of this group, and the general mistrust of special operation forces by conventional military leadership. Most of the books appears to be derived from a "top secre [...]

    14. Poorly edited, poorly constructed, and poorly written. Instead of reading this book, please read the following--For SOF Missions in Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s: Killing Pablo by Mark Bowdenin the Horn of Africa/Somalia: Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowdenin the Middle East and the Balkans in the 1990s: Masters of Chaos by Linda Robinsonin Afghanistan at the beginning of the War: First In by Gary Shroen or Jawbreaker by Gary Bentsenin Afghanistan during the "middle" of the war: Lone Survi [...]

    15. Pretty good. The author sheds light on a little known unit which provides on the ground intelligence to special forces units. Similar to other "unit" based books, the author presents the units success' as being stand alone with little support from other groups (or often in spite of other groups in the govt/military while failures are the fault of someone else (most often the sr. leadership who is too risk averse). The author may have a point, but the black/white presentation often sounds a littl [...]

    16. Dry but informative history of the Intelligence Support Activity, going into difficult areas to gather information through HUMINT and SIGINT, and fighting Pentagon brass risk aversion on the home front. Extensively footnoted.For much more on the Pablo Escobar manhunt see Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden.

    17. A terrible book written by a journalist that summarizes history. It covers the periods that are the most general interest/marketable. There are summaries of actions in Iran South America Bosnia etc. By the time this book was published half of these operations were covered in better more detailed works. I gave up after the introduction which provided no unique perspectives. After stating the special forces needs to win hearts and mind the type of book became obvious. Anyone with actual knowledge [...]

    18. Heavy on the bureaucracy of the military at times it's a balanced look at the way my generation sees modern wars (special ops being key). There is a lot of military jargon but the glossary is handy. I did find the author jumped around from conflict to conflict even within a few paragraphs but that sort of reflects the work this group of men and women do - always on the move and working on various missions around the world.

    19. A little slow in the beginning and it seemed to jump around a bit too much, had to go back and read sections again to make sure I was following along. That said it offers interesting insight in to the Special Operation Forces of the U.S. From their inception to their effective utilization in the War on Terror. These are the guys that keep our enemy up at night.

    20. A brilliant read from start to finish. The language wasn't a chore like some military books are; I found it engaging and thoroughly entertaining. Lots of footnotes referenced at the back too so lots more further reading from here. I'd recommend this book for anyone with an interest in spec ops, and those who are a little bored of Delta/SAS/Navy Seal books.

    21. Before you start this book, make sure yourself a quick primer on US intelligence and special operations such as types of units, who's in charge of what, etc because it just throw you in the thick of actions and assumes you know what's going on. Just know the differences between Rangers, Special Forces, Delta, DevGru (SEAL Team Six), British SAS, CIA and you won't get too confused with the jargon.

    22. This is an interesting read on some of the US Special Ops people that don't make news like Delta/Seals do. So far it's been an interesting read, but about The Activity and the sometimes difficult world of domestic and international politics they must live in.

    23. Good book. Was hoping for more "action" as I read but I realized this book is more about the politics of war and specials forces than the actual action of the missions that were explained. Very informative on how much politics play a part on wars from the past and present.

    24. Interesting book on the scanner toting, technically minded Tier 2 unit of JSOC called "the Activity" or "Grey Fox" or whatever their name is. Recommend reading Marc Ambinder's "The Command" for additional information.

    25. Great book that does its best to define and record the history of one of the USA's secret branch of operators the ISA. Does a fairly decent job of describing a few of the more important missions that made the ISA a unit of distinction.

    26. Are these guys for real? If so, they make the Green Berets look like cub scouts. The author must have done a ton of research on these guys, they are a mostly unknown unit based out of Fort Belvoir, VA. They seem so over the top that, you know, they just might exist after all.

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