‘Shadow Warfare’ coming in March

Larry Hancock’s new book, co-authored with Stuart Wexler, is called “Shadow Warfare: The History of America’s Undeclared Wars” and will be published by Counterpoint in March.

I just got my copy and am looking forward to sharing it with my students in my History of the CIA course at the University of California in the District of Columbia. Hancock is author of “Somebody Would Have Talked” about JFK’s assassination.

You can pre-order “Shadow Warfare” on Amazon.

From the press release:

“Shadow Warfare presents a balanced, non-polemic exploration of American secret warfare, detailing its patterns, consequences and collateral damage and presenting its successes as well as failures. Shadow Wars explores why every president from Franklin Roosevelt on, felt compelled to turn to secret, deniable military action.”



  1. JSA says:

    Graham Greene dealt with much of this “shadow war” in his excellent novel, “The Quiet American.” We had to read it in high school when I was a teenager. It should be part of a required curriculum, along with Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Crane, Sinclair Lewis, Twain, etc.

  2. Fearfaxer says:

    One story I remember from William Shawcross’s “Sideshow,” as the Khmer Rouge closed in on Phnom Penh, an American, either Special Forces or CIA, was listening to his short-wave radio as a woman who had been one of his best people desperately asked for help, or at least instructions about what she should do. He was for some reason I don’t remember not allowed to respond to her. A minute or two of silence ensued, after which she said simply “you are even worse than the French!”

  3. Jordan says:

    So what is the common link between Smedley Butler, Patrice Lumumba, Hammarskjold, Trujillo, Barbie, Guevara, HAIK, et al…?

    The premise of subverting Communism belied the real intention of ensuring access to resources, which Dulles excelled at….

  4. Jonathan says:

    There were shadow wars in Laos and Cambodia during the U.S. war in Viet Nam. Mainly, they were run by CIA and military intelligence units, making use of language-trained Americans and lots of locals. Special Forces troops participated as well.

    As far as wars go, these were well-run operations.

    The worst part, and it’s awful, is what happened when the U.S. pulled out. We left a lot of our good friends, including the Hmong tribes people of Laos, to the mercies of their enemies.

    Lesson I learned is that in war, it’s not good to have the U.S. as an enemy or as a friend.

    • Larry Hancock says:

      Jonathan, that is certainly one of the issues we deal with at length in the book. The story of the Hmong fighters is a tragic one and does little credit to an individual JFK readers are quite familiar with, Ted Shackley, out of JMWAVE.

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