x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Confront and Conceal: Insight into corridors of US power

It’s not perfect but this is a fascinating study of a financially strapped superpower’s battle to maintain supremacy.

Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power
Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power

By the author’s own calculations, the US has spent about $3.3 trillion on its global response to the September 11 attacks. Now, with its recession showing little sign of abating and military expeditions dragging on, David E Sanger examines Barack Obama’s objectives in trying to curb defence spending while also keeping security threats at bay.

As a senior Washington correspondent for The New York Times, Sanger’s lengthy cultivation of sources within White House circles allows him insider access into the policymaking deliberations that have resulted in drone strikes, cyber attacks and special forces operations becoming standard procedure.

Particularly impressive is his knowledge of the covert attempts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Also of interest to the UAE is his accounts of the fractious meetings between US officials and Pakistani military chiefs in Abu Dhabi in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s assassination.

It’s not perfect but this is a fascinating study of a financially strapped superpower’s battle to maintain supremacy.