In April, two of the best intelligence reporters on the planet will release long-awaited books, and if you're as fascinated by the debate about targeted killings, extra-legal warfare, what the military ought to do and what intelligence agencies ought to do, you'll want to read both of them.
The first, coming to bookstores on April 9, is Mark Mazzetti's The Way of The Knife: The CIA, A Secret Army, and the War at the Ends of the Earth.
Mazzetti tracks the rivalry and close collaboration between the CIA's Special Activities Division, which turned into a terrorist assassination wing of the government, and the Joint Special Operations Command, the military's umbrella organization for its counter-terrorism forces. The CIA and JSOC operate under different laws, have different oversight regimes, and are subject to varying degrees of accountability and transparency. But they are now "the knife" of which Mazzetti writes: a finely tuned killing instrument that is, for better or worse, the legacy of 12 years of U.S. policy-making after 9/11.
Then comes Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars: The World As A Battlefield. Scahill has covered the worldwide wanderings of JSOC task forces and their intersection for years, and he takes a deeper look at their expanded post 9/11 mission set. He has incredible sources — both of these authors do, actually — and put together, you'll get a crash course in American foreign policy 101.