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Counterstrike: the untold story of america's secret campaign against Al Qaeda.

by Mr. Eric Schmitt and Mr. Thorn Shanker

COUNTERSTRIKE is a detailed account of the strategies the United States used to combat terrorist threats and actions in recent history. It is a tale of villainous deeds, but also of courageous acts of heroism performed by our military and civilian agencies. Through the rise of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces, COUNTERSTRIKE carries the reader through the course of action taken on both sides leading up to 9/11 and forward to the present day. Although Presidents Bush and Obama often get credited (and criticized) for our nation's war against terrorism, the book introduces us to leaders who did not get the recognition deserved for their heroic acts. The book is unique in that it is not simply a story about 9/11 or other terrorist plots, but rather about the people who work to keep America safe. As I read the book, I thought about how we, as financial managers, do not always see the direct effects of our labor. However, our support of (and participation with) those who are continually fighting against guerrillas who threaten our livelihood can only bring pride to the Comptroller family.

COUNTERSTRIKE highlights the incidents with Nidal Hasan, Faisal Shahzad, the USS Cole bombing, and the more recent failed attempts to use ricin. The book gives the reader an in-depth look at the terrorists' lives and how each of their schemes was carried out. It also goes into great detail regarding the transformation of our enemy from bombing attacks to cyber warfare. At times, we may question all of the required training surrounding the protection of our web-based data; however, COUNTERSTRIKE affirms the necessity of taking precautions to enhance our cyber security. John Tyson, a Defense Intelligence Agency terrorism expert, was quoted as saying, "The enemy of today is not the same enemy of 9/11. It has spread. It has transformed. It has metastasized." The book indicates that growth of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces has not only reached an apex in the technology of explosives, but in the cyber world, as well. The book is a great example of the cause and effect these criminal activities bring to the rest of the world.

Growing up in America through the horrors of 9/11 and in the years since, it's clear to me why our country places so much emphasis on the need to combat those who threaten us. And now that I am part of the world's greatest flying power, I see the significance of also standing up for the freedom of others. COUNTERSTRIKE underscores the principles of the United States military by showing us how actions taken have helped us to be safer from attacks by lawless organizations around the world. However, even though we have learned quite a bit about how terrorists operate and the steps we can take to combat them, the book closes on a somber note by saying of terrorism, "It's not a problem you fix. It's a problem you manage."


About the Author

AIC Mason S. Meherg is currently a special actions technician at Whiteman AFB. In the past year, he has spent significant time working as a customer service, PCS, DTS, and GTC technician.

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Author:Meherg, Mason S.
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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