I interviewed Michale G. Vickers yesterday for The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International.
I discussed with Vickers his book, By All Means Available: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy, and his government career, which began as an enlisted Green Beret. He went on to serve as a CIA officer and later became the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
“In 1984, Michael Vickers took charge of the CIA’s secret war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. After inheriting a strategy aimed at imposing costs on the Soviets for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Vickers transformed the covert campaign into an all-out effort to help the Afghan resistance win their war. More than any other American, he was responsible for the outcome in Afghanistan that led to the end of the Cold War,” notes his publisher, Penguin Random House.
“In By All Means Available, Vickers recounts his remarkable career, from his days as a Green Beret to his vision for victory in Afghanistan to his role in waging America’s war with al-Qa’ida at the highest levels of government. In captivating detail, he depicts his years in the Special Forces—including his training to parachute behind enemy lines with a backpack nuclear weapon in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe—and reveals how those experiences directly influenced his approach to shaping policy. Vickers has played a significant role in most of the military and intelligence operations of the past four decades, and he offers a deeply informed analysis of the greatest challenges facing America today, and in the decades ahead.”
Robert M. Gates, the CIA director from 1991–1993, and the Secretary of Defense from 2006–2011, wrote, “Mike Vickers has written the best and most comprehensive memoir yet about American military special operations and CIA covert actions during the last decade of the Cold War and the generation-long U.S. war against foreign terrorists. From running the Reagan administration’s war against the Soviets in Afghanistan to the killing of Usama Bin Ladin and beyond, Vickers was at the center of planning and implementing some of the most consequential secret presidential directives. His ability to think and plan both strategically and tactically was rare, but to add to that superb practical execution made Vickers a talent unique in the intelligence agencies and in the Department of Defense. From enlisted Green Beret to some of the most senior positions in government, Vickers saw it all, experienced it all. Readers of his memoir are in for a rare treat and a gripping story.”
I’ll post my Q&A with Michael G. Vickers here when the magazine comes out.