A vivid narrative of a life in intelligence and special operations, from the Cold War to the war on terror. In 1984, Michael Vickers took charge of the CIA's secret campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Inheriting a strategy aimed at imposing costs on Russia, Vickers transformed the campaign into an all-out effort to help the Afghans 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. 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 on terror at the highest levels in government.
Illuminating and richly detailed ... The book loses its swagger as it moves closer to the present, reading less like an action-packed memoir and more like an official history ... winning meant above all prevailing in Afghanistan, the site of his great victory in the 1980s. Vickers labors mightily to demonstrate that his strategy there, centered on President Obama’s 30,000 troop 'surge,' was a viable one. Few readers will find the argument convincing ... America’s wars in Afghanistan consumed Vickers for most of his adult life. In his memoir, he almost seems sad to see them go.