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American Betrayal

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"This explosive book is a long-needed answer to court histories that continue to obscure key facts about our backstage war with Moscow. Must-reading for serious students of security issues and Cold War deceptions, both foreign and domestic."

-- M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin's Secret Agents and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies

"[West] only claims `to connect the dots,' which is a very modest description of the huge and brilliant work she has obviously done. ... It is not simply a good book about history. It is one of those books which makes history."

-- Vladimir Bukovsky, author of To Build a Castle and co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement, and Pavel Stroilov, author of Behind the Desert Storm.

"Every once in a while, something happens that turns a whole structure of preconceived ideas upside down, shattering tales and narratives long taken for granted, destroying prejudice, clearing space for new understanding to grow. Diana West's latest book, American Betrayal, is such an event."
 
-- Henrik Raeder Clausen, Europe News

"No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. ... It all adds up to a story so disturbing that it has changed my attitude to almost everything I think about how the world actually is."

-- Steven Kates, Quadrant

Her task is ambitious; her sweep of crucial but too-little-known facts of history is impressive; and her arguments are eloquent and witty. ... American Betrayal is one of those books that will change the way many of us see the world.

-- Susan Freis Falknor, Blue Ridge Forum

“What Diana West has done is to dynamite her way through several miles of bedrock. On the other side of the tunnel there is a vista of a new past. Of course folks are baffled. Few people have the capacity to take this in. Her book is among the most well documented I have ever read. It is written in an unusual style viewed from the perspective of the historian—but it probably couldn’t have been done any other way.”

-- Lars Hedegaard, historian, editor, Dispatch International

"Diana West's new book rewrites WWII and Cold War history not by disclosing secrets, but by illuminating facts that have been hidden in plain sight for decades. Furthermore, she integrates intelligence and political history in ways never done before."

-- Jeffrey Norwitz, former professor of counterterrorism, Naval War College

Diana West’s American Betrayal — a remarkable, novel-like work of sorely needed historical re-analysis — is punctuated by the Cassandra-like quality of “multi-temporal” awareness. ... But West, although passionate and direct, is able to convey her profoundly disturbing, multi-temporal narrative with cool brilliance, conjoining meticulous research, innovative assessment, evocative prose, and wit.

-- Andrew G. Bostom, PJ Media

Do not be dissuaded by the controversy that has erupted around this book which, if you insist on complete accuracy, would be characterized as a disinformation campaign.

-- Jed Babbin, The American Spectator

The most important anti-Communist book of our time.

-- J.R. Nyquist, contributor, And Reality Be Damned ... What Media Didn't Tell You about the End of the Cold War and the Fall of Communism in Europe

The polemics against your Betrayal have a familiar smell: The masters of the guild get angry when someone less worthy than they are ventures into the orchard in which only they are privileged to harvest. The harvest the outsider brought in, they ritually burn.

-- Hans Jansen, former professor of Islamic Thought, University of Utrecht 

West's lesson to Americans: Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabrictaed, falsified, or omitted. Her book is eloquent proof of it.

-- Edward Cline, Family Security Matters

In American Betrayal, Ms. West's well-established reputation for lacking "sacred cows" remains intact. The resulting beneficiaries are the readers, especially those who can deal with the truth.

-- Wes Vernon, Renew America

After reading American Betrayal and much of the vituperation generated by neconservative "consensus" historians, I conclude that we cannot ignore what West has demonstrated through evidence and cogent argument.

-- John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Enlightening. I give American Betrayal five stars only because it is not possible to give it six.

-- John Dietrich, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency and author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy.

If you're looking for something to read, this is the most dazzling, mind-warping book I have read in a long time. It has been criticized by the folks at Front Page, but they don't quite get what Ms. West has set out to do and accomplished. I have a whole library of books on communism, but -- "Witness" excepted -- this may be the best.

-- Jack Cashill, author of Deconstructing Obama: The Lives, Loves and Letters of America's First Postmodern President and First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America

American Betrayal is a monumental achievement. Brilliant and important.

-- Monica Crowley, Fox News analyst, radio host and author of What the Bleep Just Happened: The Happy Warriors Guide to the Great American Comeback

"If you haven't read Diana West's "American Betrayal" yet, you're missing out on a terrific, real-life thriller."

-- Brad Thor, author of the New York Times bestsellers Hidden Order, Black List and The Last Patriot.


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Blog
Dec 19

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:12 AM 

Long frontpage takeout taking out the Kagans today in the Washington Post. The so-what-else-is-news headline --  "Civilians Held Petraeus' Ear in War Zone" -- almost caused me not to read it, given this obvious fact has driven so many posts and columns here over the years. There is news in the story though, all of it stomach-turning. As I read it, Petraeus, in addition to everything else, is a weak commander who used the Kagans as a crutch. The Post, meanwhile, is more interested in underscoring what the Kagans gained from the relationship.

Some excerpts, starting with the Post's equation of No Salary (the Kagans refused USG compensation) + Petraeus Access = Defense Contractor Contributions.

The pro-bono relationship which is now being scrutinized by military lawyers, yielded valuable benefits for the general and the couple. The Kagans’ proximity to Petraeus, the country’s most-famous living general, provided an incentive for defense contractors to contribute to Kim Kagan’s think tank. For Petraeus, embracing two respected national security analysts in GOP circles helped to shore up support for the war among Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. ...

I doubt Petraeus' support on the GOP side of Capitol Hill was ever in question given the slavish adulation for miitary brass that lawmakers engage in, mistaking it, I suppose, for patriotism. It is true, nonetheless, that this adulation for Petraeus in particular, plus the Kagans' centrality in Petraeus COIN effort, magnified the Kagans' influence over the GOP Establishment's disastrously flawed understanding of war in the Islamic world.

Just in passing we learn:

After the couple’s most recent trip in September, they provided a briefing on the war and other foreign policy matters to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Back to the military-industrial-think-tank-complex:

The Kagans said they continued to receive salaries from their think tanks while in Afghanistan. Kim Kagan’s institute is funded in part by large defense contractors. During Petraeus’s tenure in Kabul, she sent out a letter soliciting contributions so the organization could continue its military work, according to two people who saw the letter.

On Aug. 8, 2011, a month after he relinquished command in Afghanistan to take over at the CIA, Petraeus spoke at the institute’s first “President’s Circle” dinner, where he accepted an award from Kim Kagan. To join the President’s Circle, individuals must contribute at least $10,000 a year. The private event, held at the Newseum in Washington, also drew executives from defense contractors who fund the institute.

“What the Kagans do is they grade my work on a daily basis,” Petraeus said, prompting chortles from the audience. “There’s some suspicion that there’s a hand up my back, and it makes my lips talk, and it’s operated by one of the Doctors Kagan.” ...

Maybe he was telling the truth...!

After Obama was elected, he [Fred Kagan] made clear that his strategic priority was Afghanistan. The Kagans soon shifted focus. In March 2009, they co-wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that called for sending more forces to Afghanistan.

And I wrote: "What Do You Mean, If We Ever Want to Leave Afghanistan?"

When Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal assumed command of the war that summer, he invited several national security experts to help draft an assessment of the conflict for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. The 14-member group included experts from several Washington think tanks. Among them were the Kagans.

How about Greg "Three Cups of Deceit" Mortenson?

The members, who were not paid by the military, stayed in Kabul for six weeks in an advisory role modeled after a similar team Petraeus convened in 2007 to evaluate the war in Iraq.

The Afghan assessment struck an alarming tone that helped McChrystal make his case for a troop surge, which Obama eventually authorized.

The Kagans should have been thrilled, but they soon grew concerned.

They thought McChrystal’s headquarters was not providing enough information to them about the state of the war. The military began to slow-roll their requests to visit Afghanistan. In early 2010, they wrote an e-mail to McChrystal, copying Petraeus, that said they “were coming to the conclusion that the campaign was off track and that it was not going to be successful,” Fred Kagan said.

To some senior staff members in McChrystal’s headquarters, the e-mail read like a threat: Invite us to visit or we will publish a piece saying the war is lost.

Worried about the consequences of losing the Kagans, McChrystal authorized the trip, according to the staff members.

Fred Kagan said the message was not intended to pressure McChrystal, though he acknowledged, “I imagine that Stan didn’t appreciate receiving an e-mail like that.”

Indeed, McChrystal did not, according to the staff members. After an initial meeting in the headquarters, McChrystal asked his aides to leave the room and he proceeded to voice his displeasure to the Kagans.

After their trip, which lasted about two weeks, the Kagans penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal. “Military progress is steadily improving dynamics on the ground,” they wrote.

“We obviously came away with . . . a more nuanced view that persuaded us that we were incorrect in the assessment that we had gone in with,” Fred Kagan said in the interview.

Wow.

Wielding the op-ed pen

When the couple returned to Kabul in late June 2010, they planned to stay for eight days. McChrystal had just been fired by Obama, and Petraeus was heading over to take charge of the war. They expected to meet with Petraeus, who had become a good friend, and then stick to their agenda of touring bases in the south. ..

The Defense Department permits independent analysts to observe combat operations, but the practice became far more common when Petraeus became the top commander in Iraq. He has said that conversations with outside specialists helped to shape his strategic thinking.

The take-home benefit was equally significant: When the opinion makers returned home, they inevitably wrote op-eds, gave speeches and testified before Congress, generally imparting a favorable message about progress under Petraeus, all of which helped him sell the war effort and expand his popularity.

Other commanders soon caught on. By the time the Kagans arrived in Kabul in June 2010, it was commonplace for think-tankers and big-name columnists to make seven-to-10-day visits once or twice a year. Two analysts from the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot and Stephen Biddle, were in Afghanistan at the same time at the invitation of Petraeus.

Petraeus asked the four to remain for a month to six weeks. Boot and Biddle couldn’t stay that long, but the Kagans were game, even though they had packed for only a short trip.

Petraeus called them his “directed telescopes” and urged them to focus on the challenge of tackling corruption and building an effective government in Afghanistan, a task they addressed with gusto.

“Petraeus relied on the Kagans for a fresh set of eyes . . . because he didn’t have the same nuanced understanding of Afghanistan that he had of Iraq,” a former aide to Petraeus said.

Islam-blind leading the Islam-blind.

When the Kagans told Petraeus they had planned a vacation in August, he urged them to go ahead. But, Kim Kagan said, “he demanded that we return.”

What a weak commander.

Higher security clearance

When they returned in September 2010, the Kagans’ writ no longer resembled the traditional think-tank visit or an assessment mission intended to inform an incoming commander. ...

The Kagans believed U.S. commanders needed to shift their focus from protecting key towns and cities to striking Haqqani encampments and smuggling routes, according to several current and former military and civilian officials familiar the issue.

In the late summer of 2010, they shared their views with field officers during a trip to the east. “They implied to brigade commanders that Petraeus would prefer them to devote their resources to killing Haqqanis,” said Doug Ollivant, a former senior adviser to the two-star general in charge of eastern Afghanistan.

But Petraeus had not yet issued new directives to his three-star subordinate or the two-star in the east. “It created huge confusion,” a senior military officer said. “Everyone knew the Kagans were close to Petraeus, so everyone assumed they were speaking for the boss.” ...

Allen, who succeeded Petraeus in July 2011, did not want to continue his predecessor’s arrangement with the Kagans, but he also did not want to upset them. Allen allowed them to stay for a few months. Two subsequent visits were kept to less thana month, according to a senior official in the Allen headquarters.

‘Special occasion’

For Kim Kagan, spending so many months away from research and advocacy work in Washington could have annoyed many donors to the Institute for the Study of War. But her major backers appear to have been pleased that she cultivated such close ties with Petraeus, who went from Kabul to head the CIA before resigning this fall over his affair with Broadwell.

At the August 2011 dinner honoring Petraeus, Kagan thanked executives from two defense contractors who sit on her institute’s corporate council, DynCorp International and CACI International. The event was sponsored by General Dynamics. All three firms have business interests in the Afghan war.

Kagan told the audience that their funding allowed her to assist Petraeus. “The ability to have a 15-month deployment essentially in the service of those who needed some help — and the ability to go at a moment’s notice — that’s something you all have sponsored,” she said.

It's also something we all have been afflicted with.

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