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.
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.
Riveting and illuminating, this is a rare and important insider's account of the modern military and intelligence worlds at every level.
Michael G. Vickers has served multiple roles in the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, most recently as undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President Barack Obama. He also served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict, and interdependent capabilities, where he had policy oversight of all U.S. military capabilities, from nuclear weapons to special operations forces. During the Cold War, he served as an operations officer in the CIA, and as both a commissioned and a noncommissioned officer in the Army's Special Forces. He lives near Washington, D.C.
Vickers will be in conversation with Bradley Graham, co-owner of Politics & Prose.