Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016): CISS Insight Quarterly Journal, March 2016
Book Reviews

The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism from Al Qaida to ISIS

Mr. Majid Mahmood
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published March 30, 2016
How to Cite
Mr. Majid Mahmood. (2016). The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism from Al Qaida to ISIS . CISS Insight Journal, 4(1), P54-56. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/90


The book titled “The Great War of Our Time, The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism from Al Qaida to ISIS” written by Michael Morell, former deputy director of the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is a mix of his memoir and assessments ofregarding the institutional efforts of CIA in the fight against Al-Qaida as seen from the author’s time of serving in the agency. The book also explainsthe author’s views of some other political issues such as the Arab Spring, Benghazi episode of 2012 that resulted in the death of the US ambassador in Libya, dealings with Pakistan post Abottabad raid in May 2011and reasons for failure of American policy in the Middle East. The author’s memoir also describes the relationship between the executive and the intelligence branches of the US government.

The book contains fourteen chapters and all the chapters deal with US policy and experience regarding countering its main enemy, the Al-Qaida organization. In the initial chapters, Morell highlights the buildup of the Al-Qaida threat for the US in the 1990s and challenges the main stream view, based upon his CIA experience during the time,that US was not aware of this buildup. The flaw, however, according to the author lay with the institutional lack of importance given to the terrorism related issues prior to 9/11. Michael Morell reflects on the events surrounding 9/11 events. He gives an interesting account from his position as the President George W. Bush daily intelligence brieferfor one year till 2002.