Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Continuation of Policy by Other Means

Treasury’s War
The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare
PublicAffairs, New York, 2013, 336 pp., $27.99 (cloth).
Treasury’s War by Juan C. Zarate offers a guided tour of a decade of the U.S. government’s efforts to wield its financial and economic power to achieve its strategic interests and alter the balance of various conflicts. 
Juan Zarate is well positioned to tell this story: he joined the George W. Bush administration’s Treasury Department as a young, gregarious former prosecutor with antiterrorism credentials just months before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and eventually rose to become deputy national security advisor.­
Zarate was personally involved in many of the developments recounted in the book, including the “war on terror,” the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran and to undermine the Qaddafi and Assad regimes in Libya and Syria.
Following 9/11, financial and economic sanctions and the role of financial intelligence became increasingly important and effective tools in the U.S. national security arsenal. Zarate attributes this to several factors, including the globalization of financial markets and the central role played by the dollar in international trade transactions.
Read the full F&D magazine review.

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