In a series of lively vignettes, a former CIA operations officer reflects on his life as a spy, covert ops, war zones, and the importance of intelligence for national security. Written by a former CIA operations officer, this candid and often witty memoir recounts a life of intrigue, adventure, and a few close brushes with death. H. K. Roy describes, with remarkable sangfroid and a humorist's eye for absurdity, his many strange and risky exploits. Whether he was pursuing Soviet and Cuban spies, running "denied area" operations in Eastern Europe, hunting Bosnian war criminals, or providing actionable intelligence to US government and coalition forces in Iraq, Roy usually found himself at the right place at the right time. Except when he didn't-like the time he stumbled into a life-threatening ambush by Iranian terrorists while dodging Serb snipers and shelling in Sarajevo. Eight summers later, caught in a blinding sandstorm between Amman and Baghdad, he learned his fate was in the hands of an Iraqi tribal chief who had just lost his entire family to a US airstrike in Ramadi, in a failed attempt to kill Saddam Hussein that had tragic consequences. Combining dedication to duty with a maverick's disdain for bureaucracy, Roy makes it clear that he prefers foreign locales to Washington and thrives on the adrenaline rush that comes with danger. He also sheds much light on why intelligence is an essential component of national defense, even our very survival as a nation.
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