Twilight Warriors

Title:                      Twilight Warriors

Author:                  James Kitfield

Kitfield, James (2016). Twilight Warriors: The Soldiers, Spies, And Special Agents Who Are Revolutionizing The American Way of War. New York: Basic Books

LCCN:    2016019611

UA23 .K5263 2016


  • “When U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, it signaled the end of the longest conflict in the nation’s history. Yet we are still at war–no longer with other states, but with a host of new enemies, from nihilistic terrorists and narco-traffickers to transnational criminal cartels, lone wolf assassins, and modern-day pirates. Standing against these foes is a tight-knit fraternity of soldiers, cops, lawyers, and spies. Together, these men have broken down the cultural and institutional boundaries among their respective agencies to engineer a new, network-centric way of fighting: one that uses a seamless web of intelligence analysts, high-tech information networks, and Special Forces units to take the fight to America’s enemies as never before. These disciplined, patriotic servicemen form a band of brothers that, over the past half century, has fundamentally reshaped the way America defends itself.”–Provided by publisher.


  • Where there’s smoke: 1998-2001 — Another kind of war: October 2001-May 2002 — Descent into darkness: March-October 2002 — The crucible: October 2003-May 2004 — Martyrs’ den: 2006-2007 — Five assassins: May-July 2006 — Prodigal soldiers: January-December 2007 — Al-Qaeda pandemic: 2008-2010 — The ghosts in the network: 2009-2010 — The forgotten war: 2009-2010 — American jihad: 2010-2011 — Retribution: May-December 2011 — Retrenchment: 2011-2012 — Shadow war: 2013 — The enemy votes: September-December 2013 — Reflection in a broken mirror: 2013 — Twilight warriors: 2013-2014 — Going dark: 2013-2014 — A world on edge: 2015 — Epilogue.


Date Posted:      April 18, 2017

Reviewed by Bruce Hoffman [1]

With the planned withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest conflicts in our nation’s history were supposed to end, yet we remain at war against expanding terrorist movements.

Kitfield reveals how brilliant innovators in the US military, Special Forces, and the intelligence and law enforcement communities forged close operational bonds in Iraq and Afghanistan, breaking down barriers to create a relentless, intelligence-driven style of operations. At the forefront were Stanley McChrystal and his interagency team at JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), the pioneers behind a hybrid method of warfighting: find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyze. Other key figures include Michael Flynn, the visionary who redefined the intelligence gathering mission; the FBI’s Brian McCauley, who used serial-killer profilers to track suicide bombers in Afghanistan; and the Delta Force commander Scott Miller, responsible for making team players out of the US military’s secretive counterterrorism units.

The result of their collaborations is an elegant, lethal, globe-spanning network. Kitfield explains this style of operations represents our best hope for defending the nation in an age of asymmetric warfare.

Twilight Warriors provides an intimate window into the special operations, intelligence and law enforcement counterterrorism efforts of the past two decades and is the most up-to-date account available of the ongoing war on terrorism. Kitfield’s portraits of the key figures leading this struggle makes this book required reading for anyone wishing to understand the threat that terrorism continues to pose–and what we are doing to defeat it.”

[1] Bruce Hoffman, in The Intelligencer (22, 2, Fall 2016, p. 138). Bruce Hoffman is Professor & Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University, and author of Anonymous Soldiers

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