In the Dark of War: A CIA Officer's Inside Account of the U.S. Evacuation from Libya

In the Dark of War: A CIA Officer's Inside Account of the U.S. Evacuation from Libya

by Sarah M. Carlson


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A CIA officer’s inside account of how Libya’s descent into rampant violence precipitated the harrowing overland evacuation of the entire U.S. Mission from Tripoli after being trapped in the city for weeks.

Most of the world is aware of the tragic events surrounding the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Most are also aware of the resulting political controversy in Washington. But few know what happened next in Libya. While said controversy in Washington subsided, the volatility in Libya escalated—threatening the brave men and women who remained behind to continue the U.S. mission.

In this dramatic retelling of dangerous attacks threatening the U.S. mission Tripoli, Libya—less than two years after Benghazi—American valor and courage prevailed. The U.S. personnel and intrepid operators stood fast as militias clashed, suicide bomb attacked, and numerous threats and kidnappings closed in on their location. In the midst of it all, the intelligence and determination of one woman with unwavering faith played a pivotal role in saving them all...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642934717
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 06/23/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 612,169
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sarah M. Carlson served as a Targeting Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center. She specialized in threats and attack plans directed against the U.S. and Europe and completed multiple rotations with the Directorate of Operations. Prior to that, she served as a Counterterrorism Analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Homeland Defense Division and Iraq Branch in the Middle East. She also completed rotations to the National Counterterrorism Center and U.S. Northern Command while with the DIA. Her counterterrorism career focused on groups operating in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. She learned Arabic and traveled extensively through North Africa and the Middle East.

Sarah received dozens of awards for her service, including exceptional performance awards, meritorious unit citations, and warzone-related honors.

Since leaving the CIA, Sarah has continued in public service with local government as an emergency operations manager, where she specializes in all-hazards preparation, disaster response, and alert and warning.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Chapter 1 Evacuation: The Announcement 1

Chapter 2 Flashback: Welcome to Tripoli 7

Chapter 3 Evacuation: Preparing for the Worst 18

Chapter 4 Flashback: Faux Coup 28

Chapter 5 Evacuation: Weapons Issued 43

Chapter 6 Flashback: Powerful Tribes 52

Chapter 7 Evacuation: Destroy Everything 65

Chapter 8 Flashback: Mayhem Downtown 73

Chapter 9 Evacuation: Briefing the Route 85

Chapter 10 Flashback: Terrorism Spreads 94

Chapter 11 Evacuation: Prepping the Convoy 107

Chapter 12 Flashback: Kidnappings Spike 114

Chapter 13 Evacuation: Moving into Position 125

Chapter 14 Flashback: Mandate Expires 132

Chapter 15 Evacuation: Rolling Out 143

Chapter 16 Flashback: Collapse Begins 152

Chapter 17 Evacuation: Long Drive South 162

Chapter 18 Flashback: Moves and Countermoves 170

Chapter 19 Evacuation: Border Crossing 182

Chapter 20 Flashback: Opening Salvo 189

Chapter 21 Evacuation: Tunisian Airfield 197

Chapter 22 Flashback: Emergency Action 205

Chapter 23 Evacuation: Farewell in Tunis 214

Lessons Learned 221

List of US Personnel 228

Glossary of Terms, Acronyms 230

Select Bibliography 231

Acknowledgments 240

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