This collection of essays almost makes it for a recommendation, but the authors were all working too hard to sell the subject. They approach the reader with hyperbole and fear-mongering by which they manage to undermine the validity of their line of argument. So the book reads more like a collection of op-eds than research studies, which may be satisfying to those who feed off shallow presentations that support preconceived judgments, but anyone looking for a good, solid read on dark networks will be put off.
Having said that, this collection ranges widely across the subject and includes discussions on terrorism, insurgency, and organized crime. The bones of a very good work are present, but the authors were a bit free with their conflation of various entities and the presentation of conjecture as fact. There is also an annoying trend to generalities when specifics are really necessary. Interesting subjects, such as the financing of dark networks through real estate manipulation or illicit exploitation of natural resources, are stripped of critical context and nuance to better sell the core point running through the book that these dark networks present an existential threat to global governance.
The last three chapters in the final section "Fighting Back" are particularly disappointing, as all they provide is a narrative description of JIIM efforts to combat dark networks without any assessment of effectiveness, discussion of lessons learned, or attempt at suggesting improved methods of operations.
If you’re really interested in dark networks, its still worth a read with a jaded eye. But don’t buy this one – borrow it from a friend. You can have my copy.
- Hardcover: 298 pages
- Publisher: Military Bookshop (4 April 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 178266372X
- ISBN-13: 978-1782663720
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.8 x 24.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 499 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)