The Increment Epub ↠ Paperback

The Increment A very good spy novel which is also about real politics and the real world An Iranian nuclear scientist has decided to risk everything to alert the West that Iran is still working to build nuclear bombs He sends an email to the CIA to let them know and the email eventually lands in the lap of Harry Pappas a career spy who brings it to the attention of Fox who is of a political appointee Fox alerts the White House which decides that this information can be used as the starting off point for attacking Iran Pappas suspects that this will lead to the death of the Iranian asset and that Fox and the White House will get many Americans killed in an ill advised war that is unnecessary if the Iranians are really not far along in the research to find weaponsPappas asks the Director of Operations of the CIA for time and gets 2 weeks Pappas asks an old friend of his a British spy for help The Brit arranges for a special forces team composed of his very attractive girlfriend and two other British Arabs the so called Increment to penetrate Iran and get the scientist out so he can be uestioned by Pappas to find out how far along the Iranians are in their nuclear weapons program At the same time the Brit takes Harry to meet a friend of his Kamel Atwin an Arab billionaire arms trader who is involved in a secret plot to sell sensitive material to the Iranians which eventually breaks down and causes calculations of the Iranians to be off Pappas plans with his Iranian asset a way to mess up the Iranians weapon program even and sends the asset back to IranKamel has his own agenda of course and its up to Pappas to figure out what is going on when the plan works in part but is screwed up in other waysThe novel is really a good view of how the players on the world stage work and how a principled CIA agent has to use whatever means he can to do his job gather intelligence and support American interests in the face of those who want to use the intelligence for their own ends The New York Times bestseller “A thinking person's thriller”—Kirkus ReviewsHarry Pappas chief of the CIA’s Persia House receives an encrypted message from a scientist in Tehran But soon the source of secrets from the Iranian bomb program dries up the scientist panics; he’s being followed but he doesn’t know who’s on to him and neither does Harry To get his agent out Harry turns to a secret British spy team known as “The Increment” whose operatives carry the modern version of the double O “license to kill” But the real story is infinitely complicated than Harry understands and to get to the bottom of it he must betray his own country Washington Post columnist and editor David Ignatius has covered wars diplomacy and the intelligence community in a long journalistic career His reporting infuses the ten suspense and espionage novels he has written over the past thirty years The Increment published in 2009 dramatizes the hysteria in the Bush Administration about Iran's program to build nuclear weapons This engrossing and well informed novel preceded by several years Barack Obama's successful initiative to contain the program by treatyThe central figures in The Increment are a young Iranian nuclear physicist who remains nameless for much of the tale and Harry Pappas the senior CIA officer who runs the agency's Iran division reporting to the director The young Iranian disgruntled about both life and work walks in online to the CIA with high level information about Iran's nuclear weapons program An alert young officer routes the information to Harry triggering a massive effort to contact the sender directly that involves the CIA Director and the White House Officials at the National Security Council and the President himself leap to conclusions on the basis of the information the young man has sent—and uickly begin moving to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities Convinced that the information from the walk in is ambiguous and terrified by the President's haste Harry scrambles to delay the attack in hopes of suelching it entirely To do so he must team up with an old friend who is now the chief of staff of MI6 with only flimsy cover from the director of his own agency He's putting his career on the line by reaching out to another governmentOne of Harry's primary concerns is that anything the US does may jeopardize the life of the young Iranian 'He's trusting the agency' in other words Not to f it up I mean' His assistant responds 'What an idiot Doesn't he read the newspapers?' It would seem that David Ignatius' respect for the CIA is not boundlessIt's all too easy for Americans probably including some in the White House today to assume that Iran is just another little Middle Eastern country that's easy for the US to push around In fact Iran is the world's 18th most populous country and the 17th largest by landmass It's home to one of the world's oldest civilizations For many centuries the country's historical predecessor the Persian Empire dominated the ancient Mediterranean And as American government military historian David Crist demonstrated in 2012 in The Twilight War The Secret History of America's Thirty Year Conflict with Iran the US engaged in a low level shooting war with Iran until only a few years ago when bilateral diplomacy at last took center stage I reviewed Crist's book at The ugly US Iran war past present and future In other words it's important to acknowledge the consensus among US military leaders who have contemplated the prospect of invading Iran that it would be a very bad ideaYou might also be interested in My 10 favorite espionage novels For additional insight look online for 17 good nonfiction books about espionage This is not half a good book; at best it is about one third of a good bookThe early chapters portraying a clapped out CIA riven with jealousy and internal plotting works on a sub Le Carre level A likely looking villain appears to be one Arthur Fox but he will disappear from the book without trace or explanationThe scene setting in Tehran is acceptable Trouble sets in when a British secret service team The Increment though the title is never explained gets involved Now we we are into stereotypical evil The Crazy One all plastic surgery and deformity Worse Mr Big appears a mastermind who collects stolen Impressionist paintings and first editions This mastermind has fleets of private planes available and instantly when needed in a remote part of Turkmenistan a minibus with a secret compartment From sub Le Carre we have descended into sub Ian FlemingCharacterisation is minimal The CIA man swears a lot the Brit says Old boy freuently but no often than the Lebanese businessman says My dearTo cap it all the author was not paying attention to what his spell checker was up to Otherwise we would not have had a boat giving another a wide birth or someone having a target in his sites Interesting book about spies fighting to stop their enemies from developing into nuclear powerOnly downside to the book is the conclusion prime minister steps out and exposes the entire operation to the media how they manage to thwart the efforts of their rival state by direct sabotage even names service responsible and then state that they will prevent any other nation from further interfering because enemy is now tamed ? I mean come on and this does not provoke no reaction from anyone in the world ? again please Imagine somebody from the government steps out and says that they sabotaged by direct attack their rivals they disclose it to the world so it is not just knowledge in the close community and everybody says Oh they blew them now gimme that pepperThese are things conflicts are ignited about I do not know what the author was thinking about but ending seems childish to say the least and seems like unnatural ending for the novel itself considering other elements described in itGood thriller but ending is deeply flawed I read this shortly after it came out The main character reminds me of Andrew Bacevich for sad reasons that rouse my ire at Cheney etal But the real mystery of the novel is its publication date May 2009 relative to the discovery of Stuxnet June 2010 given the description of a worm that destroys Ira's nuclear program in the book Ignatius is either Nostradamus or someone high up in the CIA or White House or an Intelligence Committee is whispering in his ear Fascinating for the Date WrittenA spy novel through and through The Increment is a fascinating look at a complex political situation Though it is fictional it was published January 2009 about a year and a half before Stuxnet was revealed to the world This is not Stuxnet but the author delves into some mild ideas of industrial sabotage for Iran's nuclear program I won't spoil the story line but it centers around the USA dealing with Iranian attempts to develop a nuclear program that move across the border into Turkmenistan The Brits are involved and things get ugly The author not only deals with then cutting edge ideas of war peace and cold war but some poignant human interest issues are in the mix Its a fun read but when read with hindsight post Stuxnet it probably seems realistic than it would have seemed at time of writing I enjoyed it thoroughly and added the Kindle to my Audible for whisper sync The narration was done well in a voice you would expect for your typical old school spy novel I read this for my stop in Turkmenistan after ditching my planned read of The Revenge of the Foxes which was pure drivel That may be a bit harsh when I never made it very many pages into that book before casting it aside But here we are And I have no regrets for switching after such an intriguing segue into The Increment by David Ignatius I finished this yesterday and my next read arrived in the mailbox today a paperback copy of The Language of the Birds by Alisher Nava'i a classic piece of Turkish literature from 1499 for my journey northward to Uzbekistan The days when a stranger walks into CIA headuarters to offer vital information about an enemy state are apparently over Now that person contacts the American agency by email Still having an Iranian nuclear scientist dangle some insider info is tantalizing to veteran spooks and politicians alike Once things get moving the action shifts from Langley Virginia to London and ultimately to Tehran Plans go awry Endings are sudden and bloody Mr Ignatius seems to have a bit of insider knowledge as to how the spy agencies actually operate however this tale lacks the inscrutable subtlety of a classic LeCarre thriller John LeCarre when he is good writes gritty depressing and heavily realistic books about espionage Robert Ludlum on the other hand wrote breathless thrillers with outrageous characters and plot twists Somewhere in the middle between these two extremes is David Ignatius The Increment begins when an Iranian scientist contacts the CIA through a link on its website a link that really exists That begins a series of events that could bring the world to war once againThe star of the book is really the country and culture of Iran which Ignatius has visited It tells of a highly conservative country where the police wink at satellite dishes that beam in dirty movies on the TV sets of private citizens and of a people who hate the US and Britain but can't get enough of our music and movies I would not have believed it but it corresponds well with Robert Baer's non fiction book The Devil We KnowThe plot here is a good one It all struck me as realistic until the introduction of The Increment a team of SIS agents tasked with carrying out the mission in Iran At the point things seemed to switch from LeCarre to Ludlum The characters and their actions did not really strike me as all that believable However the action is very entertaining and suspensefulLess entertaining is the preachy tone regarding Ira yes Ira Ignatius is clearly critical of the real life war in Ira and has his character do a tedious build up to war that is really meant as a commentary on Ira Fortunately while it is sprinkled throughout the book it does not dominate the plot However just about everyone agrees that Ira was a mistake so Mr Ignatius spare us the lectureOn the whole however this is pretty good page turner with some good characters and backstory drama behind the main plotlines I always like to learn a thing or two so I appreciated all of the research and color about Iran The Increment is worth the time to read and you might even learn a thing or two This is a fun and thrilling novel that I came across while reading Obama's War by Bob Woodward which I had read last year It is a spyespionage story about how the west treats intelligence information it receives about Iran It is loosely based on how the US government rushed to judgement in interpreting intelligence it received from the CIA and interpreted it the way politicians wanted them to mean; rather that what it actually meant The main character in the story the protagonist is a CIA agent who heads the Iran division His son was killed in the war in Ira so he is striving to prevent the US from entering into another unnecessary war with Iran How he does that is the meat of the story and the imagination of the author only makes it the interesting to read The story centers around Iran's nuclear program and how the west US and UK are dealing with it both publicly and privately It also incorporate a huge dose of corruption The main plot is the protagonist's efforts to tamper with Iran's nuclear facility with the help of The Increment It is a true page turner and makes you rethink how the intelligence community interacts with the political leadership of the US The author of this novel is also the author of Body of Lies which was made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio


About the Author: David Ignatius

David Ignatius a prize winning columnist for the Washington Post has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for than twenty five years His novels include Agents of Innocence Body of Lies and The Increment now in development for a major motion picture by Jerry Bruckheimer He lives in Washington DC


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