Out on 07 March 2019

Operation Chaos

Matthew Sweet

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07 March 2019
352 pages

The thrilling untold story of how the CIA infiltrated a radical group of American soldiers in one of the world's most infamous wars.

In 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, an exodus begins. A thousand American deserters and draft-resisters escape the brutal fighting for the calm shores of Stockholm. These defectors are young, radical and want to start a revolution. The Swedes treat their new guests like rock stars - but the CIA is going to put a stop to that.

It's a job for the deep-cover men of Operation Chaos and their allies - agents who know how to invade radical organizations and crush them from the inside. And within a few months, the GIs have turned on each other - and the interrogations and recriminations begin.

A gripping espionage story filled with a host of extraordinary and unbelievable plays, Operation Chaos is the incredible but true account of the men who left the war, how they betrayed each other and how they became lost in a world where anything seemed possible - even the idea that the CIA had secretly programmed them to kill their friends.

Sweet has found a craziness right at the heart of the human condition. He tells a bizarre, alarming story with wit, grace and an increasing anxiety that by asking questions he might be about to trigger World War Three. Read it with my jaw on the floor.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, author of Millions

Sweet's book will suck you into the hall of mirrors in which these guys were forced to live their lives . . . and still do. Engrossing and accurate.

Michael Goldfarb, author of Ahmad's War, Ahmad’s Peace and Emancipation