Mass counterfeiting is not just organized crime, it can also be aggressive economic warfare waged by states to destabilize enemy governments - and it is reaching epidemic proportions. Forgery also provides cash for states like North Korea and Iran in their pursuit of weapons - a fact publicly unremarked, even as fears grow over nuclear ambitions. John Cooley brings the true state of affairs to light in this compelling, accessible account. With a sound grounding in current events and history alike, Cooley demonstrates that the machinations of today's states echo the attempts in antiquity by Persia, Greece, Rome and China to use and defend against forgery and currency debasement. Counterfeiting remained a high crime throughout medieval and Renaissance Europe, played a key role in the American and French Revolutions, the Napoleonic era and the American Civil War and was used by the British, Germans and Soviets in two world wars.Bad money mixed with post-war dictatorships: the KGB, CIA and Stasi; the IRA; Hezbollah; the Medellin cartels and the Chinese Triads. Grand-scale forgery has corrosive implications for global economic, political and social stability.
The world's quietest weapon of mass destruction, currency, is 75 per cent cotton, 25 per cent linen ...and 100 per cent fake. Reviews of previous books: "An Alliance against Babylon": 'Cooley has been right so often he has few equals ...This book is typically Cooley: much needed and brilliant' - John Pilger. "Unholy Wars": 'The definitive account' - "The Guardian". 'This provocative book certainly will provide insight into many events in the Middle East for the general reader' - "Library Journal". 'Cooley's important and timely book ...asks salient questions and draws on an impressive body of sources' - Los Angeles Times.
John K. Cooley worked in the US government service as a translator and military-intelligence analyst then as a newspaper and television journalist including staff correspondent for Christian Science Monitor and ABC News, who came to specialize in the Middle East. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and the American Historical Association, and an associate member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). His several books include Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (new edn 2002) and An Alliance against Babylon: The US, Israel and Iraq (2005).