Book cover of First Platoon: A Story of Modern War in the Age of Identity Dominance by Annie Jacobsenby Annie Jacobsen

A powerful story of war in our time, of love of country, the experience of tragedy, and a platoon at the center of it all.

This is a story that starts off close and goes very big. The initial part of the story might sound familiar at first: it is about a platoon of mostly nineteen-year-old boys sent to Afghanistan, and an experience that ends abruptly in catastrophe. Their part of the story folds into the next: inexorably linked to those soldiers and never comprehensively reported before is the U.S. Department of Defense’s quest to build the world’s most powerful biometrics database, with the ability to identify, monitor, catalog, and police people all over the world.

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art for Commonwealth Club of CaliforniaCommonwealth Club of California
Journalist Annie Jacobsen: Biometrics and the Surveillance State
1/25/21           68 min

Podcast art for Watching AmericaWatching America
Annie Jacobsen: First Platoon – Modern War in the Age of Identity
2/19/21         54 min

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