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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Revised and Updated] Paperback – May 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Scahill, a regular contributor to the Nation, offers a hard-left perspective on Blackwater USA, the self-described private military contractor and security firm. It owes its existence, he shows, to the post–Cold War drawdown of U.S. armed forces, its prosperity to the post-9/11 overextension of those forces and its notoriety to a growing reputation as a mercenary outfit, willing to break the constraints on military systems responsible to state authority. Scahill describes Blackwater's expansion, from an early emphasis on administrative and training functions to what amounts to a combat role as an internal security force in Iraq. He cites company representatives who say Blackwater's capacities can readily be expanded to supplying brigade-sized forces for humanitarian purposes, peacekeeping and low-level conflict. While emphasizing the possibility of an "adventurous President" employing Blackwater's mercenaries covertly, Scahill underestimates the effect of publicity on the deniability he sees as central to such scenarios. Arguably, he also dismisses too lightly Blackwater's growing self-image as the respectable heir to a long and honorable tradition of contract soldiering. Ultimately, Blackwater and its less familiar counterparts thrive not because of a neoconservative conspiracy against democracy, as Scahill claims, but because they provide relatively low-cost alternatives in high-budget environments and flexibility at a time when war is increasingly protean. (Apr. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Thanks to Jeremy Scahill and other reporters of conscience and courage, 'independent journalist' is not an oxymoron." -- Ray McGovern
"From Belgrade to Baghdad, from Nigeria to New Orleans, Jeremy Scahill leads a new generation of muckraking journalists. Scahill is exposing the dark, violent and secretive world of the neo-mercenaries Washington is increasingly deploying in its wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and at home in the US. His investigative skill, coupled with his graceful style make this book essential reading." -- Amy Goodman
"A crackling expose of the secretive military contractor Blackwater."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"[Scahill] is a one-man truth squad."--Bill Moyers
"[An] utterly gripping and explosive story."--Naomi Klein, "The Guardian"
"The biggest book of the year...an amazingly researched and well-told story."--Matthew Rothschild, "The Progressive"
"Scahill's page-turning collection of intrigue and insight into the underworld of privatized warfare is well researched, thoroughly documented, and as a result extremely frightening."--"The Globe and Mail"
"Scahill provided me information...which I have not been able to get from the U.S. military...I have read more from Mr. Scahill, than I've got from our own government."--Representative Marcy Kaptur, Defense Appropriations Committee
"[T]his is no uninformed partisan screed...Meticulously documented and encyclopedic in scope...it's a comprehensive and authoritative guide...this book serves as a provocative primer for advancing the debate."--Bill Sizemore, Pulitzer-prize nominated journalist, "Virginian-Pilot"
"Andy McNab couldn't have invented this prescient tale of the private army of mercenaries run by a Christian conservative millionaire who, in turn, bankrolls the president. A chilling expose of the ultimate military outsource."--Christopher Fowler, "The New Review"'s "Best Books of 2007"
"Fascinating and magnificently documented...Jeremy Scahill's new book is a brilliant expose and belongs on the reading list of any conscientious citizen."--Scott Horton, International and Military Law Expert, Columbia University Law School
"At Blackwater USA, Jeremy Scahill's is the face they love to hate... [He is] perhaps the private military company's most dogged critic."
Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time"
"[Scahill's] book is so scary and so illuminating."
"The Guardian" (London)
"Blackwater being rarely out of the news lately, this is a very useful survey of modern mercenaries - or, as they prefer to be called, 'private security contractors' in the 'peace and stability industry'...Scahill is a sharp investigative writer."
Scarlett Johansson, actor
"It should be mandatory reading. It's very interesting - and scary."
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