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1 Burnside Military- Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror

by

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Robert Young Pelton first became aware of the phenomenon of hired guns in the War on Terror when he met a covert team of contractors on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in the fall of 2003. Pelton soon embarked on a globe-spanning odyssey to penetrate and understand this shadowy world, ultimately delivering stunning insights into the way private soldiers are used.

Enter a blood-soaked world of South African mercenaries and tribal fighters backed by ruthless financiers. Drop into Baghdad's Green Zone, strap on body armor, and take a daily high-speed ride with a doomed crew of security contractors who dodge car bombs and snipers just to get their charges to the airport. Share a drink in a chic hotel bar with wealthy owners of private armies who debate the best way to stay alive in war zones.

Licensed to Kill spans four continents and three years, taking us inside the CIA's dirty wars; the brutal contractor murders in Fallujah and the Alamo-like sieges in Najaf and Al Kut; the Deep South contractor training camps where ex–Special Operations soldiers and even small town cops learn the ropes; the contractor conventions where macho attendees swap bullet-punctuated tales and discuss upcoming gigs; and the grim Central African prison where contractors turned failed mercenaries pay a steep price.

The United States has encouraged the use of the private sector in all facets of the War on Terror, placing contractors outside the bounds of functional legal constraints. With the shocking clarity that can come only from firsthand observation, Licensed to Kill painstakingly deconstructs the most controversial events and introduces the pivotal players. Most disturbingly, it shows that there are indeed thousands of contractors — with hundreds more being produced every month — who've been given a license to kill, their services available to the highest bidder.

Review:

"Licensed to Kill is smart, funny, sometimes scary, and always interesting. Pelton truly captures the cast of characters that make up our new 'coalition of the billing' in the War on Terror." P. W. Singer, author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

Review:

"An incredible look into the murky and virtually impenetrable world of private military contractors...Pelton may well have seen the future." Sebastian Junger

Review:

"A rollicking read that takes the reader inside the murky world of military contractors — from the craggy passes of the Afghan-Pakistan border, to the extreme danger of Baghdad's airport road, to the diamond fields of Africa. Licensed to Kill is not only a great travelogue, it also has some important things to say about the brave new world of privatized violence that will increasingly be a feature of twenty-first-century wars." Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know and Holy War, Inc.

Review:

"Pelton reveals how the U.S. military-industrial complex has created its own dark version of the nonstate warrior [and] asks if companies like Blackwater and Executive Outcomes could become the new Hessians for both multinational corporations and overstretched armies." Jonathan Taplin, professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication, and producer of Under Fire, The Last Waltz, and Mean Streets

Book News Annotation:

While it is not an entirely new phenomenon, a distinctive feature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the number of military "private contractors" that have been employed by the Pentagon in order to carry out traditional military tasks such as protecting infrastructure and individuals. In this work, investigative journalist Pelton offers a partial window into the world of the private contractor that focuses primarily on the men who carry the guns and there experiences in carrying out their duties. He tells the tales of the contractors that died in Fallujah in an event that set the stage for the later US assault on that Iraqi city, his own former bodyguard now serving time for involvement in an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea, and the man accused of maintaining his own private prison in Afghanistan (who claims that he was acting on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency), among other guns-for-hire in the "War on Terror."
Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

While it is not an entirely new phenomenon, a distinctive feature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the number of military "private contractors" that have been employed by the Pentagon in order to carry out traditional military tasks such as protecting infrastructure and individuals. In this work, investigative journalist Pelton offers a partial window into the world of the private contractor that focuses primarily on the men who carry the guns and there experiences in carrying out their duties. He tells the tales of the contractors that died in Fallujah in an event that set the stage for the later US assault on that Iraqi city, his own former bodyguard now serving time for involvement in an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea, and the man accused of maintaining his own private prison in Afghanistan (who claims that he was acting on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency), among other guns-for-hire in the "War on Terror." Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Robert Young Pelton is a journalist, filmmaker, and explorer. He is the author of The World's Most Dangerous Places, Come Back Alive, The Adventurist, and Three Worlds Gone Mad. Pelton has worked for National Geographic, Discovery, 60 Minutes, the ABC Investigative Division, and CNN. He is also a contributing editor and columnist for National Geographic Adventure.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400097814
Subtitle:
Hired Guns in the War on Terror
Author:
Pelton, Robert Young
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
Mercenary troops
Subject:
Government & Business
Subject:
Military policy
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - International Secur
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Military - Other
Subject:
Military
Publication Date:
20060829
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.20x6.58x1.20 in. 1.39 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
History and Social Science » Politics » Covert Government and Conspiracy Theory
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror Used Hardcover
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$13.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Crown Publishers - English 9781400097814 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Licensed to Kill is smart, funny, sometimes scary, and always interesting. Pelton truly captures the cast of characters that make up our new 'coalition of the billing' in the War on Terror."
"Review" by , "An incredible look into the murky and virtually impenetrable world of private military contractors...Pelton may well have seen the future."
"Review" by , "A rollicking read that takes the reader inside the murky world of military contractors — from the craggy passes of the Afghan-Pakistan border, to the extreme danger of Baghdad's airport road, to the diamond fields of Africa. Licensed to Kill is not only a great travelogue, it also has some important things to say about the brave new world of privatized violence that will increasingly be a feature of twenty-first-century wars."
"Review" by , "Pelton reveals how the U.S. military-industrial complex has created its own dark version of the nonstate warrior [and] asks if companies like Blackwater and Executive Outcomes could become the new Hessians for both multinational corporations and overstretched armies." Jonathan Taplin, professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication, and producer of Under Fire, The Last Waltz, and Mean Streets
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