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    Contributors | September 15, 2015

    Mary Karr: IMG Memoir Tutorials with Mary Karr, Lena Dunham, and Gary Shteyngart

    Editor's note: It's been 20 years since the groundbreaking memoir The Liars' Club sent Mary Karr into the literary spotlight with its phenomenal... Continue »
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1 Burnside Military- Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
1 Local Warehouse American Studies- Military Industrial Complex and National Security

This title in other editions

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror


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 Baghdads 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 CIAs 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—whove been given a license to kill, their services available to the highest bidder.

From the Hardcover edition.

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Pelton, Robert Young
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Government & Business
Political Freedom & Security - International Secur
Government - U.S. Government
Military policy
Mercenary troops
Military - Other
Iraq War, 2003
War on Terrorism, 2001-
Military-General History
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.1 x 0.8 in 0.6 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » Business Law
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Military » General History
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

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