Synopses & Reviews
Some have claimed that "War is too important to be left to the generals," but P. W. Singer asks "What about the business executives?" Breaking out of the guns-for-hire mold of traditional mercenaries, corporations now sell skills and services that until recently only state militaries possessed. Their products range from trained commando teams to strategic advice from generals.
This new "Privatized Military Industry" encompasses hundreds of companies, thousands of employees, and billions of dollars in revenue. Whether as proxies or suppliers, such firms have participated in wars in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and Latin America. More recently, they have become a key element in U.S. military operations. Private corporations working for profit now sway the course of national and international conflict, but the consequences have been little explored.
In this book, Singer provides the first account of the military services industry and its broader implications. Corporate Warriors includes a description of how the business works, as well as portraits of each of the basic types of companies: military providers that offer troops for tactical operations; military consultants that supply expert advice and training; and military support companies that sell logistics, intelligence, and engineering.
The privatization of warfare allows startling new capabilities and efficiencies in the ways that war is carried out. At the same time, however, Singer finds that the entrance of the profit motive onto the battlefield raises a series of troubling questions for democracy, for ethics, for management, for human rights, and for national security.
"Singer raises disturbing new issues in this comprehensive analysis of a post-Cold War phenomenon: private companies offering specialized military services for hire....So far, private military organizations have behaved cautiously, but there is no guarantee will continue." Publishers Weekly
"After reading this book, it is impossible to see the landscape of insurgencies, civil wars, and inter-state wars the same way again. Peter Singer's book is a rare find: a study of the breakdown of the state monopoly on war that challenges basic assumptions in international relations theory; an exploration of the many different ways in which privatized military firms pose both problems and opportunities for policymakers; and a fascinating read for anyone interested in the changing nature of both international security and international politics." Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
"A must read for anyone interested in the art of war, Corporate Warriors is a fascinating analysis of a new, often secretive, global industry. Marked by impressive research, this path-breaking study describes a pattern of increasing reliance on private military firms by individuals, corporations, humanitarian groups, governments, and international organizations. This is a masterful book that will appeal to students, scholars, policymakers, and lay readers alike." Stephanie G. Neuman, Director of the Comparative Defense Studies Program, Columbia University
"This is a new area for policymakers to debate and scholars to explore." Library Journal
"[I]lluminating....The creeping military-industrial complex about which President Dwight Eisenhower warned us five decades ago has reached critical mass." Christian Science Monitor
Includes bibliographical references (p. 303-326) and index.
About the Author
P. W. Singer is an Olin Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and Coordinator of the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy towards the Islamic World.