Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict

Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict

by Rolf Uesseler
     
 

Private military firms are making a killing. They operate on all continents throughout the world—commissioned by governments, intelligence agencies, private industries, warlords, drug cartels, and rebel groups to support their military and safety interests. Here in the U.S., as the massively expensive war in Iraq shows no signs of ending, our forces grow more

Overview

Private military firms are making a killing. They operate on all continents throughout the world—commissioned by governments, intelligence agencies, private industries, warlords, drug cartels, and rebel groups to support their military and safety interests. Here in the U.S., as the massively expensive war in Iraq shows no signs of ending, our forces grow more and more dependent on the assistance of military contractors. Beyond Iraq, engagements of mercenary firms in foreign countries are multiplying, whether to protect oil investments in the Nigerian delta or for humanitarian reasons in Darfur. In this far-reaching exposé, Rolf Uesseler reveals how these mercenary firms profit from conflict: As they operate in a legal twilight zone, the private nature of their work frequently makes them legally impermeable and financially profitable. Uesseler details the many ways in which employment of for-profit fighters compromises justice, jeopardizes international peace and stability, and manages to escape public scrutiny, explaining exactly what happens when military operations are shielded from democratic processes, and when the concern for justice and security is overshadowed by the desire for financial gain.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even in tragic times, someone always profits; in this exposé from author, scientist and anti-organized crime activist Uesseler, he looks at the private military firms that benefit quite directly from war-the messier, the better. The author ably details the ways these companies seek out business, such as the way Lockheed Martin subsidiary MPRI benefits from its parent company's close ties with the Pentagon: "Although the industry enjoyed near-total employment thanks to the 'war on terror'... companies themselves began looking for new threats to U.S. interests." With help from lobbyists and a number of interests lining up for their share-arms manufacturers, technology developers-private militias and their partners have manufactured Pentagon dependence on their equipment and expertise: "The arms industry had pushed these developments to the point where no weapons other than light arms could be used without the industry's proprietary electronic systems and IT networks." Uesseler effectively shows how these companies have solidified their grip on profits, using war as their business model. Unfortunately, Uesseler's style is textbook-dry, but his reporting is compelling and sure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593762025
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
12/16/2008
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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