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Zero Footprint: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor's Covert Assignments in Syria, Libya, And the World's Most Dangerous Places
     

Zero Footprint: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor's Covert Assignments in Syria, Libya, And the World's Most Dangerous Places

by Simon Chase
 

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An insider account of the shadowy world of private military contracting.

Simon Chase's life is a maze of burner phones, encrypted emails, secret meetings, and weaponry—all devoted to executing missions too sensitive for government acknowledgment. Working for the CIA's Special Activities Division, the U.S. DoD, the U.S. State Department, and

Overview

An insider account of the shadowy world of private military contracting.

Simon Chase's life is a maze of burner phones, encrypted emails, secret meetings, and weaponry—all devoted to executing missions too sensitive for government acknowledgment. Working for the CIA's Special Activities Division, the U.S. DoD, the U.S. State Department, and British government entities, Chase has been on the trail of Bin Laden in Afghanistan, protected U.S. Generals in Iraq, and been part of an operation directly related to the U.S. Consulate overrun in Benghazi. ZERO FOOTPRINT leads us through this dangerous and thrilling world and tells the true story of a private military contractor whose work forms the foundation for American security abroad—especially when U.S. and UK militaries, intelligence agencies, and departments of state need something done that they can't—or won't—do themselves.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2015-11-19
A well-developed look inside the life and work of an accomplished private military contractor. Formerly with the British Royal Marines and British special forces, Chase (a pen name, aided in this absorbing narrative by co-author Pezzullo) found an enticing and lucrative segue as a private military operator in such dangerous hot spots as Afghanistan and Iraq from 1999 until recently. Hired to do "the dirty and dangerous jobs the military and intelligence services can't or don't want to do," Chase initially found his special services attractive to companies like Scimitar Security, which needed to provide security to the prime minister of Qatar. After 9/11, however, the jobs became increasingly perilous and high level, involving the U.S. government's need to arm and support the Afghan Northern Alliance against the Taliban and even track Osama bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora in 2004—a disastrous mission that accomplished very little and cost the lives of three members of Chase's team. In Iraq, Chase was part of the U.S. government's efforts to rebuild the country. Special-forces units needed to do "recon and hearts-and-minds work" in remote areas where sympathy for foreigners was never ensured. Since the U.S. government could not be caught openly aiding the rebels against the Syrian regime, it hired contractors like Chase to help arm the Free Syrian Army ("zero footprint") and even, according to his spectacular revelations, ascertain firsthand whether President Bashar al-Assad was using chemical weapons on the rebels. Another amazing depiction involves the attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, where Chase found himself fortuitously, having been hired to do gunrunning and doing business with some of the same jihadis he had previously been fighting. Throughout, the author candidly shares the emotional toll that the constant danger took on his life and the lives of his colleagues. Detailed, acronym-mad, well-wrought, and exciting.
From the Publisher
"Zero Footprint reveals an intimate and visceral look at the life of a Private Military Contractor (PMCs) and the perilous missions that the author and others were so often assigned. This gripping story superbly chronicles the life of Simon Chase, former Royal Marine Commando and Special Boat Squadron operator. Chase's incredible story will leave its readers with a true appreciation and respect for the training and missions these so called "shadowy figures," the "unsung invisible force" simply known as PMCs, were so often assigned."—Don D. Mann, SEAL Team SIX (ret.), and author of Inside SEAL Team SIX

"Zero Footprint is a gut-wrenching look into a necessary evil in the war on terror. It may offend your sensibilities, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. I sit in no judgment of these highly skilled warriors as I have seen the beast that they are up against."—Howard Wasdin, author of Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper

"From the mountains of Tora Bora to the mean streets of Baghdad and Benghazi, Simon Chase has fought in the shadow places of this earth and lived to tell the tale. Zero Footprint is his harrowing story, intense, frightening, and eventually heart-breaking. One of the best counter-terror memoirs I've ever read."—Chuck Pfarrer, SEAL Team Six Assault Element Commander, and author of Philip Nolan: The Man Without a Country

"Absorbing . . . Well-wrought and exciting . . . A well-developed look inside the life and work of an accomplished private military contractor."—Kirkus Reviews

"The life of a private security contractor is a life like no other. The careers of the operators described in the powerful and fascinating Zero Footprint can only happen after they have graduated from a successful career inside a Special Forces of the top militaries in the world. They fill a special space that requires their unique skills. If arrested in one of their missions, there is no Geneva Convention, there are no diplomatic immunity protections, and their employer will most likely deny they know them. Simon Chase and Ralph Pezzullo have written an exciting account of a career reserved only for a few of the finest in the world. It's an excellent book!"—Joel Vargas, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement Operations & Head of Intelligence, International Association of Airport & Seaport Police (InterPort Police)

"As a twenty-four year veteran of the Green Berets and twelve years as a private military contractor, I can tell you that Zero Footprint is an accurate, exciting, no-holds-barred account of the often grey and very dangerous world of private military contracting. Simon Chase has fought on the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, and lived to talk about it. His account of the secret mission he ran in Benghazi is chilling and sure to create headlines. I recommend this important book by Simon Chase and Ralph Pezzullo to anyone interested in how war is actually waged in today's world."—Retired US Special Forces Master Sergeant Changiz Lahidji

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316342247
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/12/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
154,234
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Simon Chase is the pen name of a former member of the elite Royal Marine Commandos. He was recruited into the British Special Forces, serving in the Special Boat Squadron (SBS). While there he carried out top secret missions around the world working alongside the CIA and DEA. More recently, he has worked with a close-knit team of U.S. Special Forces operatives to provide high-level protection and intervention services for individuals, corporations and governments all over the globe.

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