A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq

A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq

by Gerry Schumacher

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610600682
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 04/27/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Gerry Schumacher retired as a colonel in 1997, after 32 years of service with the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves—including 20 years in Special Forces. A lecturer at preeminent “think tanks” and a frequent guest on network television and national radio, he lives in Marin County, California.

Read an Excerpt

"A Bloody Business is not a dry position paper. Schumacher illustrates his

points through real people, such as a truck driver who was turned down by

the military because of his age. He decides the best way to serve his

country is to practice his trade in Iraq, and we drive the gauntlet with

him. We also see the pride of a female cop who finds her niche in life by

training police forces in places from Bosnia to Iraq in how to protect

their populations, rather than oppress them. And we accompany a team from

an unnamed security contractor as it tries to recover some kidnapped truck

drivers by either bribery or force."


—David Forsmark


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2006

“Retired army colonel Schumacher polishes the public image of private wartime contractors in this informative, if relentlessly glowing, account of these ‘unrecognized and unappreciated patriots’ in Iraq and Kuwait. Schumacher gained access to employees from contracting firms MPRI and Crescent Security, and his perspective is one of deep affection and respect – for people who put themselves in harm's way to provide security for diplomats, to move convoys of precious materials and to rebuild the broken infrastructure of war-torn countries. The author's voice is unpretentious but swaggering, tough but sentimental; he's as critical of the Bush administration for its ill-conceived strategies as of the media for what he considers prejudice. There's not much in the way of subtle policy debate or comprehensive analysis (‘Department of Defense outsourcing to civilian contractors is an efficient, short-term solution’), but Schumacher writes with a keen sense of justice and empathy as he recounts the harrowing tales of these contractors-for-hire.”

Military Book Club, April 2006

“It’s impossible to fully comprehend the future of warfare without a complete understanding of the role war-zone contractors will play. Iraq, the testing ground for the privatization of our military, is teeming with contractors today, whose efforts will determine the future of military privatization. A Bloody Business is, in our estimation, the most informative book on the subject today. Inside, you’ll read story after story of insurgent ambushes and exploding IEDs in a land where life as a truck driver can be as dangerous as that of a soldier.”

U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, August 2006

“A Bloody Business provides insight to the selection and training regimes for contractors in Iraq. It then goes on to relate many personal accounts of their work and combat action in that war-torn country. Colonel Schumacher underscores the dangers of ‘uncontrolled contracting.’ At the same time, he closes with the common-sense view that, while U.S. soldiers will be respected for their service in Iraq, ‘American civilian contractors deserve nothing less.’”

California Bookwatch, July 2006 “A Bloody Business tells of a new kind of American army overseas: one which is a private mercenary-run establishments which takes over as the U.S. military shrinks. The lives of such men and women who work in Iraq are controlled by few laws or regulations: they must rely on instinct and their own codes of conduct. Civilian contractors in Iraq number some fifteen thousand: their experiences and daily lives, recounted here, are riveting testimonies to their duties and hardships.”

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