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War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary

War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Armstrong
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

Step into the world of the private security contractor – a stock-market-listed corporate version of the mercenary.

Product Description

They're ex-special forces, CIA spooks or Foreign Legionnaires.

They're fighting insurgents in Baghdad and patrolling government buildings in Afghanistan.

And now they're spying on environmental protestors and policing the 2012 Olympics.

They are above the law and independent from government.

They are the privatised armies of mercenaries.

Meet the private security contractors - a stock-market-listed corporate version of the mercenary. These private soldiers operate their million-dollar contracts from executive boardrooms in London, Washington, Paris and Oslo. With democracies unwilling to see their children die for strategic reasons in foreign lands, these corporate soldiers are part of the last great outsourcing - the privatisation of war.

'With an estimated 48,000 private security contractors at work in Iraq alone, corporate warfare is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Journalist Armstrong's excellent book looks into how these companies operate.' GQ

'Frightening . . . He has collected some chilling anecdotes about the corners cut by companies who are only interested in profit.' Metro

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non Fiction (5 Mar 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI91NU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #476,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War gets privatised 8 July 2008
Since pretty much everything else has been privatised in the West, it was only a matter of time before war itself got sold to the highest bidder. In this clearly written, meticulously researched investigation on the modern day equivalent of the mercenary the private security contractor, Stephen Armstrong goes deep into the world of former SAS men, foreign legionnaires and underpaid foot soldiers who discover the benefits of being paid $10,000 a month to spy on pesky environmenalists, fight off pirates and, most of all, protect oil fields from Iraqi insurgents. This is frequently shocking material - Donald Rumsfeld suggesting replacing the Ministry Of Defence with the Private Sector 24 hours before 9/11, for example -- and essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the reality of war and "security" in a free market economy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Privatisation of War. 24 Dec 2009
As someone who has worked on THE CIRCUIT for over 15 years having had 23yrs in the British military, I have to commend Stephen Armstrong for getting it on the button with his book "War PLC".

The military cannot be replaced by commercial companies that are in places like Iraq and Afghanistan for one reason make a profit. From a British perspective, some companies are carrying out military style tasks, and even providing security for the FCO, whilst totally unregulated, utterly disgraceful. There are heads of government departments, military chiefs and heads of commercial security companies who have to be held to account for the lack of duty of care shown to the lads and lassies working on the ground and have since been killed, wounded and/or captured.

I would like to see the industry externally regulated asap by an appointed MP with no financial ties to the industry, and for that industry to carry out commercial to commercial tasks only.

Right now, there are more commercial security in Afghanistan than soldiers. Just like Iraq, this is one reason that has lead to loosing the conflict. It takes full time professional military to win over an insurgency, not profit driven commercial security. The privatisation of war is a very bad idea, and has to be stopped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Transparently scrappy 8 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I expected far more from this book judging by what I'd heard, but although I enjoyed it as a read I found it more than a bit flawed. I've no personal experience of the subject, but it did seem a very surface level overview of the general history of modern international security firms (mercenarys), their incestuous links with the military block & place in modern warfare. Many of the 'facts' didn't seem to add up & infact a cursery look online backed up my niggling doubts!

To be honest I get the impression the author was incrediby lax when it came to research & probably didn't look any deeper than I did online (if as much?). I was also a bit disappointed by it's length. It looks quite thick until you open it & see it's set in 12/12 pt, (another wee pain with the printing was its 'gutter' at the binding which left the text too close to the middle to scan without pretty much breaking the spine.

That said, as a narrative it trundled along nicely as long as you didn't blindly believe the specifics, but not the reasonably indepth piece I was really after.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight 11 Dec 2013
By Tenma13
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and researched book on the topic. Would be interesting to have had more insight into the historical precedence mentioned.
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