Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War gets privatised
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...
Published on 8 July 2008 by William J. Hodgkinson

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Transparently scrappy
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...
Published on 8 May 2011 by Jimbo Jones


Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 16 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Transparently scrappy, 8 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Privatisation of War., 24 Dec. 2009
This review is from: War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary (Paperback)
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 only....to 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, poorly researched, 17 Aug. 2009
By 
Mr. Peter Roberts (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary (Paperback)
I have personal knowledge of the security industry, and every time Armstrong writes about events I know, he gets it badly wrong. Its breathless, tabloid style is difficult to follow, the `facts' are unreliable, and the author lists no sources

For example, casualties suffered by contractors are not "so vague to be almost opaque" as he alleges on page 144; they are published by date, name and employer. He says that "by June 2007 just over 1,000 contractors had been killed", whereas the published figure is 414.

The author states that the security industry in Iraq was only regulated in 2007 after the Nissour Square incident. In fact, in 2004 the Iraq government imposed registration on security companies and weapons carrying licensing on armed individuals. And the US government has exercised criminal authority over civilian contractors since 2000, before the Iraq War, with the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act which applies to all civilian contractors; this did not only come in after 2007.

The author's line is to portray security companies as unregulated cowboys. He invariably takes the anti-company point of view in all cases, and fails to use the fuller and often more balanced stories published in the media, even when from the author's own paper, the Observer.

Being so full of errors, there are plenty of absolute howlers: for example, "in 2003 Sean Cleary became Jonas Savimbi's political adviser", but this was the year after Mr Savimbi's death (22 November 2002).

Most of the errors (I gave up listing them there were so many), are very simple to check: Wikipedia and newspaper reports would have helped him get most of the facts right.

If you want an accurate, balanced analysis of the private security industry and the way it has operated in Iraq - this isn't it. It's even unreadable as fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reader, at times quite shallow, 4 Jun. 2009
By 
H. Bremerskov - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary (Paperback)
Not quite the in-depth analysis I had hoped for. Does contain a good ammount of background information in the industry and a series of tales from the corporate war front line.

A good primer to the new "corporate war" deal where our governments use anonymous mercenaries to secure / fight dirty deals.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight, 11 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well written and researched book on the topic. Would be interesting to have had more insight into the historical precedence mentioned.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating insight, 15 Aug. 2008
By 
S. Waldman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book has changed the way I see warfare. It is a strikingly well researched investigation into modern warfare. I would whole heartedly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary
War plc: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary by Stephen Armstrong (Paperback - 5 Mar. 2009)
£9.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews