Some have claimed that war is too important to be left to the generals, but P. W. Singer asks what about the business executives? Breaking out of the guns-for-hire mold of traditional mercenaries, corporations now sell skills and services that until recently only state militaries possessed. Their products range from trained commando teams to strategic advice from generals. This new privatized military industry encompasses hundreds of companies, thousands of employees, and billions of dollars in revenue. Whether as proxies or suppliers, such firms have participated in wars in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and Latin America. More recently, they have become a key element in U.S. military operations. Private corporations working for profit now sway the course of national and international conflict, but the consequences have been little explored.
In Corporate Warriors, Singer provides the first account of the military services industry and its broader implications. Corporate Warriors includes a description of how the business works, as well as portraits of each of the basic types of companies: military providers that offer troops for tactical operations; military consultants that supply expert advice and training; and military support companies that sell logistics, intelligence, and engineering.
This updated edition of Singer's already classic account of the military services industry and its broader implications describes the continuing importance of that industry in the Iraq War. This conflict has amply borne out Singer's argument that the privatization of warfare allows startling new capabilities and efficiencies in the ways that war is carried out. At the same time, however, Singer finds that the introduction of the profit motive onto the battlefield raises troubling questions-for democracy, for ethics, for management, for human rights, and for national security.
©2003, Postscript 2008 Cornell University Press (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks
"Provides a thoughtful, engaging critique of the U.S. government's growing dependence on private companies to wage war.” (Business Week)
"Provides a sweeping survey of the work of MPRI, Airscan, Dyncorp, Brown and Root, and scores of other firms that can variously put troops in the field, build and run military bases, train guerrilla forces, conduct air surveillance, mount coups, stave off coups, and put back together the countries that wars have just destroyed." (The Atlantic Monthly)
"After reading this book, it is impossible to see the landscape of insurgencies, civil wars, and inter-state wars the same way again. Peter Singer's book is a rare find: a study of the breakdown of the state monopoly on war that challenges basic assumptions in international relations theory; an exploration of the many different ways in which privatized military firms pose both problems and opportunities for policymakers; and a fascinating read for anyone interested in the changing nature of both international security and international politics." (Anne-Marie Slaughter)
Data analyst, history student, baseball player
This book contains a history of private military corporations, not a history of the individuals in them. It is a very well written book that reads like an essay, and it has been very influential and can be interesting to a certain portion of the population.
The beginning chapters brings the reader up to speed with a fast and loose history of the hired fighter, and gives excellent context to the subject in the modern day. The narration was outstanding, and the source material was adequate. However, the claims to impartiality leave a lot to be desired in the ending chapters, take this book with a hefty grain of salt. I would still recommend this to interested readers.
A fascinating book which examines the history of mercenaries in history and the proliferation of privates military companies dusting the 90s. Singer also investigates other agencies involved in the business of war, from logistics agencies to private intelligence and strategy companies. Singer examines successes and failures of corporate warriors, the lack of oversight, and the ambiguous moral status of the profession. One of the most interesting reads of recent memory, highly recommend to anyone interested in politics and conflicts. The post Iraq post script is also excellent.
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