War Dogs

How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History
Narrated by: Jason Culp
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (857 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The pause-resister inside account of how two kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders - and how the US government turned on them.

In January 2007 two young stoners from Miami Beach - one a ninth-grade dropout, the other a licensed masseur - won a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Incredibly, instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz - the dudes - bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners. The pair then secretly repackaged millions of rounds of shoddy Chinese ammunition and shipped it to Kabul - until they were caught by Pentagon investigators and the scandal turned up on the front page of The New York Times.

That's the "official" story. The truth is far more explosive. For the first time, journalist Guy Lawson tells the thrilling true tale. It's a trip that goes from a dive apartment in Miami Beach to mountain caves in Albania, the corridors of power in Washington, and the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawson's account includes a shady Swiss gunrunner, Russian arms dealers, corrupt Albanian gangsters, and a Pentagon investigation that impeded America's war efforts in Afghanistan. Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing, showing how the American military came to use private contractors like Diveroli and Packouz as middlemen to secure weapons from illegal arms dealers - the same men who sell guns to dictators, warlords, and drug traffickers.

©2015 Guy Lawson (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about War Dogs

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  • Overall
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Engrossing and accurate reporting

It's basically a gigantic news report with a great story in it. The trials and tribulations these guys endured to deal with the ridiculous bureaucracy of procurement contracts is staggering.

Everyone, from the top to the bottom, was misinformed about the actual law. Without proper legal analysis, the armchair lawyers throughout the government decided that what was actually legal was instead illegal. This jeopardize the mission, wasted money, and endangered the lives of tens of people in the procurement process and thousands of lives in the war zone.

5 people found this helpful

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I loved this book! great story.

this book takes you to the front lines of gun trafficking. I would recommend this to anyone who loves cutthroat business stories

4 people found this helpful

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Wild ride!!

Good read - great adventure! Better than the movie! So crazy you'll question hoe much of it fiction or nonfiction.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent & Interesting Account of Entrepreneurship into the Arms Dealing Realm

Great Read / Listen.
Can't wait to compare the book to the movie.
The reality to how the US government has contradictory departments and unless you have money or influence your just small fry or the escape goat.

3 people found this helpful

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wow... what an unbelievable story.

I saw the preview for War Dogs and wanted to know the story before the movie came out. The movie sounds pretty unbelievable, but this book takes the story over the top. It's hard to believe that things like this happen in the modern era... and hard to believe that government corruption can be so strong.

3 people found this helpful

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What is with those accents?

Great story but I had a hard time listening to this. It seemed like when the narrator spoke as the Miami characters he had this strange almost Eastern European like accent. It was really strange and was a big distraction.

10 people found this helpful

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Terrible accents

20-year-old American dudes made to sound like 60-year-old rabbi. Good story, narrator didn't need to try so hard.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting True story

The story line was entertaining and l can see why it was made into movie. The narration was absolutely awful! He sounded like the geeky Dad that tries to talk cool to impress and be accepted by his teenage kids.

4 people found this helpful

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Cool story but it really is about procurement

Cool story but it really is about an f'ed up procurement process - a little slow at times.

2 people found this helpful

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Not a novel. Simple reporting.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who are really into recent military history. Knowing how many kinds of weapons were sent to the forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan: this is depressing information, and the fact that three teenagers were able to convince the government to award them a $300 million contract to supply these weapons: the situation proves the people's guess that nobody with any brains is at home in Washington, DC. No matter what side of the aisle you prefer, there is plenty of idiocy to go around. Thing is, it's not funny. Not at all. If a simple expose was intended, it is fully communicated in the five-minute author's foreword. There is no drama. No humor. I did not like it.

What was most disappointing about Guy Lawson’s story?

As I said above, it's not a novel. For some reason I thought that this book was going to be one of those that smoothly interweaves historical fact and fiction, so you end up wanting to know: how much of this was real? There is no suspense about that: once again, the five-minute foreword, plus the Audible blurb, reveal the fact that this is just a form of war reporting. If I wanted that, I could watch CNN.

What didn’t you like about Jason Culp’s performance?

I am guessing that he has not had the acting training that the finest narrators almost always have. His reading is factual, as is appropriate to the material, without humor, and boring as hell. There is no drama, and no exciting interplay among the characters. I do not think that I will listen to Mr. Culp again.

What character would you cut from War Dogs?

I know that I can be counted on to say, "All of them." So, my faithful readers, I would cut all of them. Don't waste your time and money. Life is too short to read bad books, just as life is too short to drink cheap wine.

10 people found this helpful