Read Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by P.W. Singer Free Online
Book Title: Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry|
The author of the book: P.W. Singer
ISBN 13: 9780801489150
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 39.46 MB
City - Country: No data
Edition: Cornell University Press
Date of issue: June 10th 2004
Loaded: 1683 times
Reader ratings: 3.5
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This book turned out to be much deeper and expansive than I expected. From the beginning I attempted to maintain neutral expectations towards this subject after only being exposed to negative coverage of companies such as Blackwater (now known as Academi) in the press.
I was surprised to learn that there has been a very long history of private military forces that had been used for centuries in Europe. It turns out that the use of PMFs (private military forces) is hardly a new issue and the morality of which has been debated and tested for a long time, well before Iraq war and Dick Cheney was born.
Additionally, for a very long time in human history private forces and mercenaries were actually more common than purely-state backed armies. As they were more efficient and effective than anything the disorganized governments at the time could put together.
PMFs even played a critical role in early American wars in the 1800s, notably when 1/4 of the British army were German mercenaries who ended up defecting to America because they liked it so much once they arrived off the boat.
This book gets really interesting when it fasts-forwards to modern times when it explains how PMFs played a key role in Yugoslavia/Croatia conflicts and many African conflicts during the 1980s-2000s. Whole chapters are dedicated to the stories of companies such as Executive Outcomes (famous in the Clinton era), MPRI, and even the much-attacked Halliburton.
Whenever PMFs were brought into wars they almost always played a critical role in the outcome of the war - often doing more than the government armies they worked with. But the public was almost never informed about the use of PMFs as they kept a low profile, so it's not surprising they became shocked when a company like Blackwater became so prominent. Blackwater was hardly the first PMF but the public had never really considered the implications, nor were they particularly well informed the stories started coming out.
Which is why I find this book so interesting, as it provides that historical perspective missing from the media.
This book was written before Iraq/Blackwater controversies but a short afterword was added in the updated version of the book. This made me want to learn more about newer PMFs so I went out and bought Erik Prince's book about the founding of Blackwater and "Civilian Warriors".
I was also left very curious about what implications PMFs will have on cyber warfare in the future. Because the context of using PMFs has always been that the countries that employ them did not possess sufficient capability in modern warfare. Free markets options offered far superior capabilities at better prices. This is arguably the case for many countries who lack strong information security skills at the moment. So I wonder if we'll start seeing cyber versions of DynCorp/MPRI/Academi.
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