The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security

Ann Hagedorn, Author
Ann Hagedorn. Simon & Schuster, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4165-9880-0
Reviewed on: 06/23/2014
Release date: 09/02/2014
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Journalist Hagedorn (Savage Peace) addresses the emergence of a new breed of soldier: the private military and security contractor. Unlike the historical mercenary, PMSCs offer a “vast range of services, armed and unarmed, from logistics support and intelligence analysis to diplomatic security, air transport, and police training.” PMSCs work almost exclusively for governments. They emerged in the Cold War’s aftermath, due to the preponderance of unemployed soldiers and inexpensive hardware, and burgeoning low-intensity warfare around the world. PMSCs supplemented an increasingly overstretched U.S. military in the Iraq War, acquiring a dubious reputation for creating “privatized mayhem.” Hagedorn’s work focuses on the rise of PMSCs and subsequent military efforts to effectively deploy them in open conflict. She lucidly describes the long-range challenges to democracy caused by the privatization of security. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Sept.)
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