Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is Jeremy Schahill’s probe in Blackwater and organisation that is it seems an army for hire. I’m sure that those that support this kind of endeavour will think this is a biased account of their activities. Apparently, Blackwater declined to put their side of the story. The author has relied of official documents and former employees some of whom are disgruntled.
That aside the book has an impressive list of references for each chapter so I can only assume that Scahill has done his research
The impression that I am left with is that the US government’s Republicans and Democrats alike are hell bent on privatising the military. The scale of money that is involved is breathtaking as is the apparent lack of transparency in awarding contracts.
The most disturbing thing I came across was Order 17 which was issued in Iraq. This effectively puts the private military contractors outside the reach of military and civilian law. Where regular military personnel are subject to law these contractors are not. Numerous incidents are described where the contractors seem to have overstepped their boundaries and innocent civilians are the casualties. It is possible that this order has been rescinded or overruled by the Iraqi government. It beggars belief that this could happen.
I have to say that I found the subject matter of this volume both disheartening and depressing. It seems as though the military industrial complex is alive well