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Big Boy Rules

Author: Steve Fainaru
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0786726601
Size: 54.84 MB
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There are tens of thousands of them in Iraq. They work for companies with exotic and ominous-sounding names, like Crescent Security Group, Triple Canopy, and Blackwater Worldwide. They travel in convoys of multicolored pickups fortified with makeshift armor, belt-fed machine guns, frag grenades, and even shoulder-fired missiles. They protect everything from the U.S. ambassador and American generals to shipments of Frappuccino bound for Baghdad’s Green Zone. They kill Iraqis, and Iraqis kill them. And the only law they recognize is Big Boy Rules. From a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter comes a harrowing journey into Iraq’s parallel war. Part MadMax, part Fight Club, it is a world filled with “private security contractors”—the U.S. government’s sanitized name for tens of thousands of modern mercenaries, or mercs, who roam Iraq with impunity, doing jobs that the overstretched and understaffed military can’t or won’t do. They are men like Jon Coté, a sensitive former U.S. army paratrooper and University of Florida fraternity brother who realizes too late that he made a terrible mistake coming back to Iraq. And Paul Reuben, a friendly security company medic who has no formal medical training and lacks basic supplies, like tourniquets. They are part of America’s “other” army—some patriotic, some desperate, some just out for cash or adventure. And some who disappear into the void that is Iraq and are never seen again. Washington Post reporter Steve Fainaru traveled with a group of private security contractors to find out what motivates them to put their lives in danger every day. He joined Jon Coté and the men of Crescent Security Group as they made their way through Iraq—armed to the teeth, dodging not only bombs and insurgents but also their own Iraqi colleagues. Just days after Fainaru left to go home, five men of Crescent Security Group were kidnapped in broad daylight on Iraq’s main highway. How the government and the company responded reveals the dark truths behind the largest private force in the history of American warfare. . . . With 16 pages of photographs

Private Security Companies During The Iraq War

Author: Scott Fitzsimmons
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317541715
Size: 28.53 MB
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This book explores the use of deadly force by private security companies during the Iraq War. The work focuses on and compares the activities of the US companies Blackwater and Dyncorp. Despite sharing several important characteristics, such as working for the same client (the US State Department) during the same time period, the employees of Blackwater fired their weapons far more often, and killed and seriously injured far more people in Iraq than their counterparts in DynCorp. In order to explain this disparity, the book undertakes the most comprehensive analysis ever attempted on the use of violence by the employees of these firms. Based on extensive empirical research, it offers a credible explanation for this difference: Blackwater maintained a relatively bellicose military culture that placed strong emphasis on norms encouraging its personnel to exercise personal initiative, proactive use of force, and an exclusive approach to security, which, together, motivated its personnel to use violence quite freely against anyone they suspected of posing a threat. Specifically, Blackwater’s military culture motivated its personnel to fire upon suspected threats more quickly, at greater distances, and with a greater quantity of bullets, and to more readily abandon the people they shot at when compared to DynCorp’s personnel, who maintained a military culture that encouraged far less violent behaviour. Utilizing the Private Security Company Violent Incident Dataset (PSCVID), created by the author in 2012, the book draws upon data on hundreds of violent incidents involving private security personnel in Iraq to identify trends in the behaviour exhibited by the employees of different firms. Based on this rich and original empirical data, the book provides the definitive study of contemporary private security personnel in the Iraq War. This book will be of much interest to students of the Iraq War, Private Security Companies, Military Studies, War and Conflict Studies and IR in general.

New Battlefields Old Laws

Author: William C. Banks
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231526563
Size: 78.76 MB
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An internationally-recognized authority on constitutional law, national security law, and counterterrorism, William C. Banks believes changing patterns of global conflict are forcing a reexamination of the traditional laws of war. The Hague Rules, the customary laws of war, and the post-1949 law of armed conflict no longer account for nonstate groups that wage prolonged campaigns of terrorism—or even more conventional attacks. Yet not everyone concurs. Some scholars believe current laws are broad enough to accommodate these new realities. Recognizing that many of today's conflicts are low-intensity, asymmetrical wars fought between disparate military forces, Banks's collection debates nonstate armed groups and irregular forces (such as terrorist and insurgent groups, paramilitaries, child soldiers, civilians participating in hostilities, and private military firms) and their challenge to international humanitarian law. Banks and others believe gaps in the laws of war leave modern battlefields largely unregulated, and governing parties suffer without guidelines for responding to terrorism, transnational armed forces, and asymmetrical tactics, such as the targeting of civilians. These gaps also embolden weaker, nonstate combatants to exploit forbidden strategies and violate the laws of war. Attuned to the contested nature of post-9/11 security and policy, this collection juxtaposes diverse perspectives on existing laws and their application in contemporary conflict. They set forth a legal definition of new wars, describe the status of new actors, chart the evolution of the twenty-first-century battlefield, and balance humanitarian priorities with military necessity. Though they contest each other, these contributors ultimately reestablish the legitimacy of a long-standing legal corpus and rehumanize an environment in which the most vulnerable targets, civilian populations, are themselves becoming weapons against conventional power.

The Gamble

Author: Thomas E. Ricks
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141910410
Size: 36.41 MB
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Based on unprecedented real-time access to the military's entire chain of command, The Gamble is the definitive account of the insurgency within the US military that led to a radical shift in America's strategy in Iraq - and the bloody implementation of that strategy on the ground. In his international bestseller Fiasco, Thomas E. Ricks gave us the definitive reckoning with what went so wrong in Iraq. The story The Gamble tells is how, when the war was at its darkest hour, a group of dissident junior commanders and their civilian allies did an end run around their superiors in the military establishment and seized control of the war. The result was "the Surge," one of the American military's boldest strategic gambles since the landings at Inchon. General David Petraeus gave military expert Thomas E. Ricks extraordinary privileged access to himself and his team during the past two years, and the result is a chronicle of astonishing vividness and analytical depth. It is the story of military leadership in the crucible of war, under excruciating political pressure at home. It is also the story of the soldiers who executed the strategy out in the field. Ricks concludes that the war likely will last for many years to come - and that it will not be remembered for the reasons we think.