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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most…
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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army: Revised… (original 2007; udgave 2008)

af Jeremy Scahill (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,2962510,906 (3.73)16
I bogen beskrives Blackwater, et amerikansk firma, der blev startet i 1996 og som forsyner USA's militære myndigheder med lejesoldater. Blackwater har egne militære uddannelsesfaciliteter, egne fly, kamphelikoptere og pansrede køretøjer. Firmaet har mere end 20.000 lejesoldater udstationeret rundt om i verden. De anvendes som sikkerhedsvagter og til at løse opgaver, som de officielle myndigheder ikke selv ønsker at løse.… (mere)
Medlem:franklubatti
Titel:Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army: Revised and Updated
Forfattere:Jeremy Scahill (Forfatter)
Info:MJF (2008), Edition: 1St Edition
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army af Jeremy Scahill (2007)

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» Se også 16 omtaler

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A good read, but like in The Assassination Complex, there are repetitive sentences and passages, I'm guessing coming from having a series of longform articles compiled into a book. Still surprising to see the extent of this, the huge amounts of money, the extraordinary legal gray areas that complicit politicians carved out to make PMCs effectively immune from prosecution.

Some basic Wikipedia perusal, Blackwater, rebranded Academi, has merged with several other PMCs under an umbrella holding company. ( )
  nicdevera | Oct 1, 2020 |
A book about "Blackwater" could have been easily turned into yet another "conspiracy theory" storytelling, but instead this book is something else.

Nonetheless, if you are looking for something that will raise your outrage, this book has plenty of material that can test your moral sense.

In this extensively documented book (out of almost 500 pages, 100 are just of footnotes and bibligraphical references), you will find plenty of stories about cronyism, political convergence, and business development strategy, as well as the expected reviews of incidents and recruitment plus deployment practices.

But, personally, I decided to read it for something else.

I was interested in stories about logistics and procurement when private and public armed activities share the same space.

Another book "An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943" (https://www.librarything.com/work/13178/book/81996115), showed how in WWII modern war logistics was in its infancy.

Nowadays, we live in a more complex world.

And, in our complex world, most countries dropped the "draft".

I served just one year in Italy, compulsory service.

In my time, I worked a bit also on logistics and procurement, but civilians were just suppliers, not part of joint operations.

If you remove the draft and create a professional army, this has some impacts, and when you then cut down the costs, plenty of restructuring of activities and processes is needed.

And when you do more with less? Eventually, you might have to outsource, if you cannot wait to expand again your footprint.

In business, I worked extensively within various forms of outsourcing, and therefore I am familiar with the side-effects on an organization getting "addicted" to outsourcing also for what is mission-critical (i.e. "core business").

And, of course, I was interested to read how a training facility turned into a private provider of security details, scaling up to almost brigade level (my group was reporting at a divisional level, a notch up in the complexity level, but we fired weapons only in training exercises, albeit some NCOs told stories of when they had been deployed to a previous UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon).

Redundancy and check-and-balances is what you expect from an army that, as is normal within NATO countries, reports to politicians, who, in turn, are elected.

Once I asked a non-Italian friend who had served as a professional if he ever considered serving as a private contractor, and his answer resonated often through this book: no- more money, less armour.

When a supplier can influence your strategy and operations, you have to add to your own complexities a further layer: continuously ensuring that your suppliers' purposes do not interfere with your own.

This book shares some episodes where this "alignment" was at best questionable, but the lessons could actually be translated into something useful in less-critical (but still business) situations.

A further layer in this book is adding more depth on "sidelines", as explaining the context of some episodes requires backtracking and doing plenty of "flash-back" episodes.

This sometimes makes the prose slightly heavy, but it is worth getting through it, also if once in a while sounds as "Cloud Atlas" (it all converges in the end).

So, beside what you could expect from the title "Blackwater" and subtitle "

Anyway, interesting, and here and there even an amusing reading, albeit sometimes you wonder how some of the episodes could have happened at all. ( )
  aleph123 | Oct 5, 2019 |
Covers the rise of mercenaries, exemplified by Blackwater, who are receiving very large amounts of money to keep the peace in hotspots around the world. Of course, while Blackwater's owner and senior staff are paid handsomely, the same cannot be said of many of the soldiers serving in dangerous areas. While some sections drag, overall "Blackwater" is a quite frightening insight into how war is making some people very rich (and did the founder name his company "Blackwater" specifically because it sounded ominous?) ( )
  MiaCulpa | Feb 11, 2019 |
A comprehensive and a bit shocking overview of Blackwater and the privatization of our military capabilities.the US is using a private army in the Middle East that has been built by Christian evangelicals - radicals... ( )
  addunn3 | Dec 25, 2018 |
From my Cannonball Read V review...

Just to make sure we're all on the same page: Blackwater is a horrible, horrible, horrible company, right? Like, everyone with a conscience is aware of that fact? Everyone who works there is not a horrible person (many are just trying to survive), but we all know that the organization is bloody awful, yes?

Okay, so starting from that premise, why read a book that tells you in detail about how horrible it is? Because it's good. Really good. It is very well researched, with a level of detail in the writing that brings home the realities of just how atrocious an organization this is.

Scahill provides a history of the company, from its roots in the southern U.S., through the Iraq war and into present day, where Blackwater (now ACADEMI) has truly terrifying plans. He discusses the problems of a mercenary army - recruitment, payment, accountability (well, lack thereof), lawlessness. He uses the murder of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah as backdrop against which the book is set, returning to what happened, how it happened, and the impact on the families. That running story points out how expendable these contractors are to the company. Their lives may be on the line, and they may be getting great compensation (unless they are from South American or Africa, which Scahill addresses in the book), but in the end, the company doesn't care about them. Their deaths are a PR issue, but that's about it.

The biggest problem with contractors like Blackwater from the perspective of the county and the world is that they are essentially mercenaries. They are paid to protect the elite, to do things that our military might or might not be able to do, and they aren’t accountable to anyone. They may technically be subcontractors, but they aren’t covered by the same laws as private citizens, and they pretend to be military even though they don’t have the same oversight. They can do whatever they want with minimal consequences; claiming immunity as a quasi-military organization. It’s despicable.

From the perspective of the families of the contractors who are killed due to the careless policies of Blackwater (and, by extension, the U.S. government for contracting with them), these contractors don’t get the same respect and care as the military. Some of them may be doing work that troops would have done in the past, but because they aren’t military, they don’t get the same benefits, or support. Is that wrong? I don’t know. You can argue they know what they signed up for, but Blackwater is so shady that who knows what they were really told, and how much time they all had to really review what they signed.

Beyond the tasks Blackwater performed in Iraq and Afghanistan, they also ingratiated themselves in the Katrina response, taking part in disaster profiteering. They lied about saving lives, and tried to not pay the contractors the prevailing ways.

This company isn’t just bad for the reasons stated above; they are bad because of what they represent: a shift from governmental accountability to private (stockholder / owner) accountability. One thing about war is that the country is supposed to feel the consequences of it. It should keep us from just going to war with anyone we dislike, without cause. But as more of the actions are shifted to mercenary companies like Blackwater, who’s to speak up and say it’s not okay?

If you have any interest in this, and want to have some details to back up your understanding that Blackwater is just appalling, check out the book. ( )
1 stem ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
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I bogen beskrives Blackwater, et amerikansk firma, der blev startet i 1996 og som forsyner USA's militære myndigheder med lejesoldater. Blackwater har egne militære uddannelsesfaciliteter, egne fly, kamphelikoptere og pansrede køretøjer. Firmaet har mere end 20.000 lejesoldater udstationeret rundt om i verden. De anvendes som sikkerhedsvagter og til at løse opgaver, som de officielle myndigheder ikke selv ønsker at løse.

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