Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Synopsis

This work offers an examination of the role that private security and military contractors have played in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Excerpt

Why did I write this book? My rationale is simple. I wrote it to fill a void. It is a sad fact that much of the debate over private military and security contractors is, to borrow from Macbeth, a tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing. the tale is made worse by the fact that much of those doing the telling have highly partisan axes to grind.

In general there has been far too much sensationalistic, sometimes misleading coverage of how and why tasks formerly done in-house by the U.S. military have been outsourced, especially in regard to Iraq. Now that PMCs are becoming embedded in popular culture via film, popular books, cartoons, and television, the time is long overdue for a factual, dispassionate accounting of both the good and bad of the subject.

A quick note on terminology is in order. in this book I am writing about private security contractors (PSCs). These are firms that employ people who carry weapons to protect their clients and use them when necessary. Such firms are often labeled “private military contractors,” although that more accurately refers to firms doing unarmed logistics work, such as kbr. PSCs are generally considered a subset of PMCs. Academics have spent years arguing over the appropriate terminology. I largely consider it an academic distinction that doesn’t have much relevance to real-world discussion of the subject. For the sake of convenience—because the acronym is already firmly embedded in popular culture and discourse—I generally use pmc, although I am writing specifically about PSCs, an acronym I use as well.

I wrote this book because I have been following the industry since the early 1990s, long before most contemporary writers even realized there was a pmc

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