Academic journal article Military Review

The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security

Academic journal article Military Review

The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security

Article excerpt

THE INVISIBLE SOLDIERS: How America Outsourced Our Security

Ann Hagedorn, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2014, 320 pages

Ann Hagedorn's The Invisible Soldiers is a remarkable investigation into the ascent of private military security companies (PMSCs). She contends that global conflicts have given rise to corporate warriors operating in the shadows without public scrutiny, and PMSCs are taking over U.S. security responsibilities. Her argument is presented with passion and thoroughness.

Hagedorn, an author and staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, begins in London's ultra-secretive Special Forces Club. We're introduced to industry pioneers who have shaped global PMSCs--who developed the model for private security--and who held the interest of the United States.

In the book, the advent of the U.S. Army's Logistics Augmentation Program (LOGPAC) during the Reagan administration pushed the United States into the private security realm; LOGPAC was developed to bypass the Abrams Doctrine, which was conceived to prevent such a disconnect between the public and the military. Its inception opened the doors for corporations to receive government contracts, effectively ushering in the PMSC era.

The book also claims that LOGPAC's Balkans' success, under the Clinton administration, invigorated the privatization of other services. PMSCs were financially and politically lucrative, and there was no longer a need to send reservists to conflicts; one could contract a private military contractor and fight for an eternity. We learn that Congress, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State were all complicit in the rise of PMSCs.

According to Hagedorn, the unveiling of PMSCs occurred in Iraq. …

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