Tuesday, July 07, 2009

War PLC - book review in a lift

I enjoyed Steve Armstrong's book about private military contractors (PMCs). Government's organise their armed forces to win their last war, not the next one, observes Tim Spicer, a leading and very modern mercenary. And the Iraq war will be seen as the first privatised conflict; but not the last. Just as many aid missions are led by NGOs, so too they will require firepower and muscle for protection. This book is not an academic study, or a blockbuster, but a journalistic summary of a misunderstood and misinterpreted economic and military trend. He makes good use of interviews, cuttings and background to present the whole world of PMCs from the point of view of everyone involved. I used to work in the same office as Steve (Stretch as he was sometimes referred). I always liked him, though we weren't friends or anything. Very pleased to see he's doing well. Book could do with an index though. 6.5/10

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