Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

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Cornell University Press, 2008 - Business & Economics - 348 pages
19 Reviews

Some have claimed that "War is too important to be left to the generals," but P. W. Singer asks "What about the business executives?" Breaking out of the guns-for-hire mold of traditional mercenaries, corporations now sell skills and services that until recently only state militaries possessed. Their products range from trained commando teams to strategic advice from generals. This new "Privatized Military Industry" encompasses hundreds of companies, thousands of employees, and billions of dollars in revenue. Whether as proxies or suppliers, such firms have participated in wars in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and Latin America. More recently, they have become a key element in U.S. military operations. Private corporations working for profit now sway the course of national and international conflict, but the consequences have been little explored.

In Corporate Warriors, Singer provides the first account of the military services industry and its broader implications. Corporate Warriors includes a description of how the business works, as well as portraits of each of the basic types of companies: military providers that offer troops for tactical operations; military consultants that supply expert advice and training; and military support companies that sell logistics, intelligence, and engineering.

This updated edition of Singer's already classic account of the military services industry and its broader implications describes the continuing importance of that industry in the Iraq War. This conflict has amply borne out Singer's argument that the privatization of warfare allows startling new capabilities and efficiencies in the ways that war is carried out. At the same time, however, Singer finds that the introduction of the profit motive onto the battlefield raises troubling questions—for democracy, for ethics, for management, for human rights, and for national security.

  

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Review: Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

User Review  - Stormcrow - Goodreads

The problem with being ahead of the curve is that once the corner is rounded, everything predicted now seems obvious. That's the problem with Singer's Corporate Warriors, we've rounded the curve ... Read full review

Review: Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

User Review  - Jonathan Jeckell - Goodreads

I should have read this years ago; it would have had enormous practical value in thinking about this phenomenon in several of my previous jobs. While some of the specifics are dated, it provides ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2008)

P. W. Singer is Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution

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