September 12, 2007

Book Review - Licensed to Kill

Who is fighting in the war on terror?

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror
Robert Young Pelton
HV 6432 .P45 2006

In addition to the thousands of United States troops that are on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding areas, this book brings attention to American civilians working in the intelligence community and numerous contractors who have been hired for security operations and mercenary activities. Receiving considerably less attention in Pelton's almost story-like description of those fighting in the Middle East are international troops. Some serve in the military or quasi-military organizations representing their countries, but more than that have parlayed their past military experience into jobs with contracting companies. This book does not provide much discussion about how this field of contracting has evolved. Instead, Pelton describes the daily life and activities of these security contractors, their motivation, and the role that they play in this armed conflict.