Adrian Weale

Murkywater

War PLC: The Rise of the New Corporate Mercenary

By Stephen Armstrong

Faber & Faber 255pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

There is nothing novel about mercenary soldiering. As a profession it vies with prostitution as the world’s oldest and, for most of the last hundred years or so, it has been no more respectable. Condemned by governments and international organisations such as the UN, mercenaries appeared to be in a slow decline. But the end of the Cold War in the last decade of the twentieth century brought about a resurgence in mercenary activity, in the form of ‘Private Military Companies’ (PMCs) like Blackwater and Aegis, and it is this phenomenon that journalist Stephen Armstrong examines in War PLC.

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