“Why did America‘s war in Iraq end in failure? One big reason was the decision to outsource so much of the war‘s conduct to private security firms. Who ̳won‘ the Iraq War? Those very same firms. Flooding the war zone with mercenaries, they walked away with vast riches, while leaving behind a legacy of corruption and ineptitude. Ann Hagedorn‘s coolly devastating book exposes the causes and assesses the consequences of this travesty.” — Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country

“Ann Hagedorn has given us a powerful and urgent analysis of our new military and security reality—the hiring of private warriors by governments and corporations for profit and plunder worldwide. As wars explode on every continent, and as these security companies operate in secrecy, shielded from public scrutiny or accountability, this brilliantly researched and vividly written book is essential reading.” — Blanche Wiesen Cook, Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY and author of Eleanor Roosevelt