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Download The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security Audiobook, by Ann Hagedorn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ann Hagedorn Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2014 ISBN: 9781491535196
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The urgent truth about the privatization of America’s national security that exposes where this industry came from, how it operates, where it's heading—and why we should be concerned.

Thirty years ago there were no private military and security companies (PMSCs); there were only mercenaries. Now the PMSCs are a bona-fide industry, an indispensable part of American foreign and military policy. PMSCs assist US forces in combat operations and replace them after the military withdraws from combat zones; they guard our embassies; they play key roles in US counterterrorism strategies; and Homeland Security depends on them. Their services include maritime security, police training, drone operations, cyber security, and intelligence analysis (as Edward Snowden has famously revealed). Even the United Nations employs them.

When did this happen? The turning point came when the US found itself in a prolonged war with Iraq, but without adequate forces. So the Bush Administration turned to the PMSCs to fill the gap. Private contractors and subcontractors eventually exceeded the traditional troops. The industry has never scaled back.

Ann Hagedorn profiles the members of Congress who recognize the dangers of dependence on PMSCs, but have been unable to limit them or even determine their true scope. She takes us to the exclusive club in London where the PMSCs were created, and she reveals the key figure in the evolution of the industry. She introduces us to a US Army general who studies new developments, such as PMSCs’ drone operations, and worries about PMSCs potentially fighting American troops. The Invisible Soldiers will inspire a national dialogue about a little-known international industry on which our security rests.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Journalist Hagedorn addresses the emergence of a new breed of soldier: the private military and security contractor…Hagedorn’s work focuses on the rise of PMSCs and subsequent military efforts to effectively deploy them in open conflict. She lucidly describes the long-range challenges to democracy caused by the privatization of security.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A critique of the United States’ fateful turn toward private military and security contractors as a consequence of the Iraq War…A brisk, disturbing account that adds to the sense that liberties taken in the war on terror have created long-term liabilities for American society.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “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, author of Eleanor Roosevelt

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About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit and a winner of multiple Earphones Awards. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.