America’s Use of Private Contractors in War Zones

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an op-ed piece by columnist Tom Friedman about America’s use of private contractors in war zones ( The article is very illuminating, and it evokes important questions regarding the use of non-governmental personnel to implement foreign policy.

Readers might also find interesting the following books about security contractors:

1. Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

By David Isenberg

2. Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror

By Robert Young Pelton

3. Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq

By Steve Fainaru

4. Private Sector, Public Wars: Contractors in Combat-Iraq, Afghanistan, and Future Conflicts (The Changing Face of War)

By James Carafano

5. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

By P.W. Singer

6. A Bloody Business: America’s War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq

By Gerry Schumacher

7. One Nation, Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy

By Allison Stanger

Descriptions and reviews of the books can be found on


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