The Shadow World is the harrowing, behind-the-scenes tale of the global arms trade. Pulling back the curtain on this secretive world, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind weapons deals ranging from the largest in history – between the British and Saudi governments – to BAE’s controversial transactions in South Africa, Tanzania and eastern Europe, and the revolving-door relationships that characterize the US Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. He exposes in forensic detail both the formal government-to-government trade in arms and the shadow world of illicit weapons dealing – and lays bare the shocking and inextricable links between the two.
Based on path-breaking reporting and on unprecedented access to top-secret information and major players in the weapons business, including arms dealers who have never been interviewed before, The Shadow World places us in the midst of the arms trade’s dramatic wheeling and dealing, ranging from corporate boardrooms to seedy out-of-the-way hotels via far-flung offshore havens, and reveals the profound danger this network represents to all of us.
With defense budgets soaring, the human cost of military expenditures is becoming disturbingly apparent. Feinstein's latest is an attempt to expose the corruption of the defense industry and the global arms trade, centered around British company BAE Systems and American defense contractor Lockheed Martin. One of the founding codirectors of London-based CorruptionWatch, Feinstein (After the Party) examines historical factors in the industry, from post-WWII Nazi arms-dealers to the impact on trade of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Through investigative transcripts, Feinstein illuminates strained international relations, government commissions, and trade complexities. He outlines business secrets and political pressures, as well as ongoing efforts to quell "the systemic legal bribery' that is the US arms business." Feinstein proffers some potentially effective but perhaps overly optimistic solutions, such as greater transparency and harsher sanctions. Immensely detailed and informative, Feinstein's timely book is engaging and challenging.