The first ever, first-person story of America's private, paramilitary contractors at work around the world-from a man who performed these missions himself and has decades of stories to tell. This is a fascinating tale-and potentially the first-to describe the work of American contractors, men who run highly dangerous missions deep inside foreign countries on the brink of war. It will lift the veil and detail the ultimate danger and risk of paramilitary operations (both officially government-sanctioned and not) and show us in very intimate terms exactly what private soldiers do when the government can't act or take public responsibility. GRAY WORK combines covert military intelligence with boots-on-the-ground realism, following Jamie Smith through his CIA training and work as a spy in the State Department, to his co-founding of Blackwater following 9/11, to his decision to leave that company. As the founder and director of Blackwater Security, Smith's initial vision has undeniably shaped and transformed a decade of war. He argues that this gray area-and its warriors who occupy the controversial space between public and private-has become an indispensable element of the modern battlefield.
Great insight into current operations
The author has written a solid work that clearly explains a most complex subject.
Please don’t buy it
Wish I could take this one back! Took me about an hour to figure out this book is a lie. If you want to read about contract work, read “civilian warriors” by Eric prince
This books was riddled with potential. As a Interventionist and ultra-hawkish Democrat, who believes firmly in American hegemony and our global superiority, I was thrilled to read a book by a private sec insider, like Jamie.
Instead of getting a brilliantly objective insight into the industry, and perhaps an strong argument for the existence and utilization of private sec paramilitary, all I was “gifted” with was a hyper partisan manifesto of rightwing talking points on matters that, more often than not, 1) have nothing to do with international security and 2) arent even a reflection of the Democratic partys mainstream positions.
If Jamie spent more time working with his peers, as opposed to demonizing everyone who shares his country, but not his views, he might have written a book that ended up being more a partisan creed for “Why my beliefs are better than yours.” You would think someone like Jamie would recognize the need for us to unify behind common enemies, as opposed to treating his fellow countrymen as though those enemies are them.
I gave it 2 stories because the stories gave me some insight and because I appreciate the role Blackwater/Academi plays in National Security. Other than that, only read this book if youre interviewing for a job in RightWing Commentary.
Summary: Mostly trash, with some decent stories.