More information connecting Blackwater with the Big Surge.
And with New Orleans.
Update: Review of a book by Robert Pelton on mercenaries 'Licensed to Kill':
It is an intended tribute to the author that very few people in the world could have written a book this witty and informative aside from him. That naturally raises the question: Just who is Robert Young Pelton? Originally from Canada, he moved to the US to make his fortune, which he did with enough success that one day he decided to get out of it and start traveling to the world's hot spots and war zones as a neutral observer and chronicler of the truth, which is never an easy thing to ascertain.
As an author Pelton is best known for his classic work The World's Most Dangerous Places, which is sort of an underground Fodor's guide to surviving war zones and other assorted mean, nasty and dangerous places, from Grozny to Baghdad.
But if Idema represents the pond-scum side of the private security world, the following chapter, which explores the creation of Executive Outcomes and Sandline, two private military firms that were prominent in the 1990s and helped propel the industry into public prominence, offers a fascinating look into that rarified world where high finance and venture capital, old boys' networks, multinational corporations, foreign policy, the legacies of colonial empires, and public relations intersect. It is surprising to realize what a small world it really is. It provides an invaluable perspective for better understanding an industry that is attempting to "find the sweet spot - the balance between naked aggression and passive peacekeeping - the neo-mercenary", as Pelton puts it.