416 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.19 in
November 19, 2013
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1591847214
ISBN - 13: 9781591847212
Read from the Book
Introduction December 6, 2003AT ELEVEN P.M., EIGHTEEN CARS, WATCHED OVERHEAD BY U.S. ARMY APACHE and Kiowa Warrior helicopters, as well as by a pair of Blackwater helicopters, known as Little Birds, stormed out of the Green Zone. They turned onto a pockmarked roadway, drove past scorched traffic barriers and burned-out remains of vehicles once used for suicide bombings, and sped toward Baghdad International Airport. A motorcade escorting a head of state and the U.S. secretary of defense doesn’t travel light. Especially not on the “Highway of Death.”That multilane stretch of asphalt connects Iraq’s largest international airport with the coalition-occupied Green Zone. For years, insurgents had effectively owned the five or so miles, ambushing convoys, diplomats, and American troops roughly once a day. So dangerous was the road that the State Department would ultimately outlaw its personnel from using it at all. And even before that, no one took that road without a plan.But sometimes Paul Bremer wouldn’t take no for an answer.Shortly before eleven p.m., Bremer, the United States presidential envoy and administrator in Iraq, had finished a meeting with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld outside the Green Zone. To the surprise of his Blackwater security detail, Bremer insisted he would see the secretary off at the airport.Frank Gallagher, the barrel-chested head of the detail charged with keeping Bremer alive, quickly recalibrated travel plans. “Needless to say, some of th
From the Publisher
No company in our time has been as mysterious or as controversial as Blackwater. Founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince in 1997, it recruited special forces veterans and others with the skills and courage to take on the riskiest security jobs in the world. As its reputation grew, government demand for its services escalated, and Blackwater's men eventually completed nearly one hundred thousand missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both the Bush and Obama administrations found the company indispensible. It sounds like a classic startup success story, except for one problem: Blackwater has been demonized around the world. From uninformed news coverage to grossly distorted fictional portrayals, Blackwater employees have been smeared as mercenaries, profiteers, jackbooted thugs, and worse. Because of the secrecy requirements of Blackwater's contracts with the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA, Prince was unable to speak out when his company's opponents spread false information. But now he's able to tell the full and often shocking story of Blackwater's rise and fall. In Civilian Warriors, Prince pulls no punches and spares no details. He explains his original goal of building an elite center for military and law enforcement training. He recounts how the company shifted gears after 9/11. He honors our troops while challenging the Pentagon's top leadership. And he reveals why highly efficient private military contractors have been essential to running our armed forces, since long before Blackwater came along. Above all, Prince debunks myths about Blackwater that spread while he was forced to remain silent-myths that tarnished the memory of men who gave their lives for their country but never got the recognition they deserved. He reveals new information about some of the biggest controversies of the War on Terror, including: • The true story of the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad. • The actual details of Blackwater's so-called impunity in Iraq. • The events leading up to the televised deaths of Blackwater contractors in Fallujah. Prince doesn't pretend to be perfect, and he doesn't hide the sometimes painful details of his private life. But he has done a great public service by setting the record straight. His book reads like a thriller but is too improbable to be fiction.
About the Author
Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, founded Blackwater in 1997. He served as its CEO until 2009 and its Chairman until 2010, when the company was sold. A native of Michigan, he now lives in Abu Dhabi, where he pursues a variety of business ventures.
“Prince’s book belongs on the shelf next to the memoirs of the other Iraq and Afghanistan war chieftains…. we need Prince’s story to help us understand the history of the post- 9/11 wars and the myriad roles contractors played in these conflicts.”
—The Washington Post