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Randal

Outstanding Read - But Is It True?

— feeling confused
Zero Footprint: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor's Covert Assignments in Syria, Libya, And the World's Most Dangerous Places - Simon Chase, Ralph Pezzullo

UPDATED: Upon reading the reviews of this book on Amazon, it appears that the author has taken license with the truth. It may be that the author did not participate in any of the situations listed. That being said, I still found this to be a very good read, and in the case that it is all fiction, shame on the author.
An incredible story! Chase (alias), a British Special Forces soldier who found himself an early retirement due to injury, continues his career as a private military contractor (PMC). Taking assignments as varied as a bodyguard for rich people, to stints with other special forces soldiers (retired SEALs, Delta Force, etc) in war zones throughout the Middle East. The author had many hair-raising adventures, it is amazing that he has packed so much living into one life. The chapters detailing incidents in Iraq, the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, and Benghazi Libya were spell binding!
Mr. Chase has an excellent ability to narrate, and the descriptions are so vivid that you feel you are there with him. If he can manage to stay clear of harms way long enough to write a sequel, I will be first in line to purchase it!
On a side note, I was flabbergasted at the amount of money spent on PMC's. Bear with me while I give a quote from the book: "In November 2003, the US Congress established the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, which allocated $18.4 BILLION (!!!) to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure... That was on top of the $54.4 BILLION Congress had provided that year for Operation Iraqi Freedom, the $92.1 BILLION it set aside in 2004, the $58 BILLION in 2005, and so on..... The money was huge. So was the number of firms that showed up to bid for contracts - 181, according to a US GAO report - eventually employing AS MANY AS 190,000 CONTRACTOR AND SUBCONTRACTOR PERSONNEL."
Wow! To paraphrase an old line, "Take a a billion dollars here, and a billion dollars there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money here".
And equally incredible is the process used to circumnavigate Congressional Oversight by hiring the PMC's. And the fact that these PMC's are pretty much out there on their own; no backup from the regular military, and no disability pensions or life insurance if the situations go bad. In fact, the government can deny any knowledge of these people, no matter how heroic their deeds may be.
This book was a real eye-opener for me. I highly, highly recommend this one!
(In the interest of fairness, I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.)

Source: http://www.wormtroika.com