Category: Non-Fiction

Reading: Blackwater : The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Jeremy Scahill; Blackstone Audio, Inc. 2007


There is a significant amount of detail that I don’t know regarding nearly everything in the known universe. As Silent Bob once said:

“Bitch, what you don’t know about me I can just about squeeze in the Grand fucking Canyon. Did you know I always wanted to be a dancer in Vegas?”

That’s how I feel about Blackwater. How little I knew about them before this book.

My #1 takeaway from this book:

Military contractor is the media-embraced term for a mercenary. Mercenaries are real, they are not a fantasy or only found as guards for villains in a James Bond film. Whenever I hear the terms civilian contractor or military contractor when referring to a position in a hostile space, I will replace the term in my head with the term mercenary.


The Wikipedia definition:

A mercenary[1] is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is “motivated to take part in the hostilities by the desire for private gain”.[2][3] In other words, a mercenary is a person who fights for personal gains of money or other recompense instead of fighting for the ideological interests of a country, whether they be for or against the existing government. In the last century, and as reflected in the Geneva Convention, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. However, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and national interests may overlap.