In offering explanations for the US's enormous post-Cold War military budget -- nearly $280 billion for the year 2000 -- most defense critics point to the influence of weapon makers pork-barrel politics. Those are certainly factors. But in this eye-opening book, Ken Silverstein looks at another, all but unexamined force: private warriors, the generals, gunrunners and national security staffers who were cast adrift by the end of the Cold War and are now continuing business in the private sector. Private Warriors moves from an arms dealer's estate in Vienna to a weapons show in Rio de Janeiro to a Soldier of Fortune convention in Las Vegas. It introduces little known figures such as Ernst Werner Glatt, a right-wing German who for many years was the Pentagon's preferred gunrunner, and Andrew Marshall, an aging but still sprightly Cold Warrior who ardently promotes the development of needless new weapons systems. Other encounters are with more recognizable names such as General Alexander Haig, the former Secretary of State who now lobbies for China and sells weapons to Turkey, and Frank Gaffney, an ex-Pentagon official who has grown rich by promoting the biggest boondoggle of them all, Star Wars. Today's private warriors have one thing in common: a financial interest in war, and the connections to push for a continuation of Cold War military policy.
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