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Mercenaries have been with us since the dawn of civilization, yet in the modern world they are little understood. While many of today's freelance fighters provide support for larger military establishments, others wage war where the great powers refuse to tread. In War Dog, Al Venter examines the latter world of mercenary fighters effecting decisions by themselves. In the process he unveils a remarkable array of close-quarters combat action.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Al J. Venter has been an international war correspondent for nearly thirty years, primarily for the Jane’s Information Group. He has also produced documentary television films on subjects from the wars in Africa and Afghanistan to shark hunting off the Cape of Good Hope. A native of South Africa, he is currently resident in the United Kingdom. Among his works are:

  • The Iraqi War Debrief: Why Saddam Hussein Was Toppled

  • Barrel of a Gun: A War Correspondent’s Misspent Moments in Combat

  • Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary

  • Iran’s Nuclear Option: Tehran’s Quest for the Atomic Bomb

  • Mercenaries: Putting The World To Rights With Hired Guns

  • War Stories: Up Close and Personal in Third World Conflicts

  • How South Africa Built Six Atom Bombs

Hardcover, 664 pages, first published in 2008.

Customer Reviews

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B.
Excellent book - Pan Africanism is a joke and a myth

Great book, have never expected anything less from this author. Contents are well researched on and references + citations conclusive. Would recommend for anyone who wants to understand some of the events in Africa in the past 2 decades. The geopolitics of the continent cannot be viewed in binary terms nor black and white, events are more complicated than that.

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PMCs, Diamond Fields & Hinds

The main focus of "War Dog" is on mercenary pilots in Africa around the turn of the millennium. Flying 'outdated' planes and third hand Hind helicopters these pilots ruled the skies above the endless battles to control the diamond mines below. Land battles and treks in BMPs get their due too, but it's the helicopters and airplanes that get the most attention in this book.
The main thing I took away from "War Dog" is that as First World governments become more and more hesitant to have body bags full of -their- soldiers show up on the TV news. Private Military Companies (PMCs) that run armies for hire have stepped up to do the dirty work. The rise of one such PMC "Executive Outcomes" is discussed at length.
A good book full of information, not a light read, but one people interested in current events will find useful.

***Amazon Review***