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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.


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.

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