The Skimmer

Big Boy Rules

By Steve Fainaru Da Capo; 254 pages

They are "the unwanted, doing the unforgivable, for the ungrateful," according to a tattoo adorning an American private security contractor--one of the tens of thousands of mercenaries who work alongside the understaffed U.S. military in the shadows of the Iraq war. Fainaru, a Washington Post reporter and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, was embedded with the mercs of Crescent Security Group--a ragged outfit that "commutes to war" in armored pickup trucks from their Kuwait City villa, braving ambushes and enemy fire to help ferry convoys and cargo along Iraq's perilous highways. Some--like...

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