Blackwater USA was the private army that the US government quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. Its contacts ran from miltiary and intelligence agencies to the upper echelons of the White House; it had a military base, a fleet of aircraft and 20,000 troops, but since September 2007 the firm has been hit by a series of scandals that, far from damaging the company, have led to an unprecedented period of expansion. This revised and updated edition includes Scahill’s continued investigative work into one of the greatest outrages of our time: the privatisation of war. While Barack Obama pledged to rein in mercenary forces when he was a senator, once he became president he continued to employ a massive shadow army of private contractors. Blackwater — despite numerous scandals, congressional investigations, FBI probes and documented killings of civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan — remained a central part of the Obama administration’s global war machine throughout his first term in office.