Why Are Mercenaries Fighting America's Wars? | AJ+

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Conflict has become big business, and nations are paying mercenaries millions to be their boots on the ground.

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Recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made private military contracting a multi-billion-dollar industry. Mercenaries have been around for centuries, but they have emerged from the shadows thanks to increased demand for contractors from countries like the U.S. and Russia. Now, the Trump administration has reached out to individuals with a stake in the industry – like Erik Prince and Stephen Feinberg – for advice with their Afghanistan strategy. This Sunday on AJ+, we explore the dangers of a world with more professional soldiers.

Learn more here:

New York Times. “Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/world/asia/trump-afghanistan-policy-erik-prince-stephen-feinberg.html?mcubz=1&_r=1

Sean McFate. “The Blackwater 2.0 Plan for Afghanistan.” _https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/afghanistan-erik-prince-trump-britain/533580/_ (https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/afghanistan-erik-prince-trump-britain/533580/)

The Washington Post. “Murder Conviction in Blackwater Case Thrown Out, Other Sentences Overturned.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/murder-conviction-in-blackwater-case-thrown-out-other-sentences-overturned/2017/08/04/a14f275c-792e-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.0c71126cc89e

Presented by: Shreen Khan
Written by: Shreen Khan & Kathryn Wheeler
Edited by: Brian Joseph
Animations by: Chia Liu
Illustrations by: Chia Liu
Produced by: Shreen Khan & Kathryn Wheeler

Music tracks courtesy of Audio Network.
Footage and images courtesy of AP, Reuters, Getty, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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