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The complete history of soldiers for hire. From Biblical times and the Crusades through the American Revolution up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, mercenaries-professional soldiers who contract themselves out to the highest bidder-have played a vital role in most, if not all, military and paramilitary campaigns, helping to determine the victors and the vanquished. Contract Warriors reveals their compelling story for the first time.

* Why they fight (and for how much)

* How they fight

* The unique lifestyle of mercenaries both on and off the battlefield

* The spoils and business of war

* The current role of mercenaries in the world's arms trade

* The significance of the mercenary in popular culture and film

Featuring a special afterword by W. Thomas Smith Jr. and his interview with Richard Marcinko, military consultant and author of the bestselling book Rogue Warrior

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