A Bloody Business

“A Bloody Business is a masterful firsthand account of the emerging, civilian/military profession of war zone contractor. Colonel Schumacher sets the standard for explaining the day-to-day world of private contractors in Iraq.”

Major General William C. Cockerham United States Army Special Forces (ret)
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UA Birmingham

“Best Business Books: The Business of Defense Chronicles of the “Dogs of War””

Colonel Gerald Schumacher, A Bloody Business: America’s War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq

Gerald Schumacher, a retired Army Special Forces officer, dedicates A Bloody Business: America’s War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq to “the memory of Wolf Weiss, the consummate warrior.”But Mr. Weiss was no ordinary contractor earning his keep in Iraq. He was, instead, a former Marine and rock musician who made no bones about why he had gone to Iraq: “When you’re getting shot at and returning fire, it’s the same, regardless of who you’re working for — the adrenaline, the chaos, the sheer horror at times,” he told a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. “There’s always a void to fill with me. I’m an adrenaline junkie of some kind.” That article was published in September2004, two months before Mr. Weiss was killed in an ambush in Mosul on his way to drive two United States Embassy officials to Baghdad. Colonel Schumacher clearly admires the brave souls who escort supply convoys into Iraq from Kuwait, transport VIPs from one Iraqi locale to another, and provide security details for local Iraqi and American officials. Wolf Weiss is not his only hero: He also dedicates his book “to all the men and women who do not wear a uniform yet go into harm’s way to serve our country.”

Dov S. Zakheim

“Retired army colonel Schumacher polishes the public image of private wartime contractors in this informative, if relentlessly glowing, account of these unrecognized and unappreciated patriots’ in Iraq and Kuwait. Schumacher gained access to employees from contracting firms MPRI and Crescent Security, and his perspective is one of deep affection and respect – for people who put themselves in harm’s way to provide security for diplomats, to move convoys of precious materials and to rebuild the broken infrastructure of war-torn countries. The author’s voice is unpretentious but swaggering, tough but sentimental; he’s as critical of the Bush administration for its ill-conceived strategies as of the media for what he considers prejudice. There’s not much in the way of subtle policy debate or comprehensive analysis (‘Department of Defense out sourcing to civilian contractors is an efficient, short-term solution’), but Schumacher writes with a keen sense of justice and empathy as he recounts the harrowing tales of these contractors-for-hire.” Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly

“It’s impossible to fully comprehend the future of warfare without a complete understanding of the role war-zone contractors will play. Iraq, the testing ground for the privatization of our military, is teeming with contractors today, whose efforts will determine the future of military privatization. A Bloody Business is, in our estimation, the most informative book on the subject today. Inside, you’ll read story after story of insurgent ambushes and exploding IEDs in a land where life as a truck driver can be as dangerous as that of a soldier.”

Military Book Club

“A Bloody Business provides insight to the selection and training regimes for contractors in Iraq. It then goes on to relate many personal accounts of their work and combat action in that war-torn country. Colonel Schumacher underscores the dangers of ‘uncontrolled contracting.’ At the same time, he closes with the common-sense view that, while U.S. soldiers will be respected for their service in Iraq, ‘American civilian contractors deserve nothing less.’”

U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings

“A Bloody Business tells of a new kind of American army overseas: one which is a private mercenary-run establishment which takes over as the U.S. military shrinks. The lives of such men and women who work in Iraq are controlled by few laws or regulations: they must rely on instinct and their own codes of conduct. Civilian contractors in Iraq number some fifteen thousand: their experiences and daily lives, recounted here, are riveting testimonies to their duties and hardships.”

California Book Watch

“Front Page Magazine: “A Bloody Business is not a dry position paper. Schumacher illustrates his points through real people, such as a truck driver who was turned down by the military because of his age. He decides the best way to serve his country is to practice his trade in Iraq, and we drive the gauntlet with him. We also see the pride of a female cop who finds her niche in life by training police forces in places from Bosnia to Iraq in how to protect their populations, rather than oppress them. And we accompany a team from an unnamed security contractor as it tries to recover some kidnapped truck drivers by either bribery or force.”

David Forsmark Front Page Magazine

“Front Page Magazine: “Colonel Schumacher steps to the front rank of the current crop of American warrior-writers with A Bloody Business. These powerful, dramatic, edge-of-your-seat stories of the most dangerous missions being conducted today come alive because Schumacher traveled through the war zone with the men he writes about. He brings a career Green Beret’s unconventional political insights to an extremely complicated subject. His perspective comes from personal experience and from interviewing numerous battlefield contractors “in the box.” Don’t miss reading this amazing book!”

Hans Halberstadt,author Roughneck Nine-One and War Stories of the Green Berets

To Be a U.S. Army Green Beret

To Be a U.S. Army Green Beret by Col. Gerald Schumacher, U.S. Army retired, is written by someone who has obviously “been there—done that.”
Col. Schumacher knows the subject and gives the reader a glimpse of what it takes to earn the coveted Green Beret. Starting with basic training, the author walks us through the gauntlet of assessment, selection and training required to become a productive member of a Special Forces Detachment – Alpha (or A team). The six-phase training program of the Special Forces is longer, more academically challenging and more physically demanding than any other special operations training , and that’s only the beginning. The Special Forces soldier can look forward to follow-on training after graduation that includes foreign language courses, specialized underwater, sniper and advanced parachute training.“On any given day, U.S. Army Green Berets are operating as small teams in over a hundred foreign countries. They are hunting terrorists, deterring drug smugglers, clearing minefields, training foreign armies, developing resistance fighters, providing medical treatment to local villagers and constructing bridges and buildings in remote communities.” That is an accurate summary of the life of these highly trained professional warriors, a small group of America’s best and brightest soldiers engaged in selfless service to the nation, the men who wear the Green Beret. This is a must read and in my opinion should be standard issue to every high school library and recruiting station in America.”

ARMY MAGAZINE (circ. 85,000) Published by The Association of the United States Army (AUSA)