Author Hagedorn book signing in Ripley

Author Hagedorn book signing in Ripley

23 hours ago  •  By Marla Toncray

RIPLEY, Ohio | Ann Hagedorn, author of Beyond the River, the story of the Rankins and The Underground Railroad in Ripley, Ohio, and surrounding areas and Wild Ride, the Rise and Fall of Calumet Farms in Kentucky, will be speaking and signing her new book at the Ripley Library on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.

Her latest book, released on Aug. 19 is titled The Invisible Soldiers, How America Outsourced Our Security. This is the story of the privatization of America’s national security and the rise of a bold new industry of private military and security companies – how and why it happened and why all Americans should be concerned.

Not too long ago there were no private military and security companies; there were only mercenaries. Now private security is a bona fide industry that has become indispensable to American foreign and military policy. The pivotal moment in this story came when the United States found itself in a prolonged war with Iraq and the Bush administration had to rely on private security contractors to supplement the military. Private contractors eventually exceeded traditional troops in what some now regard as America’s first contractor war. The industry then exploring a vast array of new markets for its armed and unarmed security and defense services.

Private contractors now assist U.S. forces in combat operations and replace them after the military withdraws from combat zones; the guard our embassies; they play key roles in U.S. counter terrorism strategies; and Homeland Security often depends on them. Their services include maritime security, police training, drone operations, cyber security, and intelligence analysis (as Edward Snowden has revealed). Other countries and even the United Nations employ them. As they expand their markets, private security firms are becoming wild cards of global policy.

Ann Hagedorn introduces us to a former mercenary who now runs a successful security company and a U.S. Army general who worries that as the industry spreads globally American contractors could one day be fighting American troops. Hagedorn describes an international initiative that has spent nearly a decade seeking effective ways to monitor companies that broker these men with guns. And she reveals the story of a U.S. soldier shot by an employee of a U.S. contracted military and security company.

Join us to hear Hagedorn, a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and award winning author of Wild Ride, Ransom, Beyond the River and Savage Peace, talk about her latest book. The Ripley Library is located at the intersection of U.S. 52 and Main Street in Ripley. For further information about this event you can email or call 937-392-4871.

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