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Empire’s Labor: The Global Army That Supports U.S. Wars, Adam Moore

Reviewed by Armin Krishnan

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The United States is an “empire of bases,” as Chalmers Johnson called it. According to recent data, the U.S. military has more than 800 military bases in over 80 countries and has some presence in more than 156 countries, or three-quarters of all countries in the world. Maintaining a global military presence requires an enormous logistical effort and a cheap global labor force that is “on call.” Adam Moore has written a fascinating book on the logistics of the American empire that fills a major gap in the literature on military contracting and the privatization of military services. While previous studies of military contracting, such as Peter W. Singer’s groundbreaking 2003 book Corporate Warriors or Deborah Avant’s A Market for Force, mainly focused on either the security contractors or the logistics prime contractors and how contracting affects the use of military force, Moore’s contribution in Empires Labor is to look at the phenomenon of military contracting from the perspective of labor (the foreign subcontractors and the foreign labor force).

Moore’s research is based on more than 80 interviews that he conducted with individual logistics workers in Bosnia and the Philippines who had worked for the U.S. military in overseas bases as so-called Third-Country

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