This riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money Journalist Matt Potter tells the story of Yuri and his crew, a gang of Russian military men who, after the collapse of the Soviet Union found themselves without work or prospects So they bought a decommiThis riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money Journalist Matt Potter tells the story of Yuri and his crew, a gang of Russian military men who, after the collapse of the Soviet Union found themselves without work or prospects So they bought a decommissioned Soviet plane at liquidation prices, straight from the Russian government and started a shipping business It wasn t long before Yuri, and many pilots like him, found themselves an unlikely and ethically dubious hub of global trading Men like these are paid by the U.S the Taliban, and blue chip multinational companies to bring supplies some legal, some not across dangerous borders.In a feat of daring reportage, Potter gets onto the flight deck with these outlaws and tells the story of their fearless missions Dodging gunfire, Potter is taken from place to place by men trafficking everything from illicit weapons to emergency aid, making enemies everywhere but no reliable friends As the world changes, we see the options for the crew first explode, then slowly diminish, until, in a desperate maneuver, they move their operations to the most lawless corners of Africa, where they operate to this day.The story of these outlaws is a microcosm of the world since the end of the cold war secret contracts, guerrilla foreign policy, and conflicts t
Outlaws Inc Under the Radar and on the Black Market with the World s Most Dangerous Smugglers This riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money Journalist Matt Potter tells th
This book takes what is a truly interesting subject for about 40 60 pages and milks it over and over for 300 pages until bone dry The basics can be summarized in a long paragraph The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to sudden unemployment for hundreds of thousands of former Soviet soldiers, and essentially free for all looting of former Soviet military supplies A large number of experienced military pilots and crew immediately went into business as no problem couriers as in, any cargo, any pl [...]
Forget what you thought you knew about the movement of contraband around the planet Ok, so you had knowledge of the trade before you picked up this book For any body who s ever spent long delays in a Third World airport wondering what that ground crew was loading into that unmarked Antanov, this is the perfect book to look away to, and find out the real story Hold on to your seats, you re in for the flight of your life.
If this book is to believed and I believe it is A lot of the shit we are in right now is because of the collapse of the Soviet Union And for that we can blame the USA And as this book tells us, many, many governments and government secret agencies use unofficial carriers like these to arm rebel, governments and out and out murderers Taking place in a giant chess game with human lives a guaranteed result of all the work these agencies are involved in.It s a dirty violent world of dictators and go [...]
Matt potters often shocking Account of the underbelly of the Courier business, paints a picture of an under publicized but very real grey world that most of our leaders know exists, and often partake in.The narrative is simple enough to follow The collapse of the Soviet union had many consequences One of these was the logical privatization of Russia s industries Shares handed out to every citizen was seen as a way to start the populace off on an equal footing in the new capitalist Russia Of cour [...]
Engagingly written, the author recounts the background as well as his own experience of flying with modern day smugglers, mostly former Soviet, who operate on the edge of what s legal Transporting anything anyone is willing to pay for between any two locations, cargo can be humanitarian aid, paid for by the UN, flown into, say, Somalia, or shipments of weapons for rebels in the exact same country Though overstating the perceived glamour somewhat and dramatizing his stories, the tale rings true a [...]
Imagine yourself in a small bar within a stones throw of a dirt airstrip in the Congo Smokey room filled with hushed conversations punctuated by the bellowing laughter and hard talk of Ex Russian military fly boys The moment you see them you know they have clocked hours than any pilot in here, you also start to get the feeling that there is no way in hell these guys are flying for UPS Enter the world of the best of the best, Smugglers from the bowels of the earth, flying massive planes filled w [...]
Outlaws, Inc, is an exhaustive and impressively researched book on post Soviet Airmen turned smugglers in the 1990s and present day By the midpoint, however, I just couldn t get myself to finish this book.Having read the synopsis, I was sold instantly Journalist Mark Potter follows a group of Soviet Airmen who, at the fall of the Soviet Union, re registered an IL 76 Cargo plane and became the bona fide A Team of international smuggling This had me interested on every level How could you go wrong [...]
An absolutely fantastic book, dealing with a complicated and fascinating issue Matt Potter brings all of his journalistic powers to bear on the issue of modern day smugglers no Han Solos here, but rather desperate men and women who have found a niche in a global economy that polite society refuses to acknowledge.This is than just a telling of dates and times, though Mr Potter digs deep into the geopolitics, reveals the false dichotomy of good guys and bad guys, and adds his own unique interpret [...]
Matt Potter takes an intrinsically interesting subject the worldwide illicit air cargo smuggling network that came into existence after the breakup of the Soviet Union, flown by fearless Russian crews manning high time and sometimes derelict Ilyushin and Antonov cargo planes, fronted by movers and shakers like the infamous Victor Bout and writes a book that, after the first 50 to 60 pages, is all repetition This would have been a terrific long article in Rolling Stone Expanded to book length, it [...]
Interesting insight into a world I was vaguely familiar with basically from snippets in Lord Of War but that had depth to it than I initially expected The world of illegal flights how they tie into the greater geopolitical milieu since the fall of the Soviet Union is explored but the book also touches on the pilots themselves offers a glimpse of the lives they lead It s interesting though the constant barrage of different locations do begin to blend together There is an underlying sense of cons [...]
i liked that the plot was action packed from the beginning i felt like the book starts quickly and then chapter by chapter its slows down i loved all of the book because there was nothing not to like the book was interesting because its talking about war favorite character is mikey because he was an outgoing person and he is not afraid of anything i think he reminds me of my brother because they are both in the army and they will do anything for their country mikey is like me because we both are [...]
The subject of Outlaws Inc unregulated air traffic, the black market it supports, and the flight crews who make a living therein isn t something I knew anything about when I started the book I found it a fascinating subject, and the book was super informative Overall, though, Potter seems to make his point multiple times the majority of the book felt redundant By the time he has his epiphany in the airplane toward the end of the book, the average reader will have already figured out the whole st [...]
This was a great insiders look into the world of the Black Market dealers and the people that move the product around.The way things are stored in plain sight inside the planes could give David Copperfield a run for his money.It also tells the story of how these men became pilots for hire,the men that found them what happens when you fly so close to the edge in aging planes with overloaded cargo holds.This is a great read with many funny,shocking holy moley moments.
The topic is interesting for sure, and the author has firsthand experiences that shed some light onto the personal aspect That said, I struggled to get through the book The syntax is bad What s worse is the author can t decide whether to write it like a factual account or to embellish as if it were a novel full of trite metaphors and redundancy A great opportunity for insight was lost to a self centered and intellectually inept analysis.
Don t bother.About 50 pages of content stretched into a book There was a few really interesting stories but they were too far apart to sustain any sort of pace I gave up when it rambled around the same hidden tonnage revelation for the fifth time.
This is a jaw dropping story that suffers only from too much waffling from the author
Could have been about 100 pages shorter, otherwise interesting read.
Very interesting, really got you to empathize with those crews.
I got bored and set it aside, I tried to put this book in the set aside catagory but no luck so this is the only way to get it off my currently reading home page Bah Humbug
The book is much too long for what the author has to say So, he always repeats himself.
What a STORY This book kept me up all night Engagingly written if a little expansive at times.
A very good insightful book on a very hidden and influential aspect of arms trading and aid.
Really interesting look into a crazy world of smuggling, disintegrating soviet era planes, humanitarian aid and rogue Russian pilots Well written, engaging and informative.