Rob Krott is a very successful soldier of fortune, having received military awards and decorations from ten governments for his work (not including the USA). He is also very well travelled, and describes himself as probably being an adrenaline junkie (he has visited more than sixty countries, many to make parachute jumps). This auto-biography focuses on the short period in his life, from 1992-93, when he first became a soldier of fortune, fighting in Croatia, Somalia and Bosnia.
Krott is not an entirely typical soldier of fortune - his career includes a successful period in the US Army, post-graduate studies at Harvard, and journalism, writing for Small Arms Review and Soldier of Fortune as chief foreign correspondent. This shows in his writing, which is eloquent, convincing, compelling and conversational in style.
In the short period of time covered in this book Krott saw two very different sides of his new profession. In Croatia in 1992 he found a chaotic situation as a new country prepared to fight a war with no real idea of how to go about it, even having to find his own way to a unit that could use his skills. In contrast in Somalia he was working alongside the US Military as a contractor (somewhat similar to his current role in Iraq), and found perhaps too much organisation and a US Army struggling to find a balance between the need to win support from the local community and its own safety as it came under near-constant low level attack (again echoes of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan).
Krott also introduces us to the wide range of individuals attracted to his profession, amongst them dedicated professional soldiers, idealists with a genuine belief the particular cause, 'wannabe' Rambos and a fair scattering of utter scum (amongst them neo-Nazi Germans and drunk, violent Brits). In some ways little appears to have changed since the days of the International Brigades in Spain during the 1930s!
Krott tells an unapologetic tale of adventure (you are warned in his introduction!), although he doesn't pull any punches. As a result you can see why Krott and so many of his colleagues are attracted to their profession, while also getting a very good idea of its many drawbacks, most of which seem to involve other soldiers of fortune!
1 - How did I get here?
2 - Many and mixed
3 - Looking for War in the all the wrong places
4 - Good intentions gone bad: Vacations in Hell, Part I
5 - Soldiers of Fortune
6 - Good intentions gone bad: Vacations in Hell, Part II
7 - Many Soldiers
8 - Life during wartime
9 - Mad dogs
10 - Going Home
Author: Rob Krott