They are elite warriors who run highly dangerous missions deep inside foreign countries on the brink of war. Jamie Smith knows these men well. Not only is he one of them, but he cofounded one of the most successful private contracting multinational firms in the world. For the first time, he breaks his silence, detailing the ultimate danger and risk of paramilitary operations-both officially government-sanctioned and not. Pulling back the curtain of secrecy, he reveals in very intimate terms exactly what private soldiers do when the government cannot act or take public responsibility. Combining the thrilling narrative of a riveting international spy thriller with boots-on-the-ground realism, follows Smith through his CIA training and career as an operative, his co-founding of and eventual exit from Blackwater, and his creation and direction of his own company. Espionage and assassinations, rescues and renditions, the turbulence of the Arab Spring, the fall of Qadhaffi, the grit and gristle are all here in covert black ops from Syria to Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and beyond. As the founder and director of Blackwater, Smith's initial vision has undeniably shaped and transformed a decade of war. He argues that this gray area-and the warriors who occupy the controversial space between public and private-has become an integral element of modern warfare.