An ICIJ Investigation Making a Killing

The business of war

A handful of companies with connections to governments, and, sometimes organizations, have profited from war commerce.

In this investigation

Our methodology, data analysis, and team
Key Findings
Making a Killing
The merchant of death

Key findings

  • Amid the military downsizing and increasing number of small conflicts that followed the end of the Cold War, governments turned increasingly to private military companies to intervene on their behalf in war zones around the globe.
  • Often, these companies work as proxies for national or corporate interests, whose involvement is buried under layers of secrecy.
  • A handful of individuals and companies with connections to governments, multinational corporations and, sometimes, criminal syndicates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East have profited from this war commerce – a growth industry whose bottom line never takes into account the lives it destroys.

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Making a Killing

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