Friday, September, 28, 2007

Merchant of Death, Doug Farah

New America, DC
Friday, September 28, 2007
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave, NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC
Featured Speakers
Stephen Braun
National Correspondent
Los Angeles Times
Co-Author, Merchant of DeathDouglas Farah
Former West African Bureau Chief
Washington Post
Co-Author, Merchant of DeathPeter Bergen
Schwartz Senior Fellow
New America Foundation

In Merchant of Death, Douglas Farah and Stephan Braun tell the true story of Viktor Bout, a young Russian intelligence officer who, since the end of the Cold War, has redefined how wars are fought in much of the developing world. By gaining access to unguarded weapons arsenals and a fleet of several dozen aircraft, Bout became a one-stop shopping service for all sides in many wars, from Afghanistan, where he armed the Norther Alliance and the Taliban, to the jungles of Colombia and the diamond-rich regions of West Africa.
The human cost of the illicit weapons trafficking has been enormous, enabling criminal and terrorist groups to achieve new levels of violence and destruction. The national security cost has also been high, enabling a sometime-ally to enrich his coffers in order to develop new lines of business into Somalia, Lebanon and Nigeria, where he arms those seeking to destabilize entire regions and plot against the United States.
Douglas Farah is a national security and terror finance consultant and a frequent guest lecturer to the U.S military and intelligence community. He worked for two decades as a foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, mostly for the Washington Post, covering armed conflicts, drug trafficking and organized crime in Latin America and West Africa. Stephen Braun is a Pulitzer Prize winning national journalist for the Los Angeles Times. His reportage has ranged from national politics and investigations to foreign and domestic terrorism, and he has covered many landmark American news stories of the past two decades, including the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and five presidential elections.
John Weisman, The Washington Times
What is known — and is made abundantly clear in “Merchant of Death,” Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun’s exhaustively researched, extensively footnoted expose of Mr. Bout and his clandestine network — is a compendium of venality and amorality that pushes the edge of the envelope for the definition of “bad guy” to new and repulsive horizons.
Foreign Policy Magazine
The FP piece was but a teaser for their newly-released book, also called Merchant of Death. Farah and Braun’s 308-page book goes into more detail about the rise of Bout’s network in the 1990s, using old Soviet airplanes leftover from the Cold War. They detail how Bout was able to deliver weapons to everyone from FARC in Colombia to child soldiers in Sierra Leone to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Even the U.S. government has unwittingly received supplies transported by Bout. Consider this book full of details that we wanted to print in FP, but didn’t have the space for.
Copies of Merchant of Death will be sold at this event.
To RSVP for this event, reply to this email: communications@newamerica.net with name, affiliation, and contact information.
If you have questions, call or email Liz Wu at (202) 986-2700 x315 or wu@newamerica.net.