By Casey Allen
Being a combat veteran of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, "War Dogs" tells a very different side of a story I know well. The film is based on the true story of two childhood friends who used the War on Terror as an opportunity to line their own pockets selling weapons and various other accessories of modern warfare to the United States government.
The majority of the film focuses on one major contract, which has come to be known as the "Afghan Deal", a multi-million dollar contract intended to arm the Afghan National Army against future enemies of the state. The angle AEY (the two friends' business) took was to outsource the majority of the deal to a shady international arms dealer (Bradley Cooper) banned from doing business with the United States due to being on a terrorist watch list. The deal ends up going south once it's discovered the majority of the ammunition transacted was of Chinese origin (the United States has an arms embargo against the Chinese). The fallout of the Afghan deal splits the two former friends apart and culminates in a large scale federal investigation.
From a former Marine's perspective, the idea of opportunistic capitalists profiting from war is tough to swallow - but setting that aside, the film is nevertheless entertaining and factually accurate. For such serious subject matter the story is told well, balancing humor with sincerity. It's well cast, well acted, and well paced. Recommended for anybody able to set aside their personal feelings regarding American foreign policy for 120 minutes.
"God Bless Dick Cheney's America!"