War Dogs by Guy LawsonSoon to be a major motion picture from the director of The Hangover starring Jonah Hill, the page-turning, behind-closed-doors account of how three kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders for the government and how the Pentagon later turned on them.
In January of 2007, three young stoners from Miami Beach were put in charge of a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli, David Packouz, and Alex Podrizki (the dudes) bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners. The trio then secretly repackaged millions of rounds of shoddy Chinese ammunition and shipped it to Kabul—until they were caught by Pentagon investigators and the scandal turned up on the front page of The New York Times.
That’s the “official” story. The truth is far more explosive. For the first time, journalist Guy Lawson tells the thrilling true tale. It’s a trip that goes from a dive apartment in Miami Beach to mountain caves in Albania, the corridors of power in Washington, and the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawson’s account includes a shady Swiss gunrunner, Russian arms dealers, Albanian thugs, and a Pentagon investigation that caused ammunition shortages for the Afghanistan military. Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing, showing how the American military came to use private contractors like Diveroli, Packouz, and Podrizki as middlemen to secure weapons from illegal arms dealers—the same men who sell guns to dictators, warlords, and drug traffickers.
This is a story you were never meant to read.
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Filming began on March 2, in Romania. Pictures on August 19, David spends his life savings on high-quality bedsheets to resell to retirement homes, but the venture fails. Efraim explains that military equipment orders are posted on a public website, and their job is to bid for small orders ignored by larger contractors but still worth millions. Local businessman Ralph Slutzky provides them funding, under the false belief that AEY only sells arms to protect Israel. David and Efraim land a contract to provide several thousand Beretta pistols to the Iraqi Police in Baghdad , but an Italian embargo blocks the shipment, which is waylaid in Jordan.
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Diveroli’s Young Guns
Sign in. Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. In , David Packouz lives in Miami, Florida, working as a massage therapist and living with his girlfriend Iz. Desiring an additional source of income, David spends his life savings on high-quality Egyptian cotton sheets, planning to sell them to Miami retirement homes, but this venture fails to produce results. At a funeral for a friend, David runs into his high school best friend Efraim Diveroli, who had moved to Los Angeles some years prior to work with his uncle selling guns. Efraim has left his uncle and formed his own company, AEY, which fills orders for arms placed by the US government due to the ongoing war in Iraq. David's life takes another turn when his girlfriend informs him that she is pregnant.
It's too enamored with its glib arms dealer heroes, and although it's packed with scenes that might have inspired moral whiplash in works like " Scarface ," " Goodfellas " and " The Wolf of Wall Street "—to name three superb films about guys who get equally high on drugs and the adrenaline rush of living outside the law, and that "War Dogs" references constantly—they're always softened by Hollywood special pleading: Aren't these guys adorable and funny? Don't you love what good friends they are? Don't you admire their audacity? Look at how troubled the hero seems—don't you feel for him? Director and co-writer Todd Phillips the "Hangover" trilogy would seem to be an ideal, or at least promising, person to tell this tale of a couple of pipsqueak Miami arms dealers who make a fortune providing guns and bullets to the US military during the height of the Bush administration's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But "War Dogs," which is based on a Rolling Stone article and a subsequent book by Guy Lawson , lacks the courage of its convictions.
Raised in a middle-class Jewish family, he preferred smoking weed and bumming around to more serious pursuits. He bounced from school to a Yeshiva in Israel, unsure of what he wanted, other than harboring a vague passion for music. He could never have known an old temple buddy named Efraim Diveroli would forever change the course of his life. His domain grew from a few square feet of a South Florida beach to the storage yards of Albania, the sleek offices of the Pentagon, and eventually, even as far-reaching as the Middle East. Diveroli offered Packouz a life of extraordinary wealth and privilege, access to echelons of power and geopolitical control as arms dealers, culminating in an adventure dramatized by the film War Dogs. In the earlier years of the Bush administration, Packouz was floundering, but brash Diveroli was raking in money at a mysterious rate — especially for a young adult. Packouz was working as a masseur while his younger friend was conspicuously living the life of a high-roller — and he wanted Packouz to come along for the ride.