# News Mercenaries of USA in Iraq and

1. Apr 27, 2004

### pelastration

USA uses a large number of mercenaries in the Iraq war. Bush idea is that 50% of tasks of the USA Army should be taken over by 'private contractors', and they are not listed as serving military personnel. Of course at a very high price (taxes), opening ways of bribery and favors.

One of the ethic problems is that mercenaries are not bound to military and political rules. Many of the heavily armed Western "security men" are working for the US Department of Defence - and most of them are former Special Forces soldiers. Their losses are hidden from public view.

What is the Geneva Conventions telling? and are they POW?

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

Part III : Methods and means of warfare -- Combatant and prisoner-of-war status #Section II -- Combatant and prisoner-of-war status

[p.571] Article 47 -- Mercenaries

[p.572] General remarks

1789 The problem of mercenaries was first raised at the United Nations in1961 in connection with the Katangese secession. (1) Later on, in 1964, the Congolese government itself recruited mercenaries to suppress an insurrection. When they were subsequently instructed to lay down their arms, most of them refused to do so and openly rebelled against the government (1967). The latter then called upon the Security Council, as well as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), to which it had already appealed in 1964. The Security Council (2) and the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the OAU requested States to prevent the recruitment of mercenaries in their territory for the purpose of overthrowing the governments of foreign States. The epilogue to this unhappy affair took place in Rwanda, where the mercenaries eventually sought refuge. They were repatriated with the help of the ICRC, on condition that they undertook not to return to the African continent. (3)

1790 Since then, there has scarcely been any conflict involving military operations in which the presence of mercenaries has notplayed a part in one way or another. Nevertheless, since 1968 the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a firm position stating that the practice of employing mercenaries against national liberation movements is a criminal act, (4) and the mercenaries themselves are criminals. In 1977 it was once more the Security Council which adopted, by consensus, a resolution condemning the recruitment of mercenaries with the objective to overthrow governments of Member States of the United Nations. (5) Also in 1977 the Council of Ministers of the OAU adopted a Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa at its 29th session in Libreville. (6) Based partly, as regards the definition of the term "mercenarism" as such, on previous [p.573] drafts, (7) and, with the exception of the problem of payment, on the definition of the term "mercenary" given in the present Article 47 , this Convention was a response to the concern of those who see the text of the Protocol as paving "the way for the conclusion of more stringent regional instruments", (8) on the assumption that Article 47 was only "the first, and that other more satisfactory international texts would follow". (9) In fact, this OAU Convention of 1977 was an attempt to respond to the wishes of some delegations who had participated in the Diplomatic Conference, wishes which could not be met by the demands of the inevitable compromise. It condemns the mercenarism as such, and not only the mercenary himself (Article 1 , paragraph 2). It contains a pure and simple prohibition on according a mercenary the status of combatant and prisoner of war (Article 3 ). Finally, the definition of the term "mercenary" diverges from that of the Protocol on one point, as stated above. (10) At the time of writing, a draft of an "international Convention against the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries" is being formulated within the United Nations. (11)

.... snip

1796 The effect of the denial of the status of combatant and prisoner of war ( to the mercenaries) in case of capture is to deprive the mercenary of the treatment of prisoner of war as laid down in the Third Convention, and to make him liable to criminal prosecution. Such prosecution can be instigated both for acts of violence which would be lawful if performed by a combatant, in the sense of the Protocol, and for the sole fact of having taken a direct part in hostilities (paragraph 2(b)). This is where the crucial question of guarantees arises.

1797 Deprived of the status of combatant and prisoner of war, a mercenary is a civilian who could fall under Article 5 of the fourth Convention. It is precisely this article which removes an important part of the guarantees from any person under legitimate suspicion of being engaged in an activity endangering State security.

....

more: http://www.icrc.org/IHL.nsf/0/ffc84b7639b26f93c12563cd00434156?OpenDocument

2. Apr 27, 2004

### phatmonky

"In 1977 it was once more the Security Council which adopted, by consensus, a resolution condemning the recruitment of mercenaries with the objective to overthrow governments of Member States of the United Nations"

But the private contractors weren't used to overthrow Saddam. They are be used in operations AFTER the fact.

3. Apr 27, 2004

### pelastration

How would you know?
Do you think they would publish it on the web?

4. Apr 27, 2004

Australia was given a trade deal worth four billion per year, in return for getting involved in Iraq. Wouldn't that make Australia mercenaries?

5. Apr 27, 2004

Hmrmph, I thought it was to honor the alliance from WW2... guess that wouldn't work unless there were an honest threat. Guess that can't happen in the future thanks to our Lord GWB. F**k

6. Apr 27, 2004

### kat

Lol, so in the world according to "Adam" the Australian armed forces are mercenaries and not POW's but the Al Queda are part of the regular armed forces and are POW's. *boggle*

7. Apr 27, 2004

### pelastration

Budget and contractors. Isn't this interesting?

"According to some experts the US Defence Department is spending about $20bn, one third of the military operating budget in Iraq and Afghanistan, on contractors. Korb estimated that about$15bn of the $18bn in the US budget for Iraq's reconstruction will go on security. He added that about one in 10 Americans working in Iraq is a civilian contractor - between 10*000 and 15*000 people. http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,,2-10-1460_1507269,00.html Amazing:$15bn of the \$18bn in the US budget for Iraq's reconstruction will go on security.

Somewhere I read that also budget of Afghanistan was used in Iraq.

8. Apr 27, 2004

9. Apr 27, 2004

### phatmonky

OHhhhhh okay! So now it's true because I can't find an article saying that something with no evidence didn't happen??!

The burden of proof falls on you sir. Otherwise, this is nothign more tha you trying to steer this to a foil hat conspiracy theory.

10. Apr 27, 2004

### phatmonky

Only if you consider every single soldier that is getting paid a mercenary - which is not the case.

11. Apr 27, 2004

### phatmonky

Hardly, you've made asseration after assertion that al quaeda captives are POW's, and thus guantanamo detentions are illegal for them.
You are now implying that Australian forces are mercenaries, and by simple logic of putting this implication with the above article, Kat is RIGHT on with your view - the views you have posted onthis board.

12. Apr 27, 2004

Another straw man. Read again, and more carefully.

13. Apr 27, 2004

### phatmonky

Whatever Adam. If you aren't here to talk about the issue at hand, go play semantics somewhere else.

14. Apr 27, 2004

Pathetic. Three posts from phatmonky, and one from kat, full of straw men. Not one fact or accurate citation.

15. Apr 27, 2004

### hughes johnson

The US is currently hiring private contractors in Iraq. If you make the grade, it is exciting and rewarding work. Profitable too. It's a chance to make a difference in the world, and have an adventure at the same time.

16. Apr 27, 2004

### pocebokli

yeah, especially if you get caught by some militiamen and burned alive.
quite an adventure, i would agree, too bad you don't live to tell about it hehehe

on the other hand you can be extra cautious and slaughter the militiamen that attacked you, + 20 bystanders, some of them aged about 4 or 5 years old.

in that case you can boast about it.

17. Apr 27, 2004

### pelastration

Don't over-react phatmonky.
US has a long tradition of working with mercenaries, in most cases they were called 'technical advisors' (i.e. Vietnam, South America). There are plenty examples. And still US-contractors in for example Columbia.
Under Clinton this practice started under specialized 'private companies', but the goal was to 'privatize' only some high tech activities (max 10%). It was not initial the goal to attract mercenaries. US had enough 'special forces'. But under Bush the privatization of the war-power grow, and with it the new type of mercenaries (cfr. from Chili, exits of US special forces, east-block soldiers, South Africans, etc) , and on the long run 50% should be privatized (goal of Bush). Thus a US president will have (has) his private army, just like Bremer has private contractors as bodyguards. Aren't special forces good enough? Regular troops will be there for the dirty work and lowest possible wages.

BTW why US wouldn't have used contractors before it attacked Iraq. The preparation started already before Bush was installed as president by Mr. Almighty.

Added: Didn't Cheney organized private armies in Nicaragua? And how did the financing happened?

Last edited: Apr 27, 2004
18. Apr 27, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

That's pretty weak, pelastration - you're insinuating that since we can prove neither, we should assume that mercinaries were used as front-line soldiers.

Sorry, you'll need to do better than that.

19. Apr 27, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

Those are some pretty fundamental misunderstandings of the US military you are working under:

The "technical advisors" we used in Vietnam were regular military - that was a way for the government to initially cloud the fact that we had troops in Vientnam.

"Special forces" always have been and still are regular military.

"Private contractors" by and large are maintenance and service personnel. The Navy (for example) doesn't operate full-service shipyards anymore. Private contractors do a better job for less money.

That 50% number: source? I bet if you'd look at it a little more closely, you'll find that every one of those jobs is non-combat. Most people don't realize it, but the vast majority of military jobs are non-combat. And I don't mean the Jessica Lynch maintenance battalion non-combat, I mean pushing papers on a desk in an office building in Virginia non-combat.

As far as security forces go, I don't agree with it, but its not the big deal you're making it out to be. Even a private swat team or two does not constitute a mercenary army.

This issue is simply being blown out of proportion because of the knee-jerk reaction the word "mercenary" gives people.

20. Apr 27, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

That little double-standard (non-standard?) aside, it is an interesting moral/ethical question as to military pay. In the US we avoid the issue by paying the military with bags of dirt.