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The future role of mercinaries

  1. Mar 28, 2007 #1
    sorry for stealing the video link/topic cromagnum, but its a vary interesting topic and yours got locked :frown:



    "blackwater USA has become one of the most powerful private actors in the so called war on terror. it provides the bush administration with an extraordinary amount of political cover. the deaths of blackwater contractors and other war contractors are not included in the total death count, even though some 780 of them have been killed in iraq. their injuries don't get counted either, their crimes don't get punished. what you have is a revolving door. blackwater and other companies benefit the bush administration and in turn the bush administration and its republican allies in congress have shielded these military contractors from any effective oversight, any effective accountability, any effective legal system. their operations are shrouded in secrecy and the people in congress find it almost impossible to get information about blackwater and other companies operations."- from the video.


    the trend seems to be that any restrictions on troop levels in iraq by american forces won't matter because mercenaries could be used instead. this outsourcing of a national guard is making the control of this force lie in the hands of fewer, less regulated people.

    in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related&v=6BDByPfIavQ private contractors shoot cars that follow their vehicle. in one scene in particular, the vehicle with the camera seems to stop on a 3 lane highway and shot a car approaching from the rear, which in turn rear ends another car that was already stopped in another lane.

    many people have claimed that the war in iraq is about winning the hearts and minds of the iraqi people. more and more, the people who are in charge of this task are fulfilling contracts for their own financial gain that do not necessarily respect the hearts, minds or any other aspect of iraqi civilians in the pursuit of their objectives.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2007 #2
    Remember this famous photo?

    That was Air America/Bird Air, a for-hire airlift company owned by the CIA.

    You can read more about Air America here.

    There is more than one side to these mercenary contracts. It's not like there is some secret conspiracy to contract out the entire military.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2007 #3

    Gokul43201

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    A little-known tidbit about Blackwater - they were contracted by DHS to handle law enforcement in New Orleans, in the wake of the Katrina disaster!

    http://www.alternet.org/katrina/25320/
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  5. Mar 29, 2007 #4
    would you like to go into more detail about this?

    i dont think the american armed forces could be totally outsourced in the foreseeable future, however it stands to reason that with the lack of accountability these military contractors have, it makes for a vary attractive alternative in some situations. if all the troops had to be home by next week, the american presence in iraq could still be vary real with the number of private contractors.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2007 #5

    Astronuc

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    If it is secret, then how would know that it exists or doesn't?

    Hiring mercenaries means they operate outside the law, and are not constrained by or subject to US law. And that seems to be a very deliberate motive on the part of the Bush administration.

    The arguement for outsourcing was supposedly to save money. Instead, we seem to be spending much more money on organizations of dubious natures.

    Mercenaries make more money than soldiers, and their companies charge a premium overhead. Does that also mean that while that taxpayer is overcharged (ripped off), the soldiers in the field and those veterans who are injured get short changed?
     
  7. Mar 31, 2007 #6

    russ_watters

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    Do you have a source for that?
     
  8. Mar 31, 2007 #7

    russ_watters

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    Do you have a source for that?

    The main criticism I've heard is specific to the Iraq issue in that they weren't subject to the Iraqi legal system, due primarily to the fact that it didn't exist!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_usa

    That type of situation certainly creates some holes, which Congress right now is working to plug. Information on the web seems a little thing, but the company is being sued by the families of some of their memebers who died in Iraq, so it would seem they are at least subject to the US civil legal system.
     
  9. Mar 31, 2007 #8

    Astronuc

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    You mean besides the DOJ and Whitehouse counsel? :biggrin:

    Well - it seems to be common knowledge.

    Anyway - let me dig up some credible sources.

    Meanwhile -
    Section 2 of Order 17. (top of page 4).

    and just as interesting -

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/18/AR2006081801171.html
    So CPA is not contrained by US Law which applies to the federal government, which is clearly deliberate - otherwise the CPA could have been established as part of DOState or DOD.

    And for some background

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_military_contractor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenaries

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Private_Military_Corporations

    http://www.barryyeoman.com/articles/dirtywarriors.html

    Hired guns unaccountable

    Private Security Guards Operate with Little Supervision

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/view/

    State Sovereignty and Private Security Companies
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007
  10. Mar 31, 2007 #9
    If anything, the confusion on this subject is illustrative of the short-sightedness of excluding a group of people from a legal system.

    Some examples:

    1857: Dred Scott v. Sandford, a negro is not a "citizen" and is therefore unable to file suit for his freedom

    1973: Roe v. Wade, a fetus is not a "person" with Constitutional rights

    Euthanasia debate: a human in a persistent vegetative state is no longer a "person," so killing it is not murder

    Those examples involve the exclusion of individuals to retract rights and/or legal status. But now it seems that individuals or organizations are being excluded from legal systems with a different goal: insulation from the legal system.

    In either case, the decision is founded on flawed reasoning (he isn't a citizen/person, so we can do whatever we want without any consequences). It is very dangerous to remove legal status from an entity because, in addition to vastly limiting the entity's legal options, doing so may remove the entity's very means of challenging the removal of status (an allegation about the legal treatment of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners).

    One can be pro-choice, and maybe even pro-euthanasia, without proposing the removal of legal status from an entity. Likewise, one can support the use of mercenaries and the prosecution of terrorists without proposing the removal of the subject's legal status.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007
  11. Apr 1, 2007 #10
    a piece of information that i just came by that i think is fairly interesting is that there are more armed civilian contractors in iraq then from all non-US coalition countries combined.

    so if the uk wants to pull their people out of iraq to avoid bad publicity of their soldiers being killed, they can stay in the good graces of the usa by giving them money to hire replacements. i think this is a new aspect to warfare of the last while (i cant think of last war the armed forces of the uk could be replaced with money in the last 100 years, but mind you my modern war history is not vary good)
     
  12. Apr 1, 2007 #11
    actually private military contractors (PMCs they are often called) can do a lot of things cheaper for a few reasons. primarily because the employees are not payed for the time they are not on duty, whereas an actual soldier can take a paycheck for a lot of time they are not on active duty. PMC often do not carry the same bureaucratic weight government organizations do.

    in iraq however, contracts seem to be given out like money is simply not an object. many hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts have been given out with no competitive pricing, and to organizations and people whom have poor track records.
     
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