The future role of mercinaries

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In summary, Blackwater USA has become a powerful private actor in the war on terror, providing political cover for the Bush administration. The deaths and injuries of their contractors are not included in the total death count and their operations are shrouded in secrecy. The trend of outsourcing military tasks to mercenaries is making it difficult for Congress to obtain information about these companies. There is also criticism that these contractors operate outside the law and are not held accountable for their actions. The use of contractors also raises questions about the motives of the Bush administration and the potential misuse of taxpayer money.
  • #1

devil-fire

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.
 
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  • #2
Remember http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a8/Vietnamescape.jpg [Broken]?

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.
 
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  • #3
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/
 
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  • #4
Futobingoro said:
...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.

would you like to go into more detail about this?

i don't 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.
 
  • #5
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.
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 argument 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?
 
  • #6
Astronuc said:
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.
Do you have a source for that?
 
  • #7
Astronuc said:
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.
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!
Private security contractors aroused anger in Iraq when it was claimed that they were made immune to Iraqi legal prosecution due to laws in effect dating from Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority signed by L. Paul Bremer.
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.
 
  • #8
russ_watters said:
Do you have a source for that?
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 -
1) Unless provided otherwise herein, the MNF, the CPA, Foreign Liaison Missions, their Personnel, property, funds and assets, and all International Consultants shall be immune from Iraqi legal process.
Section 2 of Order 17. (top of page 4).

and just as interesting -

On Aug. 16, a federal judge overturned a jury verdict against Custer Battles, a security company accused of defrauding the government on Iraq reconstruction work. While the judge found there was sufficient evidence that the company submitted inflated invoices to the Coalition Provisional Authority, he also concluded the CPA was not a U.S. government entity. As a consequence of this ruling—and myriad other decisions made by U.S. officials—we may never know the full scope of the private sector's involvement in the war on terror.
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

http://www.newsobserver.com/505/story/421071.html [Broken]

Private Security Guards Operate with Little Supervision

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

http://www.globalpolicy.org/nations/sovereign/militaryindex.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #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.
 
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  • #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 can't 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)
 
  • #11
Astronuc said:
The argument 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?

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.
 

1. What is the current role of mercenaries and how do you see it changing in the future?

Currently, mercenaries are hired soldiers who are contracted to fight in conflicts for a private company or individual, rather than for a national army. In the future, the role of mercenaries may shift towards providing security and protection services for corporations, governments, and even individuals.

2. Will the use of mercenaries increase or decrease in the future?

It is difficult to predict with certainty, but it is possible that the use of mercenaries may increase in the future as governments and corporations seek alternative forms of military and security support. However, there may also be a push for stricter regulations and oversight of mercenary activities.

3. How will advancements in technology impact the role of mercenaries?

Advancements in technology, such as drones and artificial intelligence, may play a significant role in the future of mercenaries. They could potentially be used for surveillance, reconnaissance, and even combat operations, potentially reducing the need for human mercenaries in certain situations.

4. What are the ethical concerns surrounding the use of mercenaries in the future?

There are many ethical concerns surrounding the use of mercenaries, both currently and in the future. Some argue that the profit-driven nature of mercenary work goes against the principles of national sovereignty and international law. There are also concerns about the potential for human rights abuses and lack of accountability for mercenaries.

5. How will the changing political landscape impact the future role of mercenaries?

The changing political landscape, including the rise of non-state actors and the increasing privatization of military and security operations, may lead to a greater demand for mercenaries in the future. This could potentially create more opportunities for mercenary work, but it also raises questions about the potential consequences and implications for global security.

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