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Military outsourcing to private military companies

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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ICI's deployment is part of a global trend of military outsourcing and foreign policy by proxy that has become far more common since the end of the Cold War. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the nature of international conflict shifted from U.S.-Soviet competition in client states to regional and ethnic conflicts requiring peacekeeping or other engagement. At the same time, the end of Cold War resulted in reduced superpower defense budgets, forcing even high-ranking military officers to sell their talents in the public sector. This collision of supply and demand resulted in a new age of military and security services on the world market.

In fact, a nearly two-year investigation by ICIJ identified at least 90 private military companies, or PMCs (as some of these new millennium mercenaries prefer to be known), that have operated in 110 countries worldwide. Most of these companies – defined as providing services normally carried out by a national military force, including military training, intelligence, logistics, combat and security in conflict zones – are headquartered in the United States, Britain and South Africa, though the vast bulk of their services are performed in conflict-ridden countries in Africa, South America and Asia. Eleven of the companies identified by ICIJ are no longer active, and the operational status of 18 others could not be determined.

"Mercenaries" are officially outlawed under Article 47 of the Geneva Convention, which defines them as persons recruited for armed conflict by or in a country other than their own and motivated solely by personal gain. However, few modern PMCs fit that definition and, indeed, spokesmen for such companies insist they rarely engage in combat and provide military skills only to legitimate, internationally recognized governments. The ICIJ investigation found that a wide range of companies – from large corporations that offer military training, security, landmine clearance and military base construction to start-up entrepreneurs offering combat services and tactical training – are in what has become the complex and multibillion-dollar business of war.

Since 1994, the U.S. Defense Department has entered into 3,061 contracts with 12 of the 24 U.S.-based PMCs identified by ICIJ, a review of government documents showed. Pentagon records valued those contracts was more than $300 billion. More than 2,700 of those contracts were held by just two companies: Kellogg Brown & Root and Booz Allen Hamilton. Because of the limited information the Pentagon provides and the breadth of services offered by some of the larger companies, it was impossible to determine what percentage of these contracts was for training, security or logistical services.


Full Article


Should the Pentagon be prohibited from using private military companies or is this just good business? By using private military companies the US can keep the numbers of its armed forces down and still be able to maintain its commitments. Or is this an immoral way of undercutting Congress and the wishes of the people? Without Congressional oversight the Pentagon can create its own foreign policies and wage its own wars without any fear of repudiation.




posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 11:21 AM
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No Response, Hmmmm......



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by cryptorsa1001
No Response, Hmmmm......



Hmm indeed. This is an important topic. Glad you raised it.

FYI - check this out:

The New Military

It's a research project - one component is outsourcing and the use of contract mercenaries. ...Let us know if you're interested.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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The disagreeable thing about mercs (and lets be real, that's what these PMCs are) is that they have a different appeal than the military. They are not patriotic or even loyal organizations. The French Foreign Legion is not typically seen as a mercinary force but they are in the same spirit as mercs, and there is a reason the legion is kept far from Paris. They planned to overthrow the French government after they were pulled out of Algeria.

Our own forces can be counted on- they do what the congress and president decide is best and they don't try to kill us when things go wrong. But what happens if we send these independents in somewhere and they get butchered because of faulty intelligence. Congratulations, a few thousand highly trained well armed men just came back home from war with a score to settle. This could be a really bad thing.

In a sense, the mercinary image has always appealed to me. I like the idea of making a handsome profit by doing bad things to bad people. I've often wondered if it might not be fun to do the soldier of fortune thing by rounding up a few other former marines and running around raiding drug dealers for fun and profit. But the fact that it appeals to me is exactly why it scares me. We don't want sick greedy violent individuals like myself to be presented with a career path that will train and equip them for future mischief.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 01:49 AM
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Firstly,I will make one thing clear.PMC-mercerneries can be defined as hired assasins and that's why I never agreed to any attempts hiring them.Their motives is solely for money.A soldier motive is to defend their country from any foreign threat or internal threat.Furthermore,there is an idea of a serious cover up by hiring these PMCs.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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I agree with you...so if anything goes wrong.... the US can blame it on the private military...frees them from involvement. How clever.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 02:29 AM
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Yup,I think the idea of having PMCs in the first place is stupid to me.

Definition of Mercenary:

One that serves merely for wages,especially : a soldier hired into foreign service

Definition of Soldier:

One engage in the military service especially in the Army


[edit on 16/2/05 by Heartagram]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 02:54 AM
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Mercenaries are the true vets of wars thoughout history. Standing armies fighting for a nation is a rather new concept in the history of warfare .

I say release the Dogs of war killing is killing all the same if your motives are money or your country. The guy you kill wont care what your motives were.

Besides PMCs have already made the UN forces look like a joke in Africa. They are turning out to be better peace keepers then the so called UN peace keeping force. They are really more the Pedigree Dogs of War now.

Dont think the US is the only country that makes use of PMCs either



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by Heartagram
Definition of Mercenary:

One that serves merely for wages,especially : a soldier hired into foreign service
[edit on 16/2/05 by Heartagram]


Have you ever seen "The Substitute"? Good movie.
Mercinary one: "Have you ever looked up the word Mercinary? It's one who fights merely for money."
Mercinary two: "Everybody fights for money."
Mercinary one: "It's not the money that bothers me. It's the 'merely'."



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 12:37 PM
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Did the cutting of our military budget and therefore our military personnel bring on these PMC's?

Is that how the current PMC's began? Unemployed trained military personnel?

Is it a good budget move to hire PMCs instead of maintaining a volunteer military to cover all needs?

I thought that I had heard that the new plan for the military was to have small integrated groups ready to go anywhere at any time, instead of the large force now used to maintain presence in other countries.

These are questions for which I would like to see answers. As you can tell by the questions, I know nothing, but would like to know something.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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Cryptor
Should the Pentagon be prohibited from using private military companies or is this just good business?

Nations fall apart when they start using and relying on mercenaries to see thru their foreign policy. Perhaps it becomes a matter of too readily using miitary force when the only 'cost' is actual cash, and this results in all sorts of entangling and sapping situations. Either way, its a bad idea. If citizen volunteers can't be raised, it probably shouldn't be done, outside of emergency conscription.


the vagabond
The French Foreign Legion is not typically seen as a mercinary force but they are in the same spirit as mercs, and there is a reason the legion is kept far from Paris

Heck, the spanish were pretty concerned about the tercio too no? And the british force that was fighting against the american rebels were supposedly largely 'volunteers' from prisons and whatnot, not unlike the foreign legions (men of desperation, etc).


shadowXIX
Standing armies fighting for a nation is a rather new concept in the history of warfare .

Standing armies, yes, but citizen armies, no. The roman legions were citizen-yeomen, along with the greek city-state armies, for example. Most tribal armies are, obviously, 'citizen volunteers' (more or less tho). Places like Carthage widely used mercenaries tho and certainly others did too. But mercenaries aren't the 'norm' really.


mahree
Did the cutting of our military budget and therefore our military personnel bring on these PMC's?

You mean clinton era cuts? I am not sure that these things have been in use that long.

Is it a good budget move to hire PMCs instead of maintaining a volunteer military to cover all needs?

That would depend on what they contract for. Or what they 're-negotiate' at crucial times later. Or on what the enemy offers them prior to battle later.

small integrated groups ready to go anywhere at any time,

the Stryker Brigades, and what not. I'd expect that these mercs don't get equipment from the US Army, but can purchase product, perhaps even certain products under certain buying licsenses. I don't know if a stryker vehicle can be included in that tho, it it brings up a point. Mercs can't be given the same tech that american soldiers are given.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan



shadowXIX
Standing armies fighting for a nation is a rather new concept in the history of warfare .

Standing armies, yes, but citizen armies, no. The roman legions were citizen-yeomen, along with the greek city-state armies, for example. Most tribal armies are, obviously, 'citizen volunteers' (more or less tho). Places like Carthage widely used mercenaries tho and certainly others did too. But mercenaries aren't the 'norm' really.



Well Rome was really the exception to the rule but even they made use of mercenaries as well.

I would really say mercenaries was the norm because so many armies were payed for in history and had their motives in spoils of wars.

If your fighting even just for the Spoils of war like say viking raiders or the mongols you are a mercenary even though you didnt get a pay check up front.

[edit on 16-2-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 04:13 PM
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I'm with Nygdan on this one. Even though Mercinaries can be a nice "bonus" in addition to national forces they should not occupy any place of special importance in a nations defense. They are best used when you need a small force that can be employed quietly, without sending your own assetts or taking responsibility. They are also handy when you just really need elite troops in a hurry while you are mobilizing. For the most part though we should stay away from them.

As Heinlin said, if a nation's citizens won't defend it of their own free will, let the darn thing die. (not an exact quote).

We don't need unreliable forces that will turn away from a job that's too dangerous or that will demand more money in our most desperate hour. We don't need men who can be bought off by the other side. We need a domestic force which does what we need done because they're part of us and they love us.
You don't rent a guard dog- you raise one and you feed it so that it loves you and hates everyone who messes with you.



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