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MINISTERS are negotiating multi-million-pound contracts with private security firms to cover some of the gaps created by British troop withdrawals.
Days after Tony Blair revealed that he wanted to withdraw 1,600 soldiers from war-torn Basra within months, it has emerged that civil servants hope "mercenaries" can help fill the gap left behind. news.scotsman.com...
Originally posted by marg6043
I found this article interesting, I wonder if some of our fellow UK members knows if this is true or not.
The extent of these firms' combat role is largely off policymakers' radar screen. Not only is Congress woefully ignorant of the contracts that its budgets have paid for, but senior Pentagon officials are, at best, in self-denial about the depth of the outsourcing. When pressed on the issue at a news briefing just days after the Fallujah deaths, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's response was a prototypical nonsensical Rummyism.
Originally posted by The Vagabond
Just to be sure I'm not misunderstood, I understand why governments do it, but I don't agree with their reasons.
A mercinary of any kind is a thug, plain and simple. There is a certain nobility to fighting for what you believe in, even if violence is always an ugly thing. There is no such nobility- and no respect for right and wrong- in fighting for something you don't believe in because the price is right.
Mercinaries are inherently dangerous because they can be paid to do things that should not be done, while a volunteer soldier in a national army who serves a specific ideal has limits to what he will do under normal circumstances (although, of course regular troops are succeptible to wrongdoing as well from time to time).
$293 million Pentagon contract to coordinate security for reconstruction projects, as well as support for other private military companies, in Iraq. This effectively put him in command of the second-largest foreign armed force in the country—behind America's but ahead of Britain's. These men aren't officially part of the Coalition of the Willing, because they're all paid contractors—the Coalition of the Billing, you might call it—but they're a crucial part of the coalition's forces nonetheless.
One of their tactics has been to shoot first and ask questions later, and Iraqis have referred to some of these contractors as "black death." Some of them have been accused of shooting Iraqis for sport.
In November of 2005 a disgruntled Aegis ex-employee posted a so-called "trophy video" on the Internet depicting Aegis contractors—Tim Spicer's men—shooting at Iraqis in civilian cars. In one sequence, the Aegis team opens fire with an automatic weapon at an approaching silver Mercedes.
According to a February 2006 Government Accountability Office report, there were approximately 48,000 private military contractors in Iraq, employed by 181 different companies. There may now be many more. These are the kinds of people Tim Spicer and Aegis are supposed to coordinate. The bulk of the military contractors are American and British, with a sprinkling of other nationalities.
Originally posted by marg6043
If you want to carry a gun and become a gun for hired is about 48,000 or more firms operating in Iraq and most of them are of the caliber as dirty as Mr. spicer one.
Originally posted by neformore
To be honest Marg, I'd be surprised if it was true. If there is one thing the British Military has never been able to stomach its mercenaries, especially if they are ex-forces staff.
Controversy "America's Holy Warriors"
Erik Prince (bio) is "the secretive, mega-millionaire, right-wing Christian founder of Blackwater, the private security firm that has built a formidable mercenary force in Iraq," Chris Hedges wrote December 31, 2006, in Truthdig. Prince "champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is deceitful, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. These mercenary units in Iraq, including Blackwater, contain some 20,000 fighters. They unleash indiscriminate and wanton violence against unarmed Iraqis, have no accountability and are beyond the reach of legitimate authority. The appearance of these paramilitary fighters, heavily armed and wearing their trademark black uniforms, patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, gave us a grim taste of the future. It was a stark reminder that the tyranny we impose on others we will one day impose on ourselves."
Blackwater USA was co-founded by former Navy Seal Erik Prince, a "billionaire right-wing fundamentalist Christian from a powerful Michigan Republican family. A major Republican campaign contributor, he interned in the White House of President George H.W. Bush and campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 1992. He founded the mercenary firm Blackwater USA in 1997 with Gary Jackson, another former Navy SEAL."