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zak
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Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:09 pm

Since Blackwater USA, the biggest commercial mercenary company out there, recently started building up its own Air-Force, a question comes to mind:
Should private businesses be allowed to develop the ability to project military power?
Is this the first step into an Orwellian future? Opinions please!
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JGPH1A
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:16 pm

Bad bad bad - military firepower in unregulated, unaccountable hands ? That's a big no. It's bad enough with unregulated, unaccountable governments (democracy generally being the fig leaf that it is), without all the horrors of private enterprise creeping in as well.
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deltagator
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:24 pm

Quoting Zak (Thread starter):
Since Blackwater USA, the biggest commercial mercenary company out there, recently started building up its own Air-Force

Source? Link?

Not saying it isn't true. Just wondering what exactly they are building as an "air force."

Quoting Zak (Thread starter):
Should private businesses be allowed to develop the ability to project military power?

To function as the military does is combat situations...no.
To function as private security forces for certain compunds in war zones or high security needs areas to free up soldiers for battle instead of guarding stuff...yes.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
Flighty
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:27 pm

No. If the govt wants us to fight a big war, let them draft us. I will be happy to serve in a war if needed. Unless it's to commit crimes, then I would have a responsibility to disobey orders. Some Iraq soldiers have done just that, to their credit. They are American heroes.

World War II, count me in. Gulf War I, count me in. Blackwater, should be illegal, definitely. It's a very corrupt idea. Why have a government at all, if they can't even handle freaking military operations at 600 billion a year pentagon budget? Clearly something wrong there.
 
zak
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:39 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 2):
Source? Link?

Not saying it isn't true. Just wondering what exactly they are building as an "air force."

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20070827.aspx

they seem to be slowly progressing from their already armed rotary wing airforce towards COIN capable turboprops.
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Toast
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
military firepower in unregulated, unaccountable hands ? That's a big no. It's bad enough with unregulated, unaccountable governments (democracy generally being the fig leaf that it is), without all the horrors of private enterprise creeping in as well.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

Quoting Flighty (Reply 3):
If the govt wants us to fight a big war, let them draft us

 checkmark  There is a reason it hasn't been done in Iraq. That's a minefield at home even the Bush squad wouldn't dare to walk into. They know they're safe as long as citizens camping in the street are there only to buy an iPod.
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aloges
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Bad bad bad - military firepower in unregulated, unaccountable hands ? That's a big no. It's bad enough with unregulated, unaccountable governments (democracy generally being the fig leaf that it is), without all the horrors of private enterprise creeping in as well.

 checkmark  You said it well. Private armies are a monumentally bad idea, what they are ultimately capable of can be visited in e.g. that bit of hell formerly known as Somalia.

And before anyone gets his panties in a wad, no, I'm not saying that all private security firms are the same as Somalian warlords.
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deltagator
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:59 pm

Quoting Zak (Reply 4):
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20070827.aspx

they seem to be slowly progressing from their already armed rotary wing airforce towards COIN capable turboprops.

Interesting. I have no issue with the helicopters, even armed, since they transport their folks around through a dangerous area. If they are used for policing the areas they are responsible for security-wise then that's ok. It becomes an interesting line that is crossed if they expand into forward operations.

The Tucanos seem out of place and I'm not sure their use. Of course the article details out what they could be used for but there isn't facts in evidence that is what they'll be used for. Of course if it quacks like a duck...well you know the rest. I would take issue with them operating as frontline soldiers because of all the political implications that can go with it. I still stand pat on them functioning as security forces for some locations...soldiers should still be responsible for security, and thus reaction to attacks from the enemy, at forward base locations.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
Queso
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:15 am

I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm all for it. In fact, if I didn't have a wife and kid I'd be signing up for it myself if they'd have me.

 stirthepot  Playing "devil's advocate" for a minute and looking at it from another angle, I'm sure there are those that might post the question of what the difference is between terrorists and mercenaries. Maybe it's just a matter of aesthetics.  stirthepot 
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:20 am

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
I'm sure there are those that might post the question of what the difference is between terrorists and mercenaries. Maybe it's just a matter of aesthetics

Answer: Terrorists don't get paid.

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm all for it. In fact, if I didn't have a wife and kid I'd be signing up for it myself if they'd have me.

Why not just join a proper army ? I thought it was all about patriotism and service to one's country. If it's not that, it's just shooting people and getting paid.
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Toast
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:27 am

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
if I didn't have a wife and kid I'd be signing up for it myself

Why settle on one if you can have several in Iraq? It's well know the local girls rush into the arms of their valiant liberators  stirthepot 

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
what the difference is between terrorists and mercenaries

Two different words for the same kind of tool
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:31 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):

Why not just join a proper army ?

Answer: soldiers in the regular army don't make the obscene salaries mercenaries do.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
I thought it was all about patriotism and service to one's country. If it's not that, it's just shooting people and getting paid.

In principle, you're correct, but these guys are pretty much guarding Green Zone VIPs and supply convoys while making salaries that dwarf those of American soldiers putting themselves in real danger every day.

It should be pointed out that Blackwater isn't just hiring ex-SEALS and Army Rangers...these guys are hiring Chileans that trained and served under Pinochet and South Africans from the apartheid era (among others)...individuals whose penchant for protecting human rights is questionable at the very best. They're not held accountable in the same way U.S. soldiers are, and Blackwater has succeeded in ensuring that will remain the case.

These guys are war profiteers, nothing else.

For anybody interested in reading more on Blackwater, I highly recommend the book Jeremy Scahill published recently. Simultaneously fascinating and harrowing...
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AGM100
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:43 am

Do these security firms have contracts directly with the US Military ? I have not read alot about them.

I do know that Iraqi corporations and government agencies hire them for security , but are they actually contracted by the DOD?

IMO unless they are hired directly by the DOD and operate in some kind of offensive action then I see no problem with it. If they are just providing security and are hired by outside firms then who cares , its just supply and demand I guess. This would be a matter for the Iraqi government to disallow.
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Arniepie
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 12):
Do these security firms have contracts directly with the US Military ? I have not read alot about them.

I know there are a large amount of "contractors" of this nature in Iraq but I was under the impression that they are not directly payed out of the DOD budget but are payed by another department (foreign affairs???) instead.

I could be wrong about it but I picked that up somewhere.
[edit post]
 
AGM100
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:35 am

On the other hand ,, Why shouldn't the DOD hire or use non regulated special forces to fight Al Qada.? I am aware of the GC , but are their actually US laws against doing it.?
If their is , then why is the world divided about fighting the largest illegal forces in the world .. Al Qada , Hezz, IJ, Hamas...on an on.
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Queso
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:37 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
Why not just join a proper army ?

Too old.  Sad

Quoting Toast (Reply 10):
It's well know the local girls rush into the arms of their valiant liberators

Not my type.
 
dl021
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:46 am

I think the definition and perception of mercenaries is skewed here.

Mercenaries have defended the Pope for over a hundred and fifty years.

Mercenaries assisted the US in the Revolutionary War.

Mercenaries are accepted as heros of the French Army. (Legion Etranger).

Mercenaries freed the hostages at Stanleyville in the Congo along with the Belgians.

Mercenaries participated in the democratization of Central America (like it or not)

Mercenaries assisted the Bosniacs and Croatians in expelling the Serbs from their lands.

Mercenaries are defined by whom they choose to work for and what aims they support. Just like nations.

Calling a private contractor a mercenary is perhaps correct.....but to assign all mercenaries to the same pit is wrong.

The idea that Blackwater is evil just because they're being paid by the US government and the Iraqi government to accomplish certain needed missions is a fallacy. They are regulated by the terms of their contract with the USG and the State Department certifies them to work government contracts.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 3):
I will be happy to serve in a war if needed. Unless it's to commit crimes, then I would have a responsibility to disobey orders. Some Iraq soldiers have done just that, to their credit. They are American heroes.

Then you would not be happy to serve. You think that service to country ought to be defined by you....your basic premise in your post is somewhat disengenuous since you seek to appear one way but insinuate that you'll act another. What about all those people who thought our first Gulf War was immoral and illegal. They were out there....should they be allowed to define when they get to serve in case of a draft?

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
what they are ultimately capable of can be visited in e.g. that bit of hell formerly known as Somalia.

Yeah....but those were locals not international mercs. Locals organized by clan and gang, and not brought in from out of the area for the most part (other than the terrorists who were hiding out there and developing their techniques).

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
Answer: Terrorists don't get paid

Sure they do. They get support and shelter. Payment takes various appearances.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
Why not just join a proper army ? I thought it was all about patriotism and service to one's country. If it's not that, it's just shooting people and getting paid.

Depends on what the proper army is being asked to do. What are Blackwater personnel doing over there?

Has anyone asked this yet?
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zak
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:14 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries have defended the Pope for over a hundred and fifty years.

the swiss have a long tradition as mercenaries, they are a small bunch surrounded by huge countries, they always played their cards in their best interest. "back in the days", it was a win-win for the church and the swiss to do this, as the church was certain that the swiss would not have any hegemonial aspiration, ensuring loyality, whilst the small swiss had the procetive umbrella of the church, guaranteeing support against attempted annexion

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries assisted the US in the Revolutionary War.

exactly. they were paid, otherwise they would have been traditional freedom fighters with ideals.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries are accepted as heros of the French Army. (Legion Etranger).

they are not mercenaries in the traditional sense, as they become citizens and must fulfill their military duties. on top of that, the legion is under FULL control of the french government and all treaties signed by france as a national sovereign including their jurisdiction. they are indeed just foreign troops who whoever fall under all aspects of traditional soldiers.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

Mercenaries freed the hostages at Stanleyville in the Congo along with the Belgians.

have you ever thought why? money. its easier to spend money for european politicians, on the other hand they have a HARD time justifying dead people, especially in 1964 with the ww2 being not too long ago.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries participated in the democratization of Central America (like it or not)

mercenaries also participate on a daily basis in the exploitation and undermining of rights of countless tribes and people in central america and especially africa

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries assisted the Bosniacs and Croatians in expelling the Serbs from their lands.

they also fought on the other side. they were in it for the money, dont even start with that war and the ENDLESS atrocities committed by both sides

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

Mercenaries are defined by whom they choose to work for and what aims they support. Just like nations.

powerful nations usually, unlike mercenary companies, are accountable towards their citizens. those few powerful countries who are not will usually find themselves being under scrunity by countries who do indeed have citizens holding the governments actions accountable, hence they can, at least not internationally, do as they wish.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Calling a private contractor a mercenary is perhaps correct.....but to assign all mercenaries to the same pit is wrong.

mercenaries are the epitome of evil. they fight for money. putting yourself in the danger of dieing for money is about the most retarded concept there is, but apart from that, thought to the end, mercenaries put their efforts in for money. often, human rights and money do not share the same interests. if mercenaries were indeed interested in a better world, you would have "soldiers without borders" just like medicines sans frontieres, trying to make the world better without payment except travelling compensation. this is not the case. mercenaries are in a symbolic way the display that money and power supercede just cause, if this was not the case, there would not be mercenaries but genuine freedom fighters.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

The idea that Blackwater is evil just because they're being paid by the US government and the Iraqi government to accomplish certain needed missions is a fallacy. They are regulated by the terms of their contract with the USG and the State Department certifies them to work government contracts.

no, blackwater and all other mercenary companies are bad because they have stepped over the line. they no longer act as guards. they are deployed to give the u.s. government tools to surpass the accountability issues that the traditional military has.
it is frightening to see the rapid development of this modus operandi, if it indeed becomes normal practice for a government to "buy themselves out of liability" then we are in it for a very bad next 50 years.
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Confuscius
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:47 am

Speaking of private security forces, check out these videos (Warning adult content):




object width="425" height="350">

[Edited 2007-08-30 19:52:48]
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:50 am

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 12):
Do these security firms have contracts directly with the US Military ? I have not read alot about them.

No. I believe they're with the State Department. I don't have the info handy at the moment, but I can check on that later.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 14):

If their is , then why is the world divided about fighting the largest illegal forces in the world .. Al Qada , Hezz, IJ, Hamas...on an on.

"Illegal forces"...where does that appear in the Geneva Conventions again?

Quoting Zak (Reply 17):
it is frightening to see the rapid development of this modus operandi, if it indeed becomes normal practice for a government to "buy themselves out of liability" then we are in it for a very bad next 50 years.

With Blackwater founder Eric Prince saying that he wants Blackwater to "do for the military what FedEx did for the postal service," (that is more or less a precise quote), there is very real reason to be concerned. Blackwater execs boast that they can do what the military does faster and cheaper, hence their appeal to war planners in Iraq. There are a lot of scary implications for this...say, the next time we have something like the WTO protests, are we going to see unaccountable Blackwater guards called in to quell "unrest?" These guys have the potential to make declining enlistment in the voluntary armed forces negligible.
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zak
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:07 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 19):

With Blackwater founder Eric Prince saying that he wants Blackwater to "do for the military what FedEx did for the postal service," (that is more or less a precise quote), there is very real reason to be concerned. Blackwater execs boast that they can do what the military does faster and cheaper, hence their appeal to war planners in Iraq. There are a lot of scary implications for this...say, the next time we have something like the WTO protests, are we going to see unaccountable Blackwater guards called in to quell "unrest?" These guys have the potential to make declining enlistment in the voluntary armed forces negligible.

ding ding ding, RU
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JGPH1A
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries are defined by whom they choose to work for and what aims they support. Just like nations

Not true. Unlike nations, private armies have no loyalties and no accountabilities - they will go where the money is. If mercenaries fought for ideals, there would be far fewer of them.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Sure they do. They get support and shelter. Payment takes various appearances

Disingenuous - that is not the same thing as fighting for money.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
What are Blackwater personnel doing over there?

How would we know ? They have no accountability to anyone, they could be doing absolutely anything, who's to stop them ? And that, right there, is entirely the problem. Vicious, unprincipled, combat-hardened veterans with guns, but without boundaries - how is that NOT scary ?
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PPVRA
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:29 am

It's in the Military Aviation forum, I posted the thread/news article.

It's been mentioned that Blackwater provides a "body guard"-type service in Iraq, but do not engage in combat. I'm guessing there's probably some strange situations, such as them going out of their contract duties and engaging in self-defence fighting, so it is quite a tricky situation. . .
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TheCol
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:35 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
military firepower in unregulated, unaccountable hands

That can be changed.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 2):
To function as private security forces for certain compunds in war zones or high security needs areas to free up soldiers for battle instead of guarding stuff...yes.

I have no problem with that. A bodyguard role shouldn't be a huge issue.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:54 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 23):
That can be changed.

Yes it could, but laws only apply where the rule of law applies. In unregulated situations, you have to rely on the military obeying its own rules of engagement and codes of conduct (which are in the vast majority of cases respected). What Uniform Code of Military Justice do mercenaries follow ? To what country and national jurisdiction are they ultimately responsible ? They seem to above any kind of national law, and that is the really scary part.
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fumanchewd
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:59 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

Mercenaries assisted the US in the Revolutionary War.

As well as the British and French. The British used the Hessians while the French used natives.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

Quoting Flighty (Reply 3):
I will be happy to serve in a war if needed. Unless it's to commit crimes, then I would have a responsibility to disobey orders. Some Iraq soldiers have done just that, to their credit. They are American heroes.

Then you would not be happy to serve. You think that service to country ought to be defined by you....your basic premise in your post is somewhat disengenuous since you seek to appear one way but insinuate that you'll act another. What about all those people who thought our first Gulf War was immoral and illegal. They were out there....should they be allowed to define when they get to serve in case of a draft?

I agree with DL 100%. Firstly, those who think that they can choose which wars are good and which are bad have no historical knowledge of past wars. So Flighty would have "heroically" gone to WWII?  Yeah sure Perhaps he could've been one of the pilots firebombing Dresden. It is a coward and an egomaniac who thinks that they have the ability to know the twists that the future will bring.

Secondly the military will rightfully continue to punish deserters.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):

Sure they do. They get support and shelter. Payment takes various appearances.

Not to mention that just recently, terrorists were rewarded the withdrawal of S. Korean troops by taking hostages.

Mercenaries have been around since the beginning of time and there is nothing immoral about it. Why not fight for money when everyone else is just fighting for a shadow?
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zak
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 23):

I have no problem with that. A bodyguard role shouldn't be a huge issue.

a bodyguard role as executed with, say having people stand around the first president of timor leste to protect him from getting assasinated, yes indeed. or karzai.
a bodyguard role as happened with aristide of haiti, "ESCORTING" him into exile? no.
convoi protection, shooting before asking questions, like reckless cowboys? no.
a bodyguard role as it happens in africa and south america, where exploiting companies from the west have armed guards to ensure that noone disrupts their theft of local valueable natural resources, supporting the corrupt local politicians? no!
sadly, these companies work like soldiers without the laws and checks applied to them. no accountability at all.
look at the REAL way they operate, not some theoretical scenario that will never evolve. why do i claim it will never evolve? because, as pointed out initially, this is what they are wanted for and this is what is demanded right now: guns with no accountability.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):
I agree with DL 100%. Firstly, those who think that they can choose which wars are good and which are bad have no historical knowledge of past wars.

indeed there is choice within the actions of a free individual in modern western societies, which is where the majority of "the contractors" come from. the russians+ other eastern individuals mostly go to the french legion, they dont like war, they have seen it before.
you have a choice. you can choose not to join a military, you can choose not to do things in life. you can not mix western mercenaries with poor kids in some hole in africa, so please dont start mixing issues up. this debate here is about "bling bling dollar mercenaries" who have a choice and who do it for money and who start getting into serious military capabilities.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):
Mercenaries have been around since the beginning of time and there is nothing immoral about it.

so has murder, rape and countless other things. mankind has not evolved because the status quo was good enough. i used to think that a "can do" attitude in terms of aspiration was one of the key pillars of united states' national identity. i guess this has eroded over the years  embarrassed 

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):

Why not fight for money when everyone else is just fighting for a shadow?

the concept of seriously endangering your life for money is inherently flawed in modern days, where you can have a perfectly normal life with all quality one needs without that risk. risking your life for having a bigger car or being able to buy a boat or other things is just, well, lets not use too bad words so i will stop the train of thought here.
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fumanchewd
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:14 am

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
the concept of seriously endangering your life for money is inherently flawed in modern days, where you can have a perfectly normal life with all quality one needs without that risk. risking your life for having a bigger car or being able to buy a boat or other things is just, well, lets not use too bad words so i will stop the train of thought here.

Wow. That's pretty judgemental about other people's life decisions. Perhaps everyone who joins the military should put in for a desk job then? With that type of thinking, why does an airforce pilot choose to be a pilot when he could just be a mechanic with less risk instead.  Yeah sure For that matter we all make assessments of risks in our lives and make decisions.

Professional pilots have a greater risk of occupational mortality than most jobs. Most rational people think about the risks involved and make a rational decision. So "risking your life" as a news helicopter pilot just to have a bigger car or boat disgusts you as well? How about crab fishermen in Alaska? Should they be in your contempt for their materialistic risk taking?


Sorry, my friend, but that is not rational. If you want to judge mercenaries for engaging people with weapons, fine. But to judge them for taking risks does not make sense.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.--
WS

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
so has murder, rape and countless other things. mankind has not evolved because the status quo was good enough. i used to think that a "can do" attitude in terms of aspiration was one of the key pillars of united states' national identity. i guess this has eroded over the years

I don't think so, I'm just a realist with a historical knowledge. Will there ever be an end to war? No. Not until mankind loses greed, ego, jealously, revenge, etc. You're right, lets try to resolve our differences. There will always be war though. Mercenaries are just another "tool" of war. Rest assured, they will not allow our "mercenaries" to go on patrols in the streets of Bagdad. These bodyguards and security guards just happen to have automatic rifles and helicopters. They are not actively seeking out the enemy.

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
this debate here is about "bling bling dollar mercenaries" who have a choice and who do it for money and who start getting into serious military capabilities.

I believe that you assumption that these are "bling bling dollar mercenaries" who are getting into serious military capabilities" is incorrect. They are not driving tanks nor are they flying AC130s. They are body and security guards and 90% of them are ex-us soldiers who know what they are doing. Christ man, don't demonize these people. Its not like they are a rogue group working outside of US command. Its not the ATeam and I hope their aim is better.  Wink

Mercenaries, like guns, are not going anywhere anytime soon. Surprise! They will be around as long as we have conflicts.
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MDorBust
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:16 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 19):
say, the next time we have something like the WTO protests, are we going to see unaccountable Blackwater guards called in to quell "unrest?"

Wait... why are they suddenly unaccountable?

If Blackwater guards showed up and started beating down protestors here there would be an epic asskicking coming to them from every law enforcement agency within a two hour drive. They are absolutely bound to follow the laws of the nation they are operting in.

There are only two ways that Blackwater could operate here:
1) As an adjunct of the US military
2) As private security.

US law prohibts the first in an anti-protest role since the military is barred from domestic law enforcement. The second would be outside the scope of the law in your example since private security are only allowed to directly defend the property or the person they are directly contracted to.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 24):
What Uniform Code of Military Justice do mercenaries follow ?

That depends on where they are operating and what capacity they are operating in. In Iraq, they actually are bound by the UCMJ.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):
So Flighty would have "heroically" gone to WWII?

Don't let it slip to him that Mercenaries also fought in WWII.

AVG... it's not just a free virus scanner.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

BTW: Technically under the Geneva Conventions Blackwater Employees in Iraq are not mercenaries as the United States is a national party in the conduct of the conflict. As such, they are bound by the Geneva Conventions and the laws of the US military.

[Edited 2007-08-30 23:17:55]
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:47 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 28):

There are only two ways that Blackwater could operate here:
1) As an adjunct of the US military
2) As private security.

See New Orleans after Katrina. I've even heard that Blackwater beat the National Guard to the scene!
http://www.democracynow.org/static/Overkill.shtml

""When they told me New Orleans, I said, 'What country is that in?,'" said one of the Blackwater men. He was wearing his company ID around his neck in a carrying case with the phrase "Operation Iraqi Freedom" printed on it. After bragging about how he drives around Iraq in a "State Department issued level 5, explosion proof BMW," he said he was "just trying to get back to Kirkuk (in the north of Iraq) where the real action is." Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem. That is much less than the men make serving in more dangerous conditions in Iraq. Two men we spoke with said they plan on returning to Iraq in October. But, as one mercenary said, they've been told they could be in New Orleans for up to 6 months. "This is a trend," he told us. "You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 28):
In Iraq, they actually are bound by the UCMJ.

Do you have something online to back that up? Everything I've ever read suggests that they're not only unbound by it, but that the company executives have effectively struck down several attempts to hold them accountable to it.
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dl021
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:52 am

Quoting Zak (Reply 17):
mercenaries are the epitome of evil

Dude....watch it there...you don't know the motivations of others and you don't know who folks are willing to fight for. Most guys I know in that business (private security/military) would not fight for some government or organization that they feel acts against their principles. It's the unprincipled that you should be worried about. Most of the guys in Blackwater are US and British ex-military who would be there one way or another.

Quoting Zak (Reply 17):
putting yourself in the danger of dieing for money is about the most retarded concept there is,

Well, I'm glad that the underwater pipeline repair divers feel differently. I'm glad that fishermen feel differently. I could go on...

Quoting Zak (Reply 17):
blackwater and all other mercenary companies are bad

I thought that only the Sith dealt in absolutes!

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
Not true. Unlike nations, private armies have no loyalties and no accountabilities -

The ones working for the US State Dept certainly have accountability. Perhaps differently than they would Stateside, but they can't violate US law. Check their contracts.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
they will go where the money is. If mercenaries fought for ideals, there would be far fewer of them.

That's not true of all men, and you should know that. The Sandline and Executive Outcomes guys turned down plenty of bad actors in their days, and the current crop of companies don't generally end up working for the Mugabes or Amhenhijads of the world. They stay within the confines of the governments of their home countries. The State department revokes passports of known mercenaries who are working for people they don't approve of.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
Disingenuous - that is not the same thing as fighting for money.

Man cannot live by bread alone.....and the mercenaries who need to get paid did not go to Bosnia for the $4 or 5k per month they got from Dyncorp or whatever local entity called them over....they went for the adventure and sense of accomplishing something good. Excess on both sides, but only one actually got away with an organized genocide....and the mercenaries helped shove those assholes into their own country. No one's hands were clean there, but there was a side that needed more defending than the other.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
How would we know ? They have no accountability to anyone,

Sure they do....see above. No one operates in a vacuum anymore.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 21):
Vicious, unprincipled, combat-hardened veterans with guns, but without boundaries - how is that NOT scary ?

Would you be prepared to apply the above to all who have worked contracts? Think on that, and then when you say no.....ask yourself how much you can say with certainty are such.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 25):
As well as the British and French. The British used the Hessians while the French used natives.

true.....luckily our Poles, French and Germans were more useful to us.

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
a bodyguard role as executed with, say having people stand around the first president of timor leste to protect him from getting assasinated, yes indeed. or karzai.

Bodyguards are mercenaries under your definition....are you saying that they should not be protecting the elected leader of a nation? So your absolute indictment has found it's first loophole?
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MDorBust
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:14 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 29):
See New Orleans after Katrina. I've even heard that Blackwater beat the National Guard to the scene!

I deployed officers to cover both the after effects Katrina and the entirety of Rita. Just like the scaremongering about Blackwater in that article, they wore badges and company identification, were contracted to the government, and were licensed to use deadly force. About the only difference I see is that my guys weren't carrying M-16s... They had shotguns.

I assure you, my officers were very much bound by the laws of the States of Texas and Louisiana. Private secuirty in the US does a lot more than just drive around the mall with a blinking yellow light.

BTW: You should really doubt the credibility of that article from this quote:

Quote:
This despite Police Commissioner Eddie Compass' claim that "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

Can anyone tell me what's wrong with that sentence.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 29):
Do you have something online to back that up?

Any person operating under contract for the US military is bound by the laws of the military.

Good reading

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/05/05/iraq8547.htm

There is a flaw in the page thought. When the page says, "Contractor employees are not subject to military law under the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] when accompanying US forces, except during a declared war" it is wrong. The law actually read, "during a declared war or a contingency operation."
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DC10extender
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:20 am

I'm all for them.

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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:37 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 31):
Any person operating under contract for the US military is bound by the laws of the military.

Yes, but from what I remember, Blackwater's contracts aren't actually with the military. They're either with the State Department or Homeland Security depending on where they're being employed. I'll dig up the specifics when I get home.

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 31):
BTW: You should really doubt the credibility of that article from this quote:

Jeremy Scahill is a journalist I hold in very high regard, I don't doubt his credibility for a moment. Do elaborate on the quote if you think I'm missing something though.
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AGM100
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:03 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 19):
Illegal forces"...where does that appear in the Geneva Conventions again?

Guns , I am not sure that it does say anything about it in the GC. Someone mentioned it before my post.

Did anyone see the NG hour on security forces in Iraq last night ? Pretty tough mothers for sure, and they are generally assisting private operators at least they were in this special.

The investigation was about when their compound came under attack by insurgents . The security guys had to fight back like military and they did. The problem was their were some US Army troops fighting along side the security guys, and someone had complained that the security forces had become "offensive"

It appeared more like survival to me ...
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MDorBust
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 33):
Do elaborate on the quote if you think I'm missing something though.

Well, first of all.. The Second Amendment.

Second, Louisiana law allows the licensing and employment of armed security officers.

Third, During the after effects of Hurricane Katrina, Lousiana operated under special conditions to allowed armed security officers licensed in other states to work in Louisiana.

The reporter may have gotten the quote right, but if so.. the guy he's talking with is full of crap.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 34):
Guns , I am not sure that it does say anything about it in the GC.

It doesn't. "Illegal combatants" or whatever word you want to use don't exist in international law. It's a term that's become popular with the Bush Administration to deny detainees in the war on terror P.O.W. status and the rights that come with it.

You've gotta love the definition under the Military Commissions Act of 2006:

" "The term 'unlawful enemy combatant' means —

'(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaida, or associated forces); or

'(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense."


Basically, an unlawful combatant is whoever they want it to be.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 34):
The investigation was about when their compound came under attack by insurgents . The security guys had to fight back like military and they did. The problem was their were some US Army troops fighting along side the security guys, and someone had complained that the security forces had become "offensive"

Was this the 4/4/04 incident in Najaf? It's been said that U.S. Marines actually ended up taking orders from Blackwater guards during a gunfight with local demonstrators. Accounts of the event differ depending on who's telling the story.
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TheCol
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:23 am

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
convoi protection, shooting before asking questions, like reckless cowboys? no.

With more oversight, jobs like convoy protection shouldn't be a problem. Unless you have a beef with them killing insurgents.

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):
a bodyguard role as it happens in africa and south america, where exploiting companies from the west have armed guards to ensure that noone disrupts their theft of local valueable natural resources

And that justifies attacks from local guerrilla groups, where employees are kidnapped and killed or held for months on end? Because thats usually the prime reason for having armed guards patrolling around an oil well, pipeline, or refinery.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 30):

Man cannot live by bread alone.....and the mercenaries who need to get paid did not go to Bosnia for the $4 or 5k per month they got from Dyncorp or whatever local entity called them over....they went for the adventure and sense of accomplishing something good. Excess on both sides, but only one actually got away with an organized genocide....and the mercenaries helped shove those assholes into their own country. No one's hands were clean there, but there was a side that needed more defending than the other.

 checkmark 
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Springbok747
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:26 am

Wow they have airships..!

Where do I sign up? Big grin
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AGM100
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:42 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
Basically, an unlawful combatant is whoever they want it to be.

It is a tenuous issue for sure , But what else could be done ?. How do you classify a non uniformed Taliban planting a IED ? Do you call him a Afghan soldier.

A POW is in my mind someone who is captured fighting for a established or some kind of government who the capturing country is at war with. Who do we negotiate with or for that matter return the combatant to if they are "country-less" ?

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
Was this the 4/4/04 incident in Najaf?

Yes it sounds like it, their was a protest going on .. then they drew their AK's and went to work.
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MDorBust
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:50 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
It doesn't. "Illegal combatants" or whatever word you want to use don't exist in international law. It's a term that's become popular with the Bush Administration to deny detainees in the war on terror P.O.W. status and the rights that come with it.

GCIII Art.4-5 defines Lawful Combatants and the process of determining if a combatant is lawful. Although the term "Unlawful Combatant" does not appear as such, the concept is quite clearly defined.

And no, the term did not originate with the Bush Administration. It can be found in legal cases as far back as 1942.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
...a gunfight with local demonstrators

I love how you spin that.

A gunfight... with... demonstrators...
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dl021
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:11 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 29):
See New Orleans after Katrina. I've even heard that Blackwater beat the National Guard to the scene!
http://www.democracynow.org/static/O...shtml

While private security companies were on the scene protecting property and people they were not there in lieu of the USG. They were contracted privately by businesses and wealthy individuals who did not want their property looted or vandalized. They were also called in as protective service details for people who stayed behind while the law was otherwise occupied.

The site from which you pulled the story and the quote is certainly not evenhanded or unbiased in their intent or reporting therefore anything from there is to be looked at a bit more closely than would be the case from some more mainstream sources (although these are slanted often themselves) and the context and validity of the quotes are to be questioned.

If some grunt working security for someone there brags about his high-speed job in Iraq, then ask why he's not back there....if he says that a certain trend is growing in intensity then ask him what rank he holds and what background he's got for making that claim.

Seriously, the piece took the first quote that worked for them and ran with it.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
It's been said that U.S. Marines actually ended up taking orders from Blackwater guards during a gunfight with local demonstrators.

It's been said by whom? I can say with little uncertainty that the regular military troops on the ground have as little to do with the private security guys as possible and relations are often acrimonious because troopies resent that the private guys are doing much the same as them (convoys, security, PSD etc) for alot more money. If a unit ended up with a guy they knew was a retired E-8 SF operator and they were cut off or out of contact and out of leadership due to casualties then maybe...just maybe they'd take leadership from someone in a private firm.....but it's unlikely. I'd like to see some verification of this, and see the context. At the very least it's an extremely unusual situation if it did happen. Not the norm.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 36):
Basically, an unlawful combatant is whoever they want it to be.

How about this...."anyone shooting at us or helping the ones shooting at us or our allies" is basically what that says.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 40):
I love how you spin that.

A gunfight... with... demonstrators...

No spin intended. Simply poor wording while I was heading out of the library, I caught it then and knew you'd call it, but oh well.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 41):

It's been said by whom? I can say with little uncertainty that the regular military troops on the ground have as little to do with the private security guys as possible and relations are often acrimonious because troopies resent that the private guys are doing much the same as them (convoys, security, PSD etc) for alot more money. If a unit ended up with a guy they knew was a retired E-8 SF operator and they were cut off or out of contact and out of leadership due to casualties then maybe...just maybe they'd take leadership from someone in a private firm.....but it's unlikely. I'd like to see some verification of this, and see the context. At the very least it's an extremely unusual situation if it did happen. Not the norm.

U.S. Marine Corporal Lonnie Young. As per Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army[/]:

[i]"With your permission Sir, I have acquired a target," Young recalled yelling out. "Finally, the Blackwater Security guys gave the call [to] commence firing." Young said he ten "leveled the sights on my target and squeezed the trigger..."


There's an entire chapter on the incident in Scahill's book, that excerpt is from page 123.

To clarify, the incident began when members of the Mahdi Army began opening fire on a CPA building in Najaf during a civilian demonstration protesting the U.S. presence in the city. The CPA building was guarded by eight Blackwater guards, "a handful of troops from El Salvador" and "a few U.S. Marines" with "no commanding officer on hand." Cpl. Anderson's account comes from an interview with Scahill for the book. Evidently, there's video of this on the internet, but the details of the written account are grisly enough that I don't really care to find it.

*Edit* DL021-You're absolutely right about troops resenting the contractors, every veteran I've heard talk about the war has a lot to say about this. This certainly was an unusual situation, and as you said, not the norm, but it's remarkable nonetheless.

[Edited 2007-08-31 02:42:28]
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dl021
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:48 am

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 42):
You're absolutely right about troops resenting the contractors, every veteran I've heard talk about the war has a lot to say about this. This certainly was an unusual situation, and as you said, not the norm, but it's remarkable nonetheless.

actually I believe that I've read on this event, as it was unusual in that the US forces were not in charge of the convoy, and the Salvadoran soldiers distinguished themselves in very severe hand to hand fighting, with two of them (I think) being recommended for Silver Stars. The one NCO whose interview I read was modest but his description of the fighting made me remember my time in Central America. Nobody has much to teach Salvadorans, Hondurans or Nicaraguans much about close in fighting and soldiering on the primal levels. Those guys were pretty tough individuals, and the fight came down to knives before it was over.

Rule to remember....don't get in a knife fight with a Salvadoran soldier.

I did think it was a convoy rather than a stationary position, though. I'll look it up.

However, you're right, it was an isolated incident. If I was in a regular unit and the leadership was tango uniform for whatever reason there'd have to be some real hero on the private side for me to take orders from him. It'd be some dude I know was a senior NCO prior to retiring, and then it'd be iffy. The military trains men down to the lowest ranks to take charge and if the oporder is properly prepared and everyone is well trained a PFC can take over a mission when the SGT and CPL are down.
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md90fan
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:10 pm

Below are the only merecenaries I approve of  wink 



Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 7):
The Tucanos seem out of place and I'm not sure their use

It's only 1, and while they can be used a potent COIN fighter, BW is using them in the training role (much like UK, Iran, etc)

Colombia OTOH has some pimped out for COIN usage:

http://unffmm.com/Galerias/Fac/A29%20supertucano/tuc14.jpg

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/9716/supertucano2006dw1.jpg

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Mercenaries assisted the Bosniacs and Croatians in expelling the Serbs from their lands.

Mercenaries assisted the Afghans in expelling the Soviets from their lands  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Zak (Reply 4):
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20070827.aspx

That link is full of BS! They are getting 1 Super Tucano for training duties

This is a much better article people:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-acquisition-for-trainer-role.html

Quote:

Security and training company Blackwater USA confirmed that it has applied for a license to acquire one Embraer Super Tucano light attack trainer.

The pending license also mandates that all weapons, including the 12.7mm, wing-mounted guns and provisions for smart bomb stores, are not used as part of the training mission.
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PPVRA
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:29 pm

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 44):

That YouTube video added some substance to the movie Blood Diamond. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:35 pm

Quoting Zak (Reply 4):
they seem to be slowly progressing from their already armed rotary wing airforce towards COIN capable turboprops.

I'd like to ask you to provide proof of this statement. Blackwater has armed helicopters? As in fixed stores? Rockets, missiles, etc.... really?

Quoting Zak (Reply 26):

so has murder, rape and countless other things.

Whoa.

You don't know any of these men, and your comparing their work to rape and murder? Uncalled for.  redflag 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, it looks like we have a few people who are very much in the dark.

I've flown the same skies as Blackwater, seen some of their operations up closely, and I have a number of buddies who retired from the Army... only to return to Iraq as pilots for Blackwater!

Look... it's a tough situation over there. First, lets not confuse these guys with actual mercenaries, like some are suggesting. They're not fighting the war, not even close. They don't run checkpoints or security points. They don't perform search and destroy missions, seeking weapon caches, insurgent hideouts, etc. They don't actively go looking to engage in fixed battles.

Lets be clear: They are not fighting the War in Iraq.

They're body guards. People pay Blackwater big bucks to keep them/their employees safe. We need to remember something, this is a unique type of war. There is no frontline or rear areas. If you are in the theater of operations, you are in potential danger. You are a potential target for insurgents... indeed, being a soft target makes you a more attractive target.

The US Army cannot be in the business of providing personal security to every individual who works in Iraq. We simply do not have the manpower, nor resources. So that forces people working in Iraq to look towards companies like Blackwater to protect them. Blackwater employees are very well trained (a vast majority are former military soldiers) and they well skilled in small-squad tactics.

They unquestionably serve a purpose in Iraq. And without any doubt... they have saved, and protected, the lives of countless people... and numerous men gave their lives protecting their assets. We should not forget that. While some employees have stepped over the line, perhaps even committing crimes, there is no proof that is wide spread amongst the company as a whole.

As a country, we certainly need to deal with this new dimension, to this new form of war. We need to definitively answer questions like: should Blackwater personnel be subject to the same ROE, as American soldiers? Should Blackwater employees be subject to UCMJ action? Or should they be open to prosecution under the host country's criminal justice system? What level of armament is permissible, and when does it go over the line?

Basically they're serving a unique, and an important role. Do we need to establish rules and a SOP of how we will intergrate their presence to the theater... absolutely. But we also need to cool it with the rhetoric, especially when some don't even know what's really going on over there.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
zak
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RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:57 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 30):

Dude....watch it there...you don't know the motivations of others and you don't know who folks are willing to fight for.

it is rather simple: if you go to war, and implicitly kill people, with prime motivation being money, then i consider you about the lowest, most despicable member of mankind. killing for money IS about the lowest thing that exists. if there is some poor robber in some poor area of the world, i can understand his criminal record. i can even remotely understand that someone from a very unfortunate area or country goes and kidnaps people from the west (no i am not talking about afghanistan, i am talking about sahara areas here) to recieve money in return.
what i can only despise is people from a wealthy country going somewhere to KILL people for increasing their own wallet.
that is in the league of the most disgusting behaviour that must not be accepted, respected or tolerated. apparently there is a huge difference in perception between "certain cultural circles within the first world"
these people might be a good, caring father or husband. but nothing, yes nothing, can make up for having a profession that implies you go around and kill people. which is EXACTLY what "contractors" do.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 30):
That's not true of all men, and you should know that. The Sandline and Executive Outcomes guys turned down plenty of bad actors in their days, and the current crop of companies don't generally end up working for the Mugabes or Amhenhijads of the world. They stay within the confines of the governments of their home countries. The State department revokes passports of known mercenaries who are working for people they don't approve of.

this does not change the inherently wrong primal motive, nor does the state department care about lives of people or human rights. it is about power politics, not about preventing mercenaries for doing things that would be considered unlawful in about every civilized country.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 37):
Unless you have a beef with them killing insurgents.

indeed i consider it a VERY doubtful logic if a private company starts killing people in an occupied country. there is an invading nation with a sovereign military, you can not build a nation on guns for hire. genererally, armed resistance against an occupying force is always legitimate, no matter if they installed a puppet proxy government or not (vichy france etc).

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 44):
That link is full of BS! They are getting 1 Super Tucano for training duties

exactly. why do you train on a certain aircraft? for fun?

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 44):
The pending license also mandates that all weapons, including the 12.7mm, wing-mounted guns and provisions for smart bomb stores, are not used as part of the training mission.

also, it says "NOT USED AS PART OF THE TRAINING MISSION", it does not say it cant be used with them later.
also, you need to be proficient before you can start using, i admit it is a small step, but it is a first step towards aquiring and maintaining air capability.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
I'd like to ask you to provide proof of this statement. Blackwater has armed helicopters? As in fixed stores? Rockets, missiles, etc.... really?

dont revert to semantics. they have helicopters with people who are proficient at using weapons inside, it does not matter if there is an operator with a SAW in his hands in the door or a fixed mount m240, technically, one helicopter is unarmed whilst the second one is armed. practically, both can kill people.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
You don't know any of these men, and your comparing their work to rape and murder? Uncalled for. redflag

as i said before, they might be nice guys, but in the end, they kill for money, that is uncalled for.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
We need to remember something, this is a unique type of war. There is no frontline or rear areas.

insurgency has always been a component of territory occupying warfare. it just happens to be, for the first time on this scale and in modern times, that the insurgency managed to hold out longer than the traditional army. mostly due to the unprecedented unequality in parties involved. if you look at the way the ww2 progressed, similar status was attained within BeNeLux, PL, CZ and other countries. i love how the u..s always claims to have reinvented the wheel.
10=2
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:26 pm

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
nothing, can make up for having a profession that implies you go around and kill people. which is EXACTLY what "contractors" do.

What if you are defending people and institutions and are put in a position where you have to kill people to do this?

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
i can only despise is people from a wealthy country going somewhere to KILL people for increasing their own wallet.

What about people from poor countries who kill for money? You are pretty one sided here and you let your emotions really overcome your sense of logic and decency.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
there is some poor robber in some poor area of the world, i can understand his criminal record. i can even remotely understand that someone from a very unfortunate area or country goes and kidnaps people from the west

You are ok and excuse this, but say that a guy executing a PSD mission in Iraq is a murderer. You're fairly twisted in this.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
the lowest, most despicable member of mankind. killing for money IS about the lowest thing that exists

If they are murdering for money, I'd still put them below child molesters and rapists.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
this does not change the inherently wrong primal motive

You assume a motive and have no insight into the people actually performing the missions.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
does the state department care about lives of people or human rights. it is about power politics

More crap. Our State Department is more concerned with human rights and peoples lives often than they are in our nations diplomatic interests when the two interests collide.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
not about preventing mercenaries for doing things that would be considered unlawful in about every civilized country.

Being a bodyguard is legal in almost every country. Protecting property is allowed as well. I have a couple of friends in France who are bodyguards and carry out missions in Algeria, Chad, Lebanon and other places. Does it make a difference when they aren't working for Americans?

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
armed resistance against an occupying force is always legitimate, no matter if they installed a puppet proxy government or not (vichy france etc).

Depends on your definition of a puppet government or occupying force. You are clearly biased here against the US in this.

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
dont revert to semantics.

What? Don't be accurate?

Quoting Zak (Reply 47):
as i said before, they might be nice guys, but in the end, they kill for money, that is uncalled for.

Killing is sometimes called for, and if you consider that service in the military is always paid then you are calling all soldiers mercenaries if we apply your logic.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
User avatar
gunsontheroof
Posts: 3691
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:30 am

RE: Modern Mercenary Companies, Good Or Bad?

Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:42 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 48):
More crap. Our State Department is more concerned with human rights and peoples lives often than they are in our nations diplomatic interests when the two interests collide.

Bullshit. It took hundreds (some reports suggest almost 1,000) of civilians being slaughtered by Uzbek security forces at Andijon in May 2005 for Rice and the rest of the Bush Administration to express "concerns" about human rights in Uzbekistan when it was already well known that Islam Karimov's security forces routinely round up political dissidents and engages in widespread torture. Heck, they practically sided with the guy at first so as not to jeopardize their access to Khanabad Air Base. The State Department gave Karimov nearly as much financial aid (much of it military) in 2001 and 2002 as Clinton did in his entire eight year term. When the UK's ambassador in Tashkent went public with an account of a political dissident being boiled to death in prison, Washington effectively pressured Blair to have him removed from his post.

That's just one recent example. Don't try and tell me these people care more about human rights than their political agendas, it's not very difficult to see that's not the case.
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