mercenaries

calger14

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do the MoD ever use mercenaries? because im really not sure what the point of them is as we have our own military
 

MrSkippy

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They arn't so much a PR mess. One of them dies the government doesnt have to answer for it.

It's also useful to use them due to how small our armed forces are and the various laws and contracts made, such as deployment lengths and amounts.

Mercs can go over as much as they want - it's how they are getting their money, and can do the jobs that the military need done but don't have the numbers for. Such as protection of important people etc.
 

Seedytucker

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do the MoD ever use mercenaries? because im really not sure what the point of them is as we have our own military
MOD wouldn't use them, however the government does, so i guess as MOD is part of the gov you could say they do... but not directly. private security is a bit of a shady area
 

Chris

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There are most definitely British "Private Security Forces" operating in Afghanistan however i have no clue if they are contracted by either the MOD of Government.

The American government and Military use a hell of alot of private troops, i would recommend the books Blackwater(waterstones have just recived the cheapy paperback version) and Guns For Hire for a read, its rather frightening how much money they through to Private companies to provide training and manpower for their military in Iraq/Afghanistan.

I would think that Britain would think the MOD would have little to do with these companies as we have a far superior set of forces when compared to the USA that just throws money and resources at a problem. But if they did they wouldn't flounce it around like the Americans do
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I read an interesting article somewhere arguing for the use of mercenaries by the UN.

The writer cited an example in Sierra Leone. About 150 South African mercenaries fought the rebels to a stand-still and brought them to the negotiation table with the Government. The UN came in and said for negotiations to continue, the mercenaries would have to leave. The South Africans left, and the rebels went back to cutting off children's hands.

They're even cheaper to use than regular forces. Executive Oucomes, the PMC in Sierra Leone, were paid $35 million for the twenty-two months they were there before the UN made them leave. The UN force set to replace them was budgeted at $47 million for eight months.

I'm not advocating that we contract all our armed forces' work out, but in situations where there's not sufficient political will to commit troops to sort out a humanitarian crisis, why not employ a PMC? You could even have them under the command of a UN Force Commander. If General Dallaire, the UN Force Commander in Rwanda during the genocide had about 1000 extra troops, there would be about 800,00 more people alive today.
 

Chris

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Yeah its true merc's could be used to help quell problems but main concern is how do you control them? Many of the old South African mercenaries while highly trained often had a lack of ethic and were a cruel bunch of individuals mostly influenced during the apartheid regime.

The thing about having merc's under a UN commander (which i agree would most likely work well) is that there would be the Political side of the UN hindering the progress and actions they would be allowed to take. I Read a book called Emergency Sex ( Title is misleading) which was basically a diary of 3 UN aid workers over many years and it showed how often UN soldiers can and are willing to stop the things happening but have their hands tied and have to sit and watch things happen.
 

smallzy

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I'd guess some Mercs could be used for Special Missions, not that we'd know.
 

Seedytucker

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the advantage of using merc, esp those from a large company like Blackwater or Executive Outcomes is that they are inevitably better equiped and more efficient as them making money from this relies on that. whereas armed forces of any nation always tend to be a bit higgledy due to budget restrictions and ROA etc and there's always some bloody politician behind the scenes trying to pull puppet strings. that being saide the problem of the geneva treaty... not that many countries seem to hold it in that high a regard anymore...
 

AdmiralAwesome

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From the evidence I've seen, the people of Sierra Leone loved the South African mercenaries - but I agree the PMCs would need serious oversight and accountability.

As for the UN hindering the actions of the troops, what do you expect from an organisation that allows corrupt regimes and dictators to be a member? During the Rwandan Genocide, the Rwandan Ambassador to the UN was in the rotating seat on the Security Council. He was passing back news to his bosses in the Hutu extremist Government, who then had better intel on what the Security Council was going to do than the UN Force Commander did!

I think Senator McCain's idea of a "League of Democracies" is brilliant - it wouldn't be perfect, but it'd certainly have more moral authority to deal with genocides and dictatorships. How can you expect a country like China to condem human right's abuses without being laughed at?
 

Seedytucker

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I think Senator McCain's idea of a "League of Democracies" is brilliant - it wouldn't be perfect, but it'd certainly have more moral authority to deal with genocides and dictatorships. How can you expect a country like China to condem human right's abuses without being laughed at?
the problem with that though is it would polarise the world and that goes entirely against the whole point of the UN. if we ever want to be a multi-planetary race (which we will need to do as we grow) we need to get over this whole playground pissing contest that has caused so much of this trouble. it's ridiculous that people that hold so much power get away with behaving like teenagers and yet those of us down here, the little people, get arrested for behaving the same way if we're out and about and get into a fight...
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I agree Seedy, but I think a tougher moral stance is what will bring about peace. You don't bring down dictatorships by dealing with them, you bring them down by opposing them. If every country in the world was democratic, I sincerely believe that that would be more or less the end of war.

Ever read Francis Fukuyama's "The End Of History?" He argues that liberal democracy is the 'end of history' - stuff will still happen, but there will be no more major revolutions in political thought. Liberal democracy is, and will for ever be the highest, most moral and sucessful form of government. He shows with numerous examples that 'post-historical' states, with few, very rare exceptions, don't fight wars with each other, don't commit genocide, are more prosperous etc... If we can bring every nation in the world to the 'end of history' the world will be a peaceful place.
 

Seedytucker

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i have and i disagree. liberal democracy will always be beaten by another. for eg a man is in a fight (liberal democracy) and he's a good man so he won't cheat in this fight and will only use his fists as agreed, his oponant isn't and will use anything and any method. assuming both men are roughly equal in strength and skill which do you think will win?
a liberal democracy (though the ideal) can always be undermined due to it's very essence, whether by overly greedy capitalists wanting more power to make more money, religious extremists wanting to implement their ideas of god. so long as you have individual thought and freewill there can be no such thing as peace, and so long as you have dictatorships there can be no such thing as liberty. war is just an argument escalated. in order to create peace it's not a change of political leadership style that's required it's a change in ourselves. look around you next time you're in a pub and note how many *text deleted* there are in the world. i don't think we are capable of a lasting peace, not until we evolve a bit. we are after all little more than apes with computers.
woh...essay....
 

Touchstone

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I'm not sure that the MOD uses mercenaries, but they are definitely employed, mainly security for press and politicians. There is a large demand for ex special forces out there in PMC's. The amount of money they make is incredible, up to 100k a year, when they can use extensive knowledge of warfare and specialist skills like in demolition.

I know of an Infantry Army Officer that was offered a job at one and would be making crazy amounts of money but he turned it down. You want to be careful with that kind of stuff. One ex SAS Officer was arrested in an African country as he was employed there and leading a bunch of mercenaries, now he is in some foreign prison.
 

Seedytucker

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Touchstone

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AdmiralAwesome

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I disagree with you again Seedy. History has shown that democracy and capitalism are far more effective motivators of men than tyranny and dictatorship - even more so under communism, with state control of industry. They just can't compete with a democracy in terms of technology and the economy. You see it in the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies, Israel's numerous victories against neighbouring dictatorships, our victory over the Argentinians in the Falklands (which helped bring down the corrupt regime), and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, brought about by Reagan's hardline stance, and the heroic resistance of the Afghans.

I agree completely with Fukuyama. If every nation in the world moves into post-history, war will largely be a thing of the past. A strong liberal democracy is under no threat from internal elements. Can you honestly ever see Britain or America ever being anything other than democracies? I can't. The interactions between the liberal democracies of the world show that we can have peace without some massive evolution of mankind. It can't be put any simpler than - liberal democracies don't fight other liberal democracies.
 

Seedytucker

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Touchstone good for a laugh though...*text deleted*
think how much money he must have been getting though? i have to be honest i'd be tempted...
it's rather worrying that the son of a former PM (thatcher) to this country is involved in something like that.
 

MrSkippy

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Mercs aint covered in the geneva convention either.. though alot of good that does against who we fight now!
 

Seedytucker

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firstly i want to make it clear i'm not advocating dictatorships, i'm all for liberal democracy but i do feel even ow what we view as a liberal democracy is slowly being eroded into a capitalist autocracy where in order to rise above a certain level you need connections in that level.
out if interest as you agree with Fukuyama what do you make of his later book "our posthuman future"? because it raises an interesting counter argument to the end of history.
not to mention that if you build a society based on greed (capitalism) there has to be an elite, you can't avoid it, as such you can't have a truly liberal democracy. yes we are free to think and do as we will, but there are laws and practices in place to prevent the average man from climbing the ladder too quickly. there are economic constraints on us so that big business can thrive, why? because our society has grown to depend on big business as such big business becomes the priority, not the individual. which surely undermines liberal democracy? then what you end up with is an authoritarian capitalist society which in every way appears, to my mind at least, to be stronger than it's liberal counter part.
What about, too Huntington's idea that once the ideological battles are settled and we have this end of history, you then have battles between civilisations and cultures? (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19930...-p-huntington/the-clash-of-civilizations.html)
Not to mention of course Fukuyama's book completely ignores the resources factor. That in itself will be a cause of war, a war in which political ideaoligy doesn't matter.
And finally (!!) Fukuyama completely ignores the fact that it's not just revolutions that make history, what of discoveries? and end to history would mean that the world and the science we have now (or when history ends would remain and we would cease to advance, change or evolve. i would take a pinch or war with that change over peace, stagnation and no history any day.
fingers..bleeding...need a cup of tea...
 
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