A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Why doesn't the West employ mercenaries more?

(With the exception of the Gurkhas, + French and Spanish Foreign Legions, and the British army recruiting in Fiji and other commonwealth countries for historical reasons).

Everybody's pissed at losing "our" people in Iraq.

Nobody's nearl as pissing pissed at spending lots of money.

Therefore, why recruit and pay a bunch of 3rd worlders to do the fighting for us?
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 5:47pm
outsource the war.

outsource to halliburton, hehe.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 5:48pm
Exactamundo.

Why not?

I bet Bangladeshis, Angolans or Congolese, are a hundred times cheaper to employ than our troops even if you train them to a high standard and teach them English.  Troop surge?  Fuck that, we're sending 5,000,000 combat troops...
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 5:53pm
cause then we'd be infiltrated by Iranian and Al Qaida operatives. It would suck.

We do have mercenaries, in fact. they go by the name "Blackwater"
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 12th, 2007 5:55pm
No problem, recruit in non-muslim 3rd world countries.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 5:56pm
"Blackwater"

They get paid 1000 dollars a day.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 5:56pm
And yes I know we have mercenaries.  I know all about that from personal experience.  But our mercenaries are either in 2ndary roles, or in specialist roles.  The main force of our militaries are pretty much free of mercenaries.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 5:58pm
A few reasons.

We do outsource more and more. This makes no penalty for war except debt which we don't seem to notice. War should have a direct cost which is why I am for automatic enlistment for all Americans.

It also makes war more profitable for those supplying the mercs.

And using mercenaries means the end of a nation. People of a nation protect themselves or they are nothing.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 12th, 2007 5:58pm
> This makes no penalty for war except debt which we don't seem to notice.

That's the whole point!

> War should have a direct cost which is why I am for automatic enlistment for all Americans.

We gain from suffering?  War's like some obscure catholic sect?

If you accept that some wars are necessary (we can argue about which wars), it is logical to minimize the amount our society suffers in this war.


> It also makes war more profitable for those supplying the mercs.

And we should care because?

People who supply military equipment also makes profit.

Whatever we do, in a capitalist society, some people make a profit from it.  Cry me a river.


> And using mercenaries means the end of a nation.

Hyperbole


> People of a nation protect themselves or they are nothing.

Who says we have to do it by laying our own lives on the line.

Roman society lasted more than 2000 years, and employed mercenaries as major component of their armed forces for most if not all the time.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:03pm
Hey, we're Americans, ok?

Money is EXTREMELY important to us.  We're able to measure almost all things in terms of money.

The reason the West doesn't emply Mercenaries more is because they're freaking expensive, compared to maintaining a standing army.  Your $100,000 a year blackwater employee is WAY more expensive than your $24,000 a year ground pounder.  PLUS, your $24,000 a year ground pounder has sworn allegience to the Constitution of the United States -- where your Merc has allegiance to whoever pays the best.

Now, we're HEAVILY using Mercs in Iraq, partly to hide the size of the Military in Iraq, partly to do stuff the regular military isn't allowed to do (like torture), and partly because Bush II is trying to bankrupt the Federal treasury so he can privatize all kinds of social programs.

In other words, hiring Mercs for Iraq is just as stupid as going into Iraq in the first place.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 6:08pm
> Roman society lasted more than 2000 years, and employed mercenaries as major component of their armed forces for most if not all the time.

The people fighting the Romans (Carthage, for example) employed mercenaries as a major component of their armed forces. The Romans themselves didn't until the end of the 4th century.
Permalink hello. 
July 12th, 2007 6:10pm
> Your $100,000 a year blackwater employee is WAY more expensive than your $24,000 a year ground pounder.  PLUS, your $24,000 a year ground pounder has sworn allegience to the Constitution of the United States -- where your Merc has allegiance to whoever pays the best.

A blackwater employee isn't the same as a Gurkha or another 3rd world country equivalent. 

Fuck, the US could recruit it's mercenaries in Mexico, El Salvador etc.,  Don't tell me that would more expensive than recruiting domestically.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:11pm
And the fact that the American people aren't completely pissed that we're borrowing $300 Billion dollars a year from the Chinese is beyond me.  Hell, the Debt Service on all the money borrowed by the US until now is like $300 Billion per year all by itself!

So in effect, every year we WOULD have a balanced budget, if ONLY we didn't have to pay the interest on earlier loans.  So we're borrowing ADDITIONAL dollars now to pay the interest.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 6:11pm
> Fuck, the US could recruit it's mercenaries in Mexico, El Salvador etc.,  Don't tell me that would more expensive than recruiting domestically.

The US does do a form of this, it gives illegal immigrants, who are mostly from Mexico, citizenship if they enlist.
Permalink hello. 
July 12th, 2007 6:13pm
> The Romans themselves didn't until the end of the 4th century

It depends on what you count as mercenaries, because the terminology is not the same.  They did employ auxilaries, and allies, and mercenary cavalry.  And after the Republic period, the legions were largely mercenary (full of Germans, Gauls, etc.)

Anyway, even if you accept that argument, the Eastern Romans still lasted another 11 centuries with a mercenary heavy military.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:14pm
Haven't you been paying attention?  The US *IS* recruiting Mexicans, El Salvadorans, lots and lots of Philipinos, INTO the US Services.  That's one way of getting your green card.

But these people aren't the Blackwater special-ops $300,000 a year guys, who can go underground, plan assassinations, torture prisoners, kidnap people.  For that, you need ex-US military Navy Seals, Army Green Berets, Marine special forces.

Besides, you REALLY don't think Iraq is being done "on the cheap" in ANY way, do you?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 6:15pm
> The US does do a form of this, it gives illegal immigrants, who are mostly from Mexico, citizenship if they enlist.

Yes, but that's not an active policy.

The US Army's not setting up hundreds of recruiting stations all over Mexico and Central America, saying "Serve 10 years in the US military for $5000/year, and then get US citizenship".
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:16pm
Again, Iraq is not being done "on the cheap".
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 6:30pm
It's not, but maybe it should be?
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:31pm
>>> Everybody's pissed at losing "our" people in Iraq.

If done properly, it might be possible to use mercs.  How many think the current administration could do it properly?
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 12th, 2007 6:40pm
The current administration has like 100,000 mercs in Iraq right now.  Think they're doing it right?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 6:42pm
You're getting bogged down in the current political details.

Imagine that is a competent administration in 5 or 10 years time.

You can bet that they will not employ mercs in this way.

Even though the rational choice would be to do so: It could be both cheaper financially, and less politically costly, to fight wars using 3rd world mercs.
Permalink s 
July 12th, 2007 6:43pm
> and less politically costly,

yes, use the lost boys of Sudan.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 12th, 2007 6:48pm
>>> Imagine that is a competent administration in 5 or 10 years time.

>>> You can bet that they will not employ mercs in this way.

There are a ton of other things a competent administration could do.  I'm not holding out much hope for Democrats to do any better.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 12th, 2007 6:48pm
"If you accept that some wars are necessary (we can argue about which wars), it is logical to minimize the amount our society suffers in this war."

Easy. Just throw a few nuclear bombs.

I think mercenaries are more cruel because they have nothing to fear, whereas your own citizens will probably not kill mercilessly because if you do so your own people will be treated the same way.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 12th, 2007 7:08pm
Geez, you're missing something, right?

I mean, the US fought the Afghanistan war by, in effect, supporting third world Mercs, led by Osama Bin Laden.

Point being, if you TRAIN third world mercs to fight piddly little third-world wars, you create a skilled, armed faction, who's expertise is fighting piddly little third-world wars.

Which is what we have in Afghanistan, what we almost had in Saudi Arabia, what we have in Iraq, what we almost have in Lebanon.  AND what we have in Africa ("We" here being the world, not necessarily the US).
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 10:23pm
>For that, you need ex-US military Navy Seals, Army Green Berets, Marine special forces.

Which is who Blackwater recruits from. The US Army trains the  guys, and they dash off to become mercenaries. The US refused to ratify the protocol on mercenaries. There are more "contractors" in Iraq than there are US troops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenary
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/93.htm

Yes, we do hand out green cards for immigrants that sign up:
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3297537&page=1
Permalink Peter 
July 12th, 2007 10:37pm
> the US fought the Afghanistan war by, in effect, supporting third world Mercs,

you mean the mujahedeen against the Soviets? or the Northern Alliance in 2001?

good point in either case.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 12th, 2007 11:33pm
That's not mercenary.

They fight for their own cultural/national interests, not for money.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 13th, 2007 2:27am
Enemy of your enemy is your friend, etc.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 13th, 2007 2:28am
"Why not?"

Because mercenaries only work for money, and the Arabs can out-bid the US. A national army is loyal to the nation.

The entire US military is *already* a mercenary force, this is the weird thing that American patriotic rhetoric ignores. Every single US soldier in Iraq is a professional who made a conscious choice to join the military and is getting paid for it.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 13th, 2007 7:17am
> A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national of a Party to the conflict...

So unless you argue that the USA is not a party to the Iraqi conflict the US soldiers are not mercenaries. They are professional soldiers.
Permalink Send private email Erik Springelkamp 
July 13th, 2007 7:57am
"People of a nation protect themselves or they are nothing."

I thought we all agreed that this is more conquest than defense?
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 13th, 2007 4:32pm

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