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A privately contracted UN armed force

#1
Not a great fan of the UN, but I remember reading some book Yonks ago that suggested that it would be no bad thing if the UN had its own armed forces made up of private companies employing people doing it for the money.

The book I think was about the Special Air Service and Parachute regiments rescue of British soldiers held prisoner in Sierra Leone.

Has anyone got any thoughts on something like this ?

There are pros and cons of course but could something like this have legs?
 
#2
Not a great fan of the UN, but I remember reading some book Yonks ago that suggested that it would be no bad thing if the UN had its own armed forces made up of private companies employing people doing it for the money.

The book I think was about the Special Air Service and Parachute regiments rescue of British soldiers held prisoner in Sierra Leone.

Has anyone got any thoughts on something like this ?

There are pros and cons of course but could something like this have legs?
The idea has been kicking around for years. I tracked down this from 2006.
UN Standing Force
Your basic problem seems to be that those with lots of troops to spare have rubbish kit and no lift capacity. Those with lift capacity and good kit would rather not see their expensive investment at the beck and call of the UN Security Council, who could send , say, a US airmobile brigade to the Congo in support of French interests just when you needed to send it to Afghanistan. The bodybags from someone elses war cost you votes.

It would be better if the UN recruited its own version of the FFL, which would give it some clout, but then you get into some very strange legal waters around sovereignty, and, worse, the conspiracy loons in the USA start looking out for the Black Helicopters of the UN coming to take away their guns....
 
#3
Tim Spicer, in his book "An Unorthodox Soldier" puts that thought to the front of his book, companies like Sandline (as was)and other PMCs have the depth of experiance within the organisation such as military skills, training, planning, risk assessment, operational support and technical skills that can be utilised where governments are unwilling to provide boots on the ground, etc. A good argument in theory but one that Blackwater managed to blow out the water in Nissour Square and one that I think put the argument for PMCs to be used back about 20 years. At the end of the day PMCs are out to make a buck and the bottom line is the one that matters, once the monies and profits dry up then they will move on.

Just my two pennies worth.
 
#5
I was always of the opinion it could and would be a good idea , As you can't really polarised these forces to a specific country as you can with those forces made up form UN member states, and then thus thrust blame onto those states

Of course you would have to stay away from the blackwater-esque nature of merc operations , and intorduce something along the line of an ethical mercenary (I have a Mixied feeling that the phrase could be an oxymoron). Which would involve placing restrictions onto any organisation, this may deter some , and to obtain the high quality you need then you are looking at high costs . If a training program was incorporated I suppose you could direct members straight from civvie street into an armed UN service but again would require costs and faciltiies to set that up.

PMC's have a good record of being able to carry out unsupported operations in third world warzones . EO and Sandline are the two best examples and obviously relate to Sierra Leonne, They offered the full support package including logistics repair , medical faciltiies as well as air assets and heavy equipment ( Tanks IFV's etc). Im pretty sure both fell foul of Uk legislation though.
 
#8
Kuryakin's had a long career; he's working for NCIS now...
Never seen him on NCIS but then I don't like that LA version...

In all seriousness, even if they had a private force, the UN can't ever agree on anything anyway to send in armed forces. If they can't send in other nations armed forces, how the **** would they ever agree to send in teir own armed force?
 
#9
Never seen him on NCIS but then I don't like that LA version...

In all seriousness, even if they had a private force, the UN can't ever agree on anything anyway to send in armed forces. If they can't send in other nations armed forces, how the **** would they ever agree to send in teir own armed force?
Good point, well presented. Who would have final say if such a force existed, the Security Council?
 
#10
Executive Outcomes apparently offered their services to the UN in the context of Sierra Leone, where they had successfully contained the RUF, and had done a similar job for the Angolan Government. As a PMC - and more specifically a South African outfit - EO were considered unacceptable to the UN. If properly regulated and controlled - which many of the main PMCs/PSCs have been calling for - I don't see why the UN couldn't contract a company....but it won't happen.
 
#11
Executive Outcomes apparently offered their services to the UN in the context of Sierra Leone, where they had successfully contained the RUF, and had done a similar job for the Angolan Government. As a PMC - and more specifically a South African outfit - EO were considered unacceptable to the UN. If properly regulated and controlled - which many of the main PMCs/PSCs have been calling for - I don't see why the UN couldn't contract a company....but it won't happen.
Peter Singer goes into this in more detail in "Corporate Warriors".
The EO proposal for a humanitarian corridor out of Rwanda in 97 was turned down on basis of cost (IIRC $100k per day). The subsequent UN op cost $300K per day.
Post Sierra Leone, even NGOs were advocating working with PMCs.
 
#12
Peter Singer goes into this in more detail in "Corporate Warriors".
The EO proposal for a humanitarian corridor out of Rwanda in 97 was turned down on basis of cost (IIRC $100k per day). The subsequent UN op cost $300K per day.
Post Sierra Leone, even NGOs were advocating working with PMCs.
In reality its the PMC's that probably have the most experience of working in third world warzones. I can't say off hand but im pretty sure alot of EO's staff were ex Rhodesian light infantry and Selous Scouts ( An organisation well known for its foreign volunteers) and SADF( The former Rhodesians passing into the SADF during the war with Angola and thus being elegible for service under EO's set guildelines). Thus giving them a good few decades of bush war and asymmetrical warfare experience. Which they provided to good effect in Sierra Leone with what would be considered to be minimal resources i.e T-72's BMP's MIL 8 helicopters that they managed to scavange.

As its been said Executive outcomes were trying to push forward regulation of PMC's and to work with the UN so in my opinion they are the closest example of the type of force the UN would be looking to create in the style of a PMC.
 
#13
Good point, well presented. Who would have final say if such a force existed, the Security Council?
It would have to be the Security council, of which I'm sure one of the long standing members will have a reason for using their veto.

IE...
Muslim Republic of Pork Scratching has a bitter civil war....

China has a trade deal with MRPS and its ruler and doesn't want the USA or the UK sticking their nose into their affairs, so they veto the security council.
 
#14
It would have to be the Security council, of which I'm sure one of the long standing members will have a reason for using their veto.

IE...
Muslim Republic of Pork Scratching has a bitter civil war....

China has a trade deal with MRPS and its ruler and doesn't want the USA or the UK sticking their nose into their affairs, so they veto the security council.

But the interesting point is that if this is a UN Force beholden to no one else but the UN, effectively the UN's own Armed Forces, then excuses based around not wanting Forces from other Nations sticking their nose in become redundant. It becomes slightly harder for the UN to divide along pro western/pro eastern lines......
 
#15
From my limited experience of ''UN Peacekeeping'' in Africa,the local UN force is usually made up of soldiers from other African nations,just looking for money for their efforts.Operational excellence,amongst such forces, is non existent.
 
#16
From my limited experience of ''UN Peacekeeping'' in Africa,the local UN force is usually made up of soldiers from other African nations,just looking for money for their efforts.Operational excellence,amongst such forces, is non existent.
Isn't that a reflection of the UN deliberately seeking to regionalise peacekeeping by using existing regional multi-national structures like ECOMOG in Liberia. Guinea and SL? With the inevitable poor outcome.

C_C
 
#17
Isn't ECOMOG primarily Nigerian? ................ just think about that for a moment ................................... corruption, theft,etc etc ,etc
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
as the UN cant make its mind up then it would likely spend most of its time in barracks anyway. as I understand it countries can offer their forces to the UN for duties and they get paid for it. a sore point in cyprus where the UK govt said they didnt want the cash even though it would have meant more cash and US eqpt for the boots on the ground.
 
#19
The idea has been kicking around for years. I tracked down this from 2006.
UN Standing Force
Your basic problem seems to be that those with lots of troops to spare have rubbish kit and no lift capacity. Those with lift capacity and good kit would rather not see their expensive investment at the beck and call of the UN Security Council, who could send , say, a US airmobile brigade to the Congo in support of French interests just when you needed to send it to Afghanistan. The bodybags from someone elses war cost you votes.

It would be better if the UN recruited its own version of the FFL, which would give it some clout, but then you get into some very strange legal waters around sovereignty, and, worse, the conspiracy loons in the USA start looking out for the Black Helicopters of the UN coming to take away their goons....


Fixed that for you.

AL1. Would of course mean a massive airlift capability.
 
#20
Not a great fan of the UN, but I remember reading some book Yonks ago that suggested that it would be no bad thing if the UN had its own armed forces made up of private companies employing people doing it for the money.

The book I think was about the Special Air Service and Parachute regiments rescue of British soldiers held prisoner in Sierra Leone.

Has anyone got any thoughts on something like this ?

There are pros and cons of course but could something like this have legs?
On most levels it's a bloody good idea for the UN to have either its own standing military force or, alternatively, to be able to directly access PMC.

Never happen due to certain permanent members of the Security Council being totally opposed to the idea.

Consider this, two countries decide to attack another country on dodgy grounds and without UNSCR approval. In fact, it is quite clear that UNSC will not approve and, if it was taken to a vote, would kick it into touch. The attack goes ahead and a vast majority of the worlds states, say 90%, through the UNGA, then vote for the UN Secretariate to deploy a force to oppose the actions of the mischievous pair.

:wink:
 

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