Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by rockape34, Jan 25, 2007.
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The basic problem in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever, is that US and particularly UK governments will not face reality - that you cannot hope to turn around a country without very large occupation forces. This failure is all the more damning, because US and UK did actually successfully stabilise dozens of countries from Europe to the Far East in the aftermath of WW2 - because they happened to have sufficient force levels in each location to allow the civic structures to be rebuilt without disruption from gangsterism or power-grabs.
The civilian defence contractors are simply filling a gaping void left by the incompetence of governments. It is indeed deeply unsatisfactory - you only have to go to Baghdad to understand that a profit-making company that recruits in the (often unsavoury) security industry is having a detrimental local effect compared to disciplined line soldiers from western democracies. The presence of armed contractors also frequently undermines attempts to rebuild national legal governance - the local population accepts that a foreign occupying army has an international legal status and can operate under ROE agreed at governmental level, whilst armed civilian contractors operate in a legal grey area that is shared with sectarian militias and armed criminals.
Even when dealing with law-abiding private security companies, there is an acute dilemma for the countries where they are incorporated or based: on the one hand they do help fill in gaps that the government cannot cover - eg protecting reconstruction developers or NGOs - but in order to do so they have to be allowed to acquire quasi-military firepower. To survive and operate in Iraq at present (Afghanistan to follow), the security companies need to up-gun to armoured vehicles, armed helicopters, MMGs and HE weapons (ie grenades, mortars and RPGs) - most of which are prohibited by national and host governments, or contra to the spirit of international treaties restricting weapons sales.
Absolutely correct. A very good friend of mine was among the first troops into Osnatraz in 1945 and he said for weeks afterwards there were troops on every street corner and in the streets picking up suspects and if necessary shooting them if they tried to bolt for it. Not only did thy have sufficient force levels, they were prepared to use them as well.
Unpleasant and not very British (to some peoples minds!) but we didn't build an Empire by being polite. I also seem to recall a programme on German TV about 20 odd years ago about an attempted German POW breakout from a Cage near Cologne. T Atkins opened fire and killed them.
I think this is a very interesting debate, especially since there are shortfalls in the equipment we get, whereas contracters get the kit they need to do the job.
Add to that UK contractors get £300-£400 pd in IRAQ and it becomes attractive to soldiers to work for them.
Of course where this all sits in any legal framework is the real debate,
Abu Grahib looked awfully like conditioning in preperation for debriefing, and the civilian contractors were heavily involved, yet escaped any mention.
Can a gonernment use a contractor to do that which its own forces cannot do? Certainly there is anicdotal evidence that Blackwater has undertaken combat ops in BAGHDAD.
This area is only going to grow IMHO and to what extent isnt really being considered in government.
Hell Yes! (to quote our septic cousins).
They are called mercenaries and they are a damned economical way to fight a dirty war, especially when deniability is important.
I personally think that the 'Private Contractors' should outnumber military personnel 5 to 1, and have lots of guns, rockets, helichoppers, tanks and anything else the commercial sector can afford.
They can jump in, slot the pain-in-the-arrse ragheads AND rebuild to boot - all paid for by the oil profits they are currently tying to grab at the expense of the lives of British and US personnel.
After all, this is a commercial venture anyway, or am I just being way OTT cynical?
Puts on tinfoil hat...
Reminds me of SciFi books I used to read in my mis-spent youth; a prevailing theme was of huge, multinational corporations with more power than governments and more money than God. These MegaCorps had their own laws, paramilitary police, spooks and Military Forces.
Of course, we're not there yet. But big business has more muscle to flex every year.
As for the Civilian Reserve Corp...be afraid. Be very afraid. How long before Blair decides to try the same thing here? After all, we already have a Scottish DEA and a British FBI.
I went over to Blackwater's place last year (f*cking impressive by the way). Most of the Instructors there are happy to chat about their Merc trips to sunny places. I could even recognise those happy go lucky southern boys on certain bits of footage on YouTube!
From what little I saw of them some very switched on and well equipped outfits and some very cowboy outfits .One lot was trying to recruit from our fp company .Nesscary evil possibly otherwise guess theyd be more stabs stagging on for kbr etc.
I can just see battalions of airsofters turning up for it.
... with LoF in command
From various tales I have heard probably a few airsofter walts talked themselves into jobs as pmcs scary thought.
Some 770 contractors have been killed in Iraq.
Aaaaannnnnnd aaaaahhh come in me pants again and it was ooovvverrrrrr . . . . before it began!!
papa lazarou please tell me which company you are on about that gets what it wants ! most of the equipment me get is bobbins to say the least. has improved in last couple of years but at the end of the day we work for "shareholders" and it all costs to get the kit in and if we didnt like it then go home! there was always someone just out of the mob (with right experience) that could take the place. o and yanks squaddies jsut couldnt quite get round to seeing what the unio jack meant as they are quite keen on blue on blue the tossers
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