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We must fight our instinctive distaste for mercenaries

Should PSC be Government regulated?

  • No they are mercenaries nothing more

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes in a NGO/Media support role only

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • yes in a NGO/Media/Logistics/defence of fixed assets role

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes in a full combat capibility

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No because regulation means responsibility defeating the main purpose

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Increase the size of the military instead

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Its impossible to do

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only if each PSC adds a Walt battalion

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
Its Max again saying it like it is and although I hate to say it fair play to the Guardian for giving him the space.

We must fight our instinctive distaste for mercenaries

The Iraq bubble has burst but the need for private security companies will not go away. They should be regulated by the state

A recession is looming in a sector of the economy you may be barely conscious of, PSCs. Since 2003 private security companies have been a great British success story. Worldwide, but notably in Iraq, businesses founded by and employing ex-soldiers have coined it by providing armed protection.

I sense that many readers will have little sympathy for hired guns who make huge sums of money from stricken societies. Arming men to kill and be killed is among the most sensitive prerogatives of the state. To subcontract such functions to commercial enterprises seems inherently dangerous and pernicious. When these people hit the headlines, like Mark Thatcher's merry band who sought to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea, it is usually because they have been caught doing ugly and reckless things.

Yet there is a growing belief in western governments that PSCs - and private military companies, which offer combat services - have a role to play that needs to be formalised.

Most national armies, including those of Britain and the US, are undermanned and overcommitted. A wide range of national interests overseas demand attention and protection that uniformed soldiers are not available to provide. The holes will increasingly be filled, believe some senior service officers and diplomats, by the private sector.

"Private security operates in the gap between state will and state capability," declares the pamphlet, After the Bubble: British Private Security Companies after Iraq, written by Aegis's Dominick Donald. He argues that such companies can operate in war zones with more freedom than national forces, partly because their casualties are less politically sensitive.

But it seems almost inevitable that PSCs will become increasingly involved in the other functions mentioned above, because there is no one else to fulfil them. There are significant areas of the world where the staff of humanitarian NGOs dare not go. It is surely better for food and medical supplies to be delivered by PSCs than by nobody.


Max Hastings

Article in full -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1835067,00.html

includes a very perceptive piece about PSC guards for journalists in conflict zones ('Kroll envy' mean anything to any of you green zone hacks?).
 
#2
All I can say is that the main problem through out history with the use of 'Mercinaries' is the standard of men, the standard of dicipline and their accountability.

If you are paid well you will attract people who want the money but aren't prepared to keep the standards, you will be selective in who you are going to protect and, as it is puerly a financial venture, corners may be cut.

I'm not saying it can't work, but I can see a whole heap of heartache before they manage to get it right.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#3
Plant-Pilot said:
All I can say is that the main problem through out history with the use of 'Mercinaries' is the standard of men, the standard of dicipline and their accountability.
If you are paid well you will attract people who want the money but aren't prepared to keep the standards, you will be selective in who you are going to protect and, as it is puerly a financial venture, corners may be cut.

I'm not saying it can't work, but I can see a whole heap of heartache before they manage to get it right.
Gurkhas?
 
#4
High standards and switched on cookies where I work,plus we have good Gurkha's as well.Discipline is more strict than the regular force's.ie Have an ND and home you go,sacked.We're also delivering a lot of humanitarian supplies and helping rebuild the infrastructure of the country,Iraq.Its not all about killing and bodycounts.If they weren't there the Regular Force's would be on serious overstretch.There are bad un's but you can say that about any armed force,government controlled or not.
 
#5
benjaminw1 said:
Plant-Pilot said:
All I can say is that the main problem through out history with the use of 'Mercinaries' is the standard of men, the standard of dicipline and their accountability.
If you are paid well you will attract people who want the money but aren't prepared to keep the standards, you will be selective in who you are going to protect and, as it is puerly a financial venture, corners may be cut.
Anyone remember Cpl Costas Georgiou 1Bn Para until he rolled a Post Office in NI?
He surfaced in Angola fighting effectively for FNLA as the self styled 'Colonel Callan.'
He led a small troop of mercenaries and when eventually captured and brought to trial accepted the blame for the others captured with him.
He was hanged along with two others but the remainder of his small *professional* mercenary troop were either deported as persona non grata immediately or after serving their time in gaol. An interesting tale in 1975.
 
#6
@ Easymoney, i believe we work in the same spot. No shortage of septic nurses next door?

Agree with what you say.

Long gone are the "wild geese" days, accountability is the only way forward for this industry.

Good article by Mr Hastings, journalists normally have an inbuilt hatred of men who carry arms for a living. More so in the private sector, however theres quite a few who also owe their backsides to private security.
 
#8
Considering most PSD's are made up of ex UK forces, I'd have thought it a little disigenuous to suggest that current PSD's have issues of standards of men/standards of discipline.

Historically perhaps
 
#9
mukhabarat2003 said:
Anyone remember Cpl Costas Georgiou 1Bn Para until he rolled a Post Office in NI?
He surfaced in Angola fighting effectively for FNLA as the self styled 'Colonel Callan.'
He led a small troop of mercenaries and when eventually captured and brought to trial accepted the blame for the others captured with him.
He was hanged along with two others but the remainder of his small *professional* mercenary troop were either deported as persona non grata immediately or after serving their time in gaol. An interesting tale in 1975.
He also shot a group of his own men he suspected, in fit of paranoid delusion, of disoyalty. Hardly a role model.
 
#11
Mister_Angry said:
mukhabarat2003 said:
Anyone remember Cpl Costas Georgiou 1Bn Para until he rolled a Post Office in NI?
He surfaced in Angola fighting effectively for FNLA as the self styled 'Colonel Callan.'
He led a small troop of mercenaries and when eventually captured and brought to trial accepted the blame for the others captured with him.
He was hanged along with two others but the remainder of his small *professional* mercenary troop were either deported as persona non grata immediately or after serving their time in gaol. An interesting tale in 1975.
He also shot a group of his own men he suspected, in fit of paranoid delusion, of disoyalty. Hardly a role model.
Forgot about that MA - 31 years is a long time - tnx for reminding
 
#12
Wrighty,back in blighty at mo.Work on convoy escort with S********CE,lads are in UmQr at mo.Good set of lads no Dis prob's really good at the job they do.Hansvon,bringing up that old chestnut,regular armies use warning shots as a matter of everyday ops,its the only way to stop locals intent on testing your resolve,or worse.
 
#14
Nice Comment

From replies at http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/archives/2006/06/british_mercena.html

So, let's encapsulate this:

Aegis mercenaries (sorry, civilians) film themselves blowing away innocent Iraqis for fun. They investigate this themselves and report that they've done nothing wrong. Then they hand their findings to the US Military who unquestioningly accept them.

Absolutely marvelous. What sort of independent, neutral scrutiny is this? What credibility do any of these people have?

Spicer and his henchmen continue to be dangerous, poisonous, homicidal maniacs. And they are funded and actively supported by the UK and US Governments. Now Spicer wants to punish one of his own who - unfortunately for everyone - has managed to blow the whistle.

That says everything we need to know about all of those who are party to these 'contracts'. These people are disgusting parasitical scum.
 
#15
Nothing better than a truly objective report hans von,

did you follow the other link to the New york oirish echo which quotes "A leading Irish human rights group" and their opinions on the topic
 
#16
A small section for anyone unable to link, E- must try harder Hands von

"While events in Iraq are a long way from Belfast, memories of Spicer and the Scots Guards are still all too fresh.


The Pentagon's deal with Spicer was recently raised with the Bush administration's special envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, by the Derry-based Pat Finucane Center.


And Jean McBride, mother of Peter McBride, met with Reiss and the U.S. Consul General in Belfast, Dean Pitman, last month.


"There is a direct link between what happened on the New Lodge Road in 1992 and what is happening in Baghdad today," Paul O'Connor of the PFC told the Echo after the meeting. "

http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=17970
 
#18
@ Easymoney, currently up in the big smoke at present. Working with a few guys from your old mob, good blokes all. Keep your loaf down on Tampa mate!

@ Hans, that post has been done to death. All thats needed to have been said already has. Surprised they were found not guilty? well seeing they followed US DoD rules of engagement its not that much of a surprise.

Maybe your one of those people who jumps on the bandwagon condemning Brit soldiers for alleged human rights abuses, that suddenly get thrown out of court?

Feel free to pop upto the sunni triangle sometime, im sure your views on how to stop potential SVBIED's will be more than welcome.
 
#19
Good article which raises some interesting points - especially with need of charities and other organisations to provide themselves with armed protection. Clearly, there can be advantages if such protection is not part of a state's armed forces.

There is also the possibility that such organisations could take on some tasks on behalf of the UN, especially at short notice.

On the other hand, I am wholly against much of the outsourcing of services that takes place within the UK public sector, in general. Most of the arguments for such outsourcing centre on the wholly spurious notion of value for money.

There is certainly a need to employ BGs etc on a contract basis. There is, however, no reason why this cannot be done direct by HMG with similar levels of individual renumeration to that which the PSCs pay, without covering the PSC's overhead, profit and shareholder dividend.

I seem to remember that in, the dying days of the Western Roman Empire, the Legions were no longer manned by citizens, but rather German mercenaries. I maybe old fashioned, but it seems fundamentally wrong that a state should pay a private company to carry out one of the fundamental roles of a government.
 
#20
It is bloody Neue Arbeit isn't it? If it moves, regulate it! Look we have a perfectly sound system of legislation to handle enlistment in foreign wars and nasty Angola type mercenaries so why FFS can't we leave it at that?

If a PSC wants to take advantage of ECGD funding that would be slightly different but any regualtory or statutory control should not reflect the fact they are a PSC, just a UK organisation operating in export markets.
 

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