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ExpandMyMind

Obama Has 250,000 "Contractors" in

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ExpandMyMind
According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of “Private Security Contractors” working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which “correlates to the build up of forces” in the country.These numbers relate explicitly to DoD security contractors. Companies like Blackwater and its successor Triple Canopy work on State Department contracts and it is unclear if these contractors are included in the over-all statistics.

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Untill recently (last 5 years or so) I had no idea that the US hired mercenaries. I DO know alot of those working for private security companies over there are former members of the US Armed forces, or were trained by the US.

Seems to me it would be cheaper to use the Armed Forces rather than hiring in mercanaries, but I guess our government has a "good reason" for it.

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ExpandMyMind
Untill recently (last 5 years or so) I had no idea that the US hired mercenaries. I DO know alot of those working for private security companies over there are former members of the US Armed forces, or were trained by the US.

Seems to me it would be cheaper to use the Armed Forces rather than hiring in mercanaries, but I guess our government has a "good reason" for it.

it acts as a smokescreen for the actual amount of our forces over there. at least that's the way i see it. it would be massively cheaper if they never hired these mercenaries but think of all the publicity having close to half a million troops in the region would create. also i'm not sure if these groups would have to comply with all the ins and outs of international law. it may be that they have a lot more freedom to get away with things an army wouldn't.

it was a surprise to me the extent of the use of these 'contractors'. after watching the latest series of 24 i thought the writers had completely blown the use of mercenaries out of proportion, but the numbers don't lie.

i wonder how much power these companies would have over congress?

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The Silver Thong
Untill recently (last 5 years or so) I had no idea that the US hired mercenaries. I DO know alot of those working for private security companies over there are former members of the US Armed forces, or were trained by the US.

Seems to me it would be cheaper to use the Armed Forces rather than hiring in mercanaries, but I guess our government has a "good reason" for it.

Oh it is far cheaper to use the military than using merc's however merc's arn't bound by military law. It lets the government of the hook so to speak when using them. The rules of engagement are different.

Edited by The Silver Thong

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bathory

sigh not this again

you guys need to a) look up what a mercenary is B) look at how many of those contractors are actually involved in security missions

the vast majority of those 250,000 contractors are things like cooks, drivers, mechanics, cleaners etc etc they have no combat role whatsoever

those who are in a combat role are there purely as security, they don't engage in combat and simply defend themselves and whomever it is they are assigned to protect IF attacked.

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The Silver Thong
sigh not this again

you guys need to a) look up what a mercenary is B) look at how many of those contractors are actually involved in security missions

the vast majority of those 250,000 contractors are things like cooks, drivers, mechanics, cleaners etc etc they have no combat role whatsoever

those who are in a combat role are there purely as security, they don't engage in combat and simply defend themselves and whomever it is they are assigned to protect IF attacked.

Your right for the most part however do you want to see a video of Blackwater blowing away civilians...... I can assure you merc's do the dirty work !

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ExpandMyMind
sigh not this again

you guys need to a) look up what a mercenary is B) look at how many of those contractors are actually involved in security missions

know of anywhere to see the statistics for something like that?i couldn't find anywhere.

A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict, who is not a national or a party to the conflict, and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party" (Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention of August 1949).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenary#In_popular_culture

the bits i highlighted don't exactly make them sound like cooks and cleaners. not saying you're wrong, just saying i can find anything to back up what you say.

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bathory
Your right for the most part however do you want to see a video of Blackwater blowing away civilians...... I can assure you merc's do the dirty work !

Blackwater and anyone doing contracted security over there are nothing more than security guards with automatics. Unless you are going to start claiming that the guy who guards your bank is a mercenary too...

Killing civilians doesn't make them mercenaries either, it simply makes them criminals...

the bits i highlighted don't exactly make them sound like cooks and cleaners. not saying you're wrong, just saying i can find anything to back up what you say.

like I said before, the vast bulk of those 250,000 contractors are people doing stuff like cooking, cleaning and construction etc

From last I read, there were only something like 20,000 - 30,000 (this could totally be wrong, theres an old thread somewhere with the proper figures if you can be arsed looking) armed contractors in Iraq (unsure of Afghanistan), and they aren't involved in military operations, they provide security for civilians, for example, the state department iirc hired Blackwater to provide convoy security.

A big part of the debate as to what constitutes as a mercenary is whether or not the person/group/company engages in pro-active combat, afaik this hasn't happened in Iraq or Afghanistan. You don't have Blackwater (or whoever) traipsing around the country side looking for Terry Taliban to blow away.

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MARAB0D

I would hesitate to call Blackwater "mercenaries", same as any other contracting personnel are not mercenaries. Mercenaries through all the history were professional soldiers, taking part in hostilities outside their homeland for a negotiated pay. Mercenaries were Swiss Landsknechts, who were hired by most European courts as a personal guards; mercenaries were Balear sling-shooters, hired by Carthage; mercenaries were Genovan infantrymen, hired by Mongols in 14th century to fight Russia; mercenaries were the Cossacks of pre-18th century, hired by anyone etc. Mercenaries are always politically neutral and serve to anyone who hires them. As soon as it is unlikely for Blackwater to be hired to fight, say, by China or Taleban, they cannot be seen as politically neutral. They are simply hired by US government to carry police functions of a sort in Iraq.

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