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OfflinePhred
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Re-enlist or go private?
    #2519705 - 04/02/04 07:09 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

In another thread ("Shades of Mogadishu"), Edame -- who is male -- had this to say:

Quote:

There are also reports like this from the Telegraph, that say coalition special forces troops are quitting in record numbers, only to take up private security jobs back in Iraq and Afghanistan that pay massively increased wages. As you said, it's hard to say whether the murdered men were doing their job for humanitarian reasons, or to make big money fast, but it seems like there are plenty there who do fit the true definition of a mercenary.


Here is the link he provided: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jht...31/ixworld.html

Before I provide my own link, let me comment on some of Edame's points:

As you said, it's hard to say whether the murdered men were doing their job for humanitarian reasons, or to make big money fast...

The two motives aren't mutually exclusive.

.... but it seems like there are plenty there who do fit the true definition of a mercenary.

Which "true definition" might that be? You certainly can't be referring to the four civilian contractors killed recently in Fallujah.

A mercenary (in the context of wartime) is a soldier for hire -- i.e. a government supplements its standing army with troops for hire, or a faction opposing the government who can't raise enough volunteer revolutionaries rents some extra muscle.

Escorts for food convoys are not troops, they're guards. They are no more "mercenaries" than are the guys riding in armored trucks in London who make money deliveries and pickups in the financial district. The escorts for food convoys in Iraq don't make sweeps into towns or villages, or fire mortars or artillery or drive tanks or bombers -- coalition troops do that.

There are, however, mercenaries in Iraq on the Jihadist side.

On to the question of what to do when your enlistment runs out --

It seems many Brits like to go private while many Yanks like to re-enlist.

From http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040401-115508-9161r.htm

"Army divisions that fought the past 12 months in Iraq have met virtually every re-enlistment goal, a sign that the all-volunteer force remains strong under the stress of frequent deployments and hazardous duty.

"The Pentagon has been closely monitoring the re-up rate for five Army divisions that fought in Iraq for about a year. Some officials feared the time away from home and the gritty duty would prompt a large soldier exodus. After all, the war on terrorism is unchartered [sic] territory. The 30-year-old volunteer Army has never been this busy in combat.

"But numbers compiled this week for the first half of fiscal 2004 show that those five combat units met, or nearly met, all retention targets for enlisted soldiers--the privates, corporals and sergeants who total 416,000 of the Army's 490,000 active force."

From Edame's linked article:

"For SAS soldiers earning ?250 a week in Iraq, the lure of up to ?1,000 a week is easily understood. The most experienced men in the most dangerous jobs are reported to be making ?5,000 a week."

"British officials say more than 300 soldiers have left the armed forces in the past six months to take up lucrative jobs with private companies such as Olive Security, Armour Security, Global and USDID. The problem goes beyond elite special forces. There are more than 160 British former paratroopers working in Baghdad, where the Coalition Provisional Authority has hired a battalion of Fijian soldiers to guard money deliveries to banks.

"More than 500 former Gurkhas, working for Global Logistics Security, are guarding buildings for the CPA."

--------------------------

Brits or Yanks, the higher the training level, the more likely it is that private contractors will be successful in persuading ex-military folks to work for them.

pinky


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InvisibleEdame
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2519861 - 04/02/04 08:27 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Which "true definition" might that be? You certainly can't be referring to the four civilian contractors killed recently in Fallujah.

I knew after I posted that you would pick me up on this. It was a mistake for me to use the word 'true' like I did, I generally try and stay away from assertive statements like that and I should have here. You're right though, I wasn't referring directly to those 'contractors'.

The term mercenary however can also be used to describe someone who is motivated by money. I'd say that someone quitting a special forces job, and then gaining employment in the same theatre of operations, only privately and for more money, seems to fit the description quite well.

Escorts for food convoys are not troops, they're guards. They are no more "mercenaries" than are the guys riding in armored trucks in London who make money deliveries and pickups in the financial district.

I've never in my life seen a Securicor delivery guard in the UK armed with an automatic weapon and the authority to use it. Nor do I magine that many of them are ex-SAS or Navy SEALs. Those guys worked for Blackwater, a private paramilitary organisation, they even train the American military. Lets face it, they were no ordinary security guards, you could pay Iraqis a lot less than the thousands of dollars a week these guys were probably on.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Edame]
    #2519902 - 04/02/04 08:44 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Edame writes:

The term mercenary however can also be used to describe someone who is motivated by money.

Hence my careful inclusion of the phrase "in the context of wartime". Since we are discussing what took place place in a war to people working in a war zone who are not under the military chain of command, to call them "true mercenaries" implies they are military mercenaries. They were not. They were civilians.

I'd say that someone quitting a special forces job, and then gaining employment in the same theatre of operations, only privately and for more money, seems to fit the description quite well.

I know you'd say that. That doesn't mean you are accurate. What if the driver doing exactly the same job was an ex-cop rather than an ex-trooper? Is he also a "mercenary"? What about an NGO worker (back before all the NGOs pulled out of Iraq) getting paid to deliver food in a war zone. Mercenary? Or an Iraqi driver. Mercenary?

I've never in my life seen a Securicor delivery guard in the UK armed with an automatic weapon and the authority to use it.

Yeah, but in Britain, no one is allowed to have guns. Or even clasp knives or pepper spray for that matter, so your point is moot. In Canada, the Brinks guards are armed, and if they shoot someone attempting to harm them or even rob them, the courts are fine with that.

Blackwater, a private paramilitary organisation, they even train the American military. Lets face it, they were no ordinary security guards, you could pay Iraqis a lot less than the thousands of dollars a week these guys were probably on.

They were, nonetheless, civilians.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2519908 - 04/02/04 08:46 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

My 2 cents: Who gives a fuck?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: silversoul7]
    #2519915 - 04/02/04 08:50 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

silversoul7 writes:

My 2 cents: Who gives a fuck?

Accuracy doesn't matter to you? Okay then.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2519921 - 04/02/04 08:53 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Accuracy matters when it's an important issue. I don't see why it's such a big deal that soldiers are going into private security. It seems about as much a non-issue as Bush's recent tasteless joke.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: silversoul7]
    #2519929 - 04/02/04 08:58 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I don't believe it is an issue either. It makes no difference if the drivers are ex-troops or ex-priests or ex-chorus girls.

What does make a difference is to try to brush off the reality of what happened -- the ambush of civilians and the desecration of their corpses -- by incorrectly describing those civilians as "mercenaries".

pinky


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InvisibleEdame
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2520013 - 04/02/04 09:37 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Hence my careful inclusion of the phrase "in the context of wartime". Since we are discussing what took place place in a war to people working in a war zone who are not under the military chain of command, to call them "true mercenaries" implies they are military mercenaries.

People can still be motivated by money in wartime. As I already explained (and you seem to have ignored this), it was wrong of me to use the word 'true' in my other post.


I'd say that someone quitting a special forces job, and then gaining employment in the same theatre of operations, only privately and for more money, seems to fit the description quite well.

I know you'd say that. That doesn't mean you are accurate.

Well that's why I used the term "I'd say", to indicate that it's my opinion and not fact.


What if the driver doing exactly the same job was an ex-cop rather than an ex-trooper? Is he also a "mercenary"? What about an NGO worker (back before all the NGOs pulled out of Iraq) getting paid to deliver food in a war zone. Mercenary? Or an Iraqi driver. Mercenary?

I thought this topic was about ex-military going private? I think what I would class them as would depend on their motivations and/or who they are working for. In this case the men were working for a private army, apparently even the founder of Blackwater has said that:
It was founded by a group of Navy Seals. It's headed by a former Navy Seal, who told me his goal was to build the largest private army in the world. He has talked about expanding to serve militaries in France and other places, and right now has contracts that he says are so secret that he is not able to tell one branch of the Feds that he's working for a different branch of the Feds. They provide all sorts of military services. As you know, with no-bid contracts sometimes. They stop short of combat, but it's often hard to see the line between what's combat and what's not combat.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/01/1621244



Yeah, but in Britain, no one is allowed to have guns. Or even clasp knives or pepper spray for that matter, so your point is moot.

I was responding to this:


They are no more "mercenaries" than are the guys riding in armored trucks in London who make money deliveries and pickups in the financial district.

Seeing as I was responding to your mention of UK gaurds, I think my response was valid. Those men were probably armed, and definitely trained for combat.


Blackwater, a private paramilitary organisation, they even train the American military. Lets face it, they were no ordinary security guards, you could pay Iraqis a lot less than the thousands of dollars a week these guys were probably on.

They were, nonetheless, civilians.

I think it's open to interpretation, and will be even more in future if private armies continue to replace tasks normally carried out by soldiers. Some people would argue that the US uses their own interpretation of what a civilian is to hold people in limbo at Gitmo and deny them basic rights.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2520214 - 04/02/04 11:44 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I sort of like the terms unenlisted milltary support personel in the employ of an occupying army. Calling them civilians is a little misleading.


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Invisibledownforpot
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Phred]
    #2521526 - 04/03/04 02:59 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Join if you can't make ends meet.


--------------------



http://www.myspace.com/4th25


"And I don't care if he was handcuffed
Then shot in his head
All I know is dead bodies
Can't fuck with me again"


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: falcon]
    #2524012 - 04/04/04 10:19 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

From the looks of this document and it's definition of mercenaries the services provided by these individuals for hire would make them civlians as the war is over. I still don't like it.


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: Re-enlist or go private? [Re: Edame]
    #2524805 - 04/04/04 05:06 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

This whole time I thought you were a young lady.

:lipsrsealed:




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