Home World Events Peace and Conflict Are Soldiers For Hire the Future of War? (Video)

Are Soldiers For Hire the Future of War? (Video)

Is a private military company (PMC) just a fancy corporate name for mercenary? Seems so.

The 1960s and 1970s saw plenty mercenary activity, mainly in imploding African states such as the Congo and Angola.

In the past 20 years mercenary activity has made somewhat of a big comeback. They mightn’t get the headlines that the soldiers of fortune got in the past but they’re getting the big paychecks in what is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

“It’s the new American way of fighting war” says P.W. Singer from the Brookings Institute who is interviewed in the above report by Vice.

China and Russia are among the other nations also employing private security firms to get things done he said.

Today’s guns for hire can handle everything from logistics and consulting right through to the actual combat but is the use of force by a non-state actor appropriate?

“There has been concern about using people who don’t wear the badge of the United States of America, who are not part of a chain of command, who aren’t held accountable in the same ways [as a national military would],” says Jan Schakowsky a U.S. Representative from the Democrats in the report.

“I think what concerns me the most about these private military contractors is that by and large they operate in the shadows. The transparency isn’t there, the accountability isn’t there,” she says.

“It appears that these contractors maybe literally able to get away with murder.”

See the Vice video above from more about an issue that has not got the attention it deserves. Oddly though the report seems to be sponsored by Call of Duty, the first-person and third-person shooter video game.

James Burke
What keeps the world ticking? James is always looking for the answer and the latest news from around the globe. When he's not behind his computer, he's basking in the Thailand sun, or dreaming of the southern hemisphere, where he grew up in rural Australia.

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