Privatized militaries a tool for deception
With the amount of available weaponry that increased in the 1990s and the expansion of the international arms trade, a new wave of corporate hegemony was established throughout the world. The increased supply of weapons led to new buyers, and an emergence of private military and security companies.
The billion-dollar privatized companies are contracted to provide private military and security services to target clients, such as the proxy wars of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.
Such is the case in Iraq, where Blackwater USA, a privately owned security company, participated alongside U.S. Marines in fighting in Fallujah, Iraq. Blackwater USA’s mission claims to "protect those who are defenseless… while providing ethical, efficient and turnkey solutions that positively impact the lives of those still caught in desperate times."
It is impossible for war to have a positive impact on anyone, be it Iraqis or U.S. soldiers.
In the media, we are not told of the deaths of Blackwater forces in Iraq. Since the U.S. government does not count mercenaries as their soldiers, they do not count the dead mercenaries as military causalities.
According to the British American Security Information Council, an independent research organization that analyzes international security issues, there is little regulation for private military and security companies, which have only aggravated and prolonged conflicts.
Today there are also freelance mercenaries who work with more than one private military or security company.
Private military or security forces hire individuals who have previous military or police experience. Coming home after serving four years in the military only to realize the hardships of employment is what persuades most of these young men and women into the industry.
According to a United Nations Special Rapporteur, "(private companies) should not participate actively in armed conflicts, nor recruit and hire mercenaries, much less attempt to replace the State in defending national sovereignty… "
An effort to ban the activities of privatized security by the U.N. has yet to see progress, though.
The demand for private military use is only going to increase as long as the U.S. government plans on occupying countries for whatever precarious reasons. While there are existing efforts to regulate the activities of privatized military and security companies, we can start by boycotting (or at least acknowledging) the persistence of recruitment from both the military and private military companies.
Hammad, a communication junior, can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]