"The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Armies" by Robert Johnson at Business Insider.
The idea of a mercenary may seem a bit quaint in the 21st century, but those forces make a difference and are often all that stands between a leader and his fate.
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I am sympathetic with this feeling. While my experience with the 'mercenaries' was good for personnel protection, the rumors and a few first-hand accounts of transgressions in the field were unsettling. One problem was that, if a mercenary committed an atrocity, he ordinarily got fired but faced no more accountability (whereas a soldier doing the same would face a court-martial).
While these men and (few) women displayed high degrees of professionalism toward me, for which I respected those individuals, I wondered what stake these people, as a group, felt they had in the outcome of a national mission. The soldiers wanted OIF and OEF to succeed and worked hard toward that end. As time went on, I wondered whether this sense of investment could be shared by those who stood to benefit from protracted conflict.
So I don't have anything productive to say about this. But I would nonetheless like to re-state for the record my utter and complete contempt for security contractors. This is a principled view, not one rooted in some pragmatic logic chain. Although I've bothered constructing such a chain before in arguments on the matter. And although I still believe there is a sound logical argument to be made against them. I find the principled arguments far more emotionally satisfying.
I resented having to work with them, no matter how good they were at the trade skills of war-fighting. Call me an idealist warrior-type.