Sign up FAST! Login

From Iraq to Nigeria: How Mercenaries Are Changing Warfare — The Atlantic

Stashed in: Military!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

America's reliance on private military companies in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade hasn't just expanded the industry; it's also started to change the conduct of international relations. In theory, armed forces for hire give private actors the option to wage wars where governments can’t, or won’t. In 2008, for example, actress and activist Mia Farrow explored hiring Blackwater to intervene in Darfur, telling ABC News at the time, “Blackwater has a much better idea of what an effective peace-keeping mission would look like than Western governments.” Private military companies also allow governments to disclaim involvement in politically controversial activities. “Putin is using Chechen mercenaries in Ukraine, allegedly,” McFate said. “Who’s going to tell him you can’t do that after 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan?”

What follows is an edited and condensed transcript of an interview I conducted with McFate who, as an employee of the Defense Department, wanted me to note that these are his views, not those of the U.S. government.

It truly frightens me that the military industrial complex can hire its own mercenaries. 

You May Also Like: