Mercenary Helicopter shot down in Iraq - Page 3

January 28th, 2007  
And in my opinion the United States right now is the highest bidder.
I do not view Merc work as serving the Nation, but rather serving ones self. If there was a need, well the United States Government can, as I have said before, pay Uniformed members of the Military more money, like in the range of tens of thousands of dollars a year more, until there are enough boots on the battlefield to do all the jobs which need to be done.
January 29th, 2007  
Originally Posted by Gator
And in my opinion the United States right now is the highest bidder.
I do not view Merc work as serving the Nation, but rather serving ones self. If there was a need, well the United States Government can, as I have said before, pay Uniformed members of the Military more money, like in the range of tens of thousands of dollars a year more, until there are enough boots on the battlefield to do all the jobs which need to be done.
Just interested, but are you aware that the famous Flying Tigers were also mercenaries according to that UN "mercenary" code?

Mercenaries are not always bad. Read up on Executive Outcomes in West Africa in the 1990s. They put a stop to alot of the killing and masacres which was something UN was never able to do after they forced the mercs to leave because the UN believes "mercs" are evil and can do no good.

Eitherway Blackwater PMCs are Americans, working for an American company hired by the US government in an American war, not used in offensive or frontline combat and are not recruited from abroad. Thus they cannot be mercenaries according to that UN code.
January 29th, 2007  
Article 47.-Mercenaries

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.

2. A mercenary is any person who:

(a) Is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;

(b) Does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;

(c) Is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;

(d) Is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;

(e) Is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and

(f) Has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.

I guess I just read things differently, but like I have said, you can call them Military if you like, Paramilitary, Private Military, hell you can say they are the only military that matters for all I care, I call them Mercenaries.
January 31st, 2007  
I am curious why you have taken this low opinion of civilian contractors? I have known only one and he was one of the finest, simply trying to provide for his family and still serve his country. His loyalty to this country was of the highest priority. He in my mind and people like him deserve more respect than you are willing to afford them. I find your view point distastful and alarming noticing that you served as well. Seems like you are bitter over monitary motives. Just my opinion
January 31st, 2007  
I believe Serving ones Nation means in the United States Military, and not a Private Military Company in the Combat Zone with zero loyalties to the Nation, people who do it in the end for the money.
You believe it is just me who has such a low view of Mercs? I know plenty of people in Uniform of all Ranks who hold the same opinion.

Why not start the pay scale for the people in Uniform at 100,000 to a year to serve in Iraq? Do you believe Mercs are better Soldiers, worth more money than those who serve in the United States Military?

If being a Merc was so honorable, and Serving the Nation like one does in the United States Military, why have a United States Military to begin with? Why not just pull all US Military Troops out of Iraq and give the whole shooting match to the Private Military Companies?

Millions wasted in Iraq reconstruction aid
Quarterly audit paints grim picture of fraud, frustration

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government wasted tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons and a never-used camp for housing police trainers with an Olympic-size swimming pool, investigators say.
The quarterly audit by Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, is the latest to paint a grim picture of waste, fraud and frustration in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has cost taxpayers more than $300 billion and left the region near civil war.
“The security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, hindering progress in all reconstruction sectors and threatening the overall reconstruction effort,” according to the 579-page report, which was being released Wednesday.
Calling Iraq’s sectarian violence the greatest challenge, Bowen said in a telephone interview that billions in U.S. aid spent on strengthening security has had limited effect. Reconstruction now will fall largely on Iraqis to manage — and they’re nowhere ready for the task.
The audit comes as President Bush is pressing Congress to approve $1.2 billion in new reconstruction aid as part of his broader plan to stabilize Iraq by sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Baghdad and Anbar province.
Democrats in Congress have been skeptical. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has suggested that the U.S. is spending too much on Iraq reconstruction at the expense of Hurricane Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans, while California Rep. Henry Waxman plans in-depth hearings next week into charges of Iraq waste and fraud.
20 VIP trailers
According to the report, the State Department paid $43.8 million to contractor DynCorp International for the residential camp for police training personnel outside of Baghdad’s Adnan Palace grounds that has stood empty for months. About $4.2 million of the money was improperly spent on 20 VIP trailers and an Olympic-size pool, all ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior but never authorized by the U.S.
U.S. officials spent another $36.4 million for weapons such as armored vehicles, body armor and communications equipment that can’t be accounted for. DynCorp also may have prematurely billed $18 million in other potentially unjustified costs, the report said.

Responding, the State Department said in the report that it was working to improve controls. Already, it has developed a review process that rejected a $1.1 million DynCorp bill earlier this month on a separate contract because the billed rate was incorrect.
A spokesman for DynCorp, Greg Lagana, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

‘Very expensive process’
Bowen, whose office was nearly eliminated last month by administration-friendly Republicans in Congress, called spending waste in Iraq a continuing problem. Corruption is high among Iraqi officials, while U.S. contract management remains somewhat weak.
With America’s $21 billion rebuilding effort largely finished, it will be up to the international community and the Iraqis to step up its dollars to sustain reconstruction, Bowen said in the interview. “That will be a long-term and very expensive process,” he said.
According to the report:
  • <LI class=textBodyBlack>Major U.S. contractors in Iraq, including Bechtel National and Kellogg, Brown and Root Services Inc., said they devoted an average 12.5 percent of their total expenses for security.
  • Bowen’s office opened 27 new criminal probes in the last quarter, bringing the total number of active cases to 78. Twenty-three are awaiting prosecutorial action by the Justice Department, most of them centering on charges of bribery and kickbacks.
Still, “fraud has not been a significant component of the U.S. experience in Iraq,” Bowen said.
As of the end of 2006, contracts had been let for all of the $21 billion Congress put into the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund it created in 2003. Some 80 percent of the money has been paid out, the report said.
Since 2003, use of the reconstruction aid changed several times as U.S. officials shifted priorities to spend more on security problems or programs critical to supporting elections or developing the new government.
For example, money was cut from what had been originally planned for electricity, water, oil projects and transportation and communication so it could be used to help pay for such things as health care, elections, democracy programs and training Iraqi security forces.
Overall, the largest single expense was security. The total was spent in the following way:
  • <LI class=textBodyBlack>34 percent for security and justice. <LI class=textBodyBlack>23 percent to try to generate and distribute electricity. Still, the report noted, output in the last quarter averaged below pre-war levels. <LI class=textBodyBlack>12 percent for water. <LI class=textBodyBlack>12 percent for economic and societal development. <LI class=textBodyBlack>9 percent for oil and gas. <LI class=textBodyBlack>4 percent for transportation and communications.
  • 4 percent for health care.
Auditors had “significant concern” about the way ahead, partly because of the Iraqi government’s bad track record on budgeting for such projects, the report said. It said the Iraqi government had “billions of budgeted dollars remained unspent at the end of 2006.”
Unemployment remains high, contributing to the insurgency because it sours the population and leaves idle young men to their own devices, according to the report.
The government’s “most significant challenge continues to be strengthening rule-of-law institutions — the judiciary, prisons and the police,” the report said. “The United States has spent billions of dollars in this area, with limited success to date.”

This is the last thing I will Post on this matter, I believe if they (Mercs) cared about the Nation and wanted to be in Iraq they would leave the Merc job and go into the United States Military (or stay in the United States Military) and ask to be sent into the Combat Zone as soon as possible.
January 31st, 2007  
Originally Posted by Kirruth
I don't think of the Blackwater types as mercenaries at all. They are simply working for the United States in a private capacity, rather than working for the highest bidder.
They aren't. A lot of BW guys are prior service, many have put in 20 PLUS years in the service, many in SOF. Those that didn't do a full 20 still put in their time and deserve the respect they earned. I haven't met any qualified American contractor that wasn't 110% patriotic towards his country.

Besides, a lot of them do the jobs active military really don't want to have to deal with. Our handcuffs make them too much of a headache.
February 1st, 2007  
Gator the original militias which fought for American independance were in fact private militaries. Many were never compensated until years after the revolutionary war had ended. They were paid by the local men who organised them. Again this was the case in the War of Southern Independance aka the Civil War for you yankees , the companies and battalions and brigades were organised and paid for on both sides of the Mason Dixon with private money and then reimbursed sometimes by their respective national or state governments.

Secondly, ignoring the historical precedents it is not economically feasable to pay $100,000 to every swinging in Iraq. The military is NOT an efficient organization and to get one shooter on line it takes 11 support personell. Whereas you pay a private company which is far more efficient and you get more shooters for less cash AND they can fly under the radar and behind the curtain as needs be, whereas our regular army et al cannot because of treaties, laws and various other horse ROEs.

History and economics... who knew.
February 1st, 2007  
The Revolutionary War was before the United States of America as such it was also before the United States Constitution.... as to the Traitors in the South and the Civil War.... well the South paid dearly for thier mistake, wouldn't you say?.... well perhaps you would not say.
February 1st, 2007  
Gator the NORTH and the SOUTH used private armies.
February 1st, 2007  
Bulldogg, had I lived back then, I would view such Forces as Mercenary Forces, the same as I view said Forces in Iraq, the exact same way I view said Forces in Iraq.
My opinion on this matter will not change.

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