Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Link to my Term Paper


Pecha Kucha

Monday, December 7, 2009


Rights when viewed in the context of my issue, the development of private military corporations, tend to be rather vague and widespread, merely because my issue tends to be an issue taken on a global scale and thus international rights and regulations come into play. Therefore I cannot merely quote from the bill of rights or the constitution because those rights may not be fully applied to the rights of those persons not from this country, such as internationally based private military companies. With this in mind then I would need to base the rights of those involved on a far more generalized ideal or principle, and that would be the inane human right of individuals to defend themselves when threatened. All people need to be afforded the right to defend both themselves and those they hold dear, and in the case of private military corporations, they may do so. Countries that may not have a standing army or may need grater assistance may look to these companies for assistance in times of need, and in doing so exercise their rights as human beings to protect themselves and their property.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


A fact in regards to the employment of private military companies may be seen in the quote given to the UN during the Rwanda crisis which shows that such private military companies may be far more cost effective than employing the use of international or national peace keepers. “The report estimated the cost of a six month operation at 150 million dollars, compared to 100 million dollars spent each month by the United Nations on failed peace keeping in Sierra Leon.” The small tidbit of information however small tells a powerful story of just how cost effective private military companies are compared to national or multinational forces, and should further urge us as a world community to look into private military companies.
This piece of information is a “fact” in that it is verifiable as truth by outside sources besides the article in which it is listed. It may be corroborated by the very report presented before the United Nations which called for action in the Rwanda crisis. It may also be seen as a fact in that it is not merely a theory given by an expert or official but deals in dollars and cold hard figures, computed by the company quoting the cost of deployment as well as sighting the verifiable UN cost of deployment during the Sierra Leon crisis. This fact is variable by several outside sources, and may thus also be deemed as truthful and highly relevant.

Below is the complete article with the quote pertaining to this specific fact.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The targets in my policy issue are a threefold group, first you have the basic private military companies which need to garner support as well as a healthy degree of competition between their fellow contractors to further lower costs, second you have the national government which in turn controls the present day military actions and must be swayed into agreeing that private military companies may be utilized in military actions, and thirdly you have the public, society in general who must be convinced that private military compan9es are a safe and effective alternative to the use of national military forces in some situations. Each of these groups in turn is governed by their own set of rules, while being governed by the same general set of national rules on a wider scale. In essence the private military companies follow the nationally set rules and guidelines for the execution of their enterprise; they must not break national law. With this in mind they also fallow their own set of guidelines and “rules of thumb” rules which may be deemed of importance to them but not so on a national level. The national government is governed by the national rules and guidelines they set forth, the same rules they expect entities existing within their sphere of influence and jurisdiction to abide by. The society on the other hand is not only governed by national laws and rules, as well as rules of thumb but personal biases as well. The level that is the society must then overcome not only societal norms as well as national laws and rules of thumb.
I would not go as far as to say that any of the rules pertaining to each of these groups is necessarily bad, but they may possibly be outdated or in need of a change in the light of modern shifts in cultural and societal norms. I would argue then that the basic belief that national military endeavors must be undertaken by a national force and not a private contractor is outdated and in need to change. The rule might be changed to allow more freedom for private military companies in an effort to lesson eh strain on the national military and avoid the loss of our enlisted soldiers. In this respect I would say that the proposed rule change would be a beneficial change while at the same time not completely negating the value of older established rules as being “bad” but merely as being outdated and in need of modernization.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inducements and Sanctions

In the case of opting for the use of private military companies to execute what would have previously been national military endeavors one would need to apply government polices which would cater to both the private companies as well as the long standing national military as well. As well as contending with both the private companies and the national military officials would also need to paint private military companies and the practice of hiring them as an acceptable practice in the eyes of the American populace, for they would be the ones truly paying for these companies. I would suggest that officials first begin a to formulate a policy which would possibly offer tax incentives for private military companies that would offer their services at cheaper rates as well as accept missions that have previously been deemed to dangerous for small private companies, I would also offer the inducement to the existing military agencies that if they can deem a military operation feasible for a smaller force, and then offer this smaller private force the mission, perhaps their budget or specific branch may receive some type of compensation. One would want the ultimate result of these inducements to lead to the national military preferring to contract out to private companies in an effort to avoid the loss of enlisted soldiers while at the same time saving money and creating a more efficient outcome. Inducements would be far better in furthering mutual respect and cooperation.
However this is not to say that sanctions would not also be employed. Sanctions would need to be employed in regards to punishing private military companies that either broke with the assigned orders or failed to meet oversight standards, or worse broke with the rules of international engagement. Sanctions would have to be swift and severe in order to avoid a public backlash at the first mistake caused by the use of private military companies. The sanctions would need to create a level of no tolerance for deviation from the state mandated orders and oversights, and would ultimately lead to the end of the private company if such orders were not followed. There may be no middle road with regards to these private companies, if they wish to have government funding then they must be strictly controlled and suffer drastic consequences if they deviate in any manner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The targets of my study are rationally constructed with guiding principle in mind that the implementation of private fighting forces would lesson the strain on our national military as wells as provide a means for quick response and intervention in areas that might not be easily accessible to our national military branches. Although the target model is rationally based I am not naïve enough to believe that it may be implemented without the inclusion and involvement of outside interests attempting to bend the proposed policy to fit their own needs. I have no doubt that interest groups as wells as personal biases may shape the policy in regards to private military companies but I would hope that the interference would be minimal and would not overly convolute the proposed policy. Although the basis of the policy would be vested in the idea that PMCs would be rationally seen as a beneficial alternative to conventional military interference, the targets would at some point infuse into the issue their own beliefs and local knowledge hoping to twist the policy into a manner more conducive to their own needs and goals. I would hope that one be able to reach a compromise with such interests groups in the hope that the general ideal of PMCs may not be transformed into something unrecognizable from the proposed policy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My issue mainly involves three interest groups, national governments looking to lessen the weight of military incursions, private military companies looking to create a viable business based on the contracting of security, and the public of each state involved, whether they are the state paying for the military action of the state benefiting from the action. Interests that should be involved yet aren’t to the extent that they should be are those of government oversight panels and committees that would ensure the proper conduct of private military companies overseas. These groups need to achieve higher degree of involvement in order to sell private military companies as being safe and effective. The involvement of my classmates in the issue would be an involvement in the form of either supporting or not supporting the use of private military companies. My fellow classmates could become more highly versed in the troubles throughout the world such as Darfur or even localized areas in Iraq that would benefit from private military intervention. As of right now I feel people my age or younger are not involved merely due to their lack of a need to be involved, I feel that with time and age more of them shall be driven to take up cause which they feel deserve their time and energy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Causal Stories...

When addressing the issue of Private Military Companies many may ask why are they necessary? or for what reason do we live in a world needing for armed conflicts and larger groups of individuals armed for battle? why are we not working towards peace and living in Harmony with our fellow men and women?
Why are these companies necessary? this question is the most basic and by far the easiest to answer. we need these companies in order to provide a means of protecting ourselves and those we love from those who wish us harm. we have reached an era in which large militaries and armies are successful only up to a certain point. at some time armies become bogged down in problems ranging from congressional approval due lack of financing or an inability to commit our own personal citizens to harm. these private companies allow for individuals who wish to be involved to protect and those in need and further fight those battles we are unable to fight for ourselves using our own national armies.
Private military companies also provide the public sector with eh ability to influence the cost of military engagements and thus lesson the burden on countries. for Private companies may now out bid one another another in an attempt to gain a job, decreasing the cost of military involvement.
private military companies also allow for countries to shield their young men and women harmful situations that may lack the public support to push for full scale involvement. thus protecting our own men and women while still allowing for military involvement.
one may also examine the causal story that is the push for peace. we live in a world unfair and cold and thus peace shall not come to us easily. instead peace must be fought for and in many cases men and woman must die in order for peace to prevail. in order that peace prevails we must then be willing to fight for it, and private military companies do just that, they allow for peace to be given a fighting chance in places that other wise may not be given such a chance.
Causal stories range from a need for further sources of protection to a need for peace keeping across the globe by small specialized forces. Which of these stories do i see as correct? and which does the world see as acceptable and correct? personally i see the need for private military companies arising from an inability of national armies to solve problems in smaller specialized areas of the globe. the populace however is yet to fully accept this idea of private military companies. as of right now private military companies are still looked upon with disdain and uncertainty due to a lack of general oversight. the public must still acclimate to private military companies, and in the future we shall have to see what the final view of these companies shall be.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Human Cost of Inaction

Here we have the image of a young girl who was viciously maimed by a group of Sierra Leone rebels known as the Revolutionary United Front, or RUF. Sierra Leone like many African nations was home to a brutal civil war which ravaged the citizens of its borders for years and continues to impact them to this day. The RUF was known worldwide for their barbaric war practices and the atrocities they brought down upon the innocent civilians unfortunate enough to cross their paths. Whole villages were decimated as the inhabitants were butchered, raped or fled with nothing more than their lives and a hope to never again encounter this force of savages. This group however was subdued in 1995 for a short period by mercenary force known as Execute Outcomes, for two months the rebels were subdued to the point of enforcing a peace treaty complete with cease fire while government officials plotted their next step. Sadly after this two month period the government of Sierra Leone under UN pressure failed to renew the contract of executive Outcomes and shortly thereafter warring ensued.
Could this young girl have kept her leg and her childhood innocence had executive outcomes been allowed to continue their mission of defense in there? Would countless people still have their lives today if the RUF had been continually confronted by executive outcomes? What is the price we are willing to pay for the perception that international peace keeping forces are able to quell the rebels of the world?
Would you be able to tell this young girl that her leg was taken in the name of International cooperation and a promise “to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest” (U.N. Charter)
Was it in the common interest for her leg to be taken from her?

You decide, and when you do, tell her your answer.

Monday, October 5, 2009


The concept of framing seems to be acceptable in the present societies only in regards to commercial add schemes, yet completely intolerable when associated with political endeavors. Society hates to admit that they are being socially conditioned when it comes to commercial ads, yet they are up in arms the minute the media seems to put a slight slant on a topic. Why the double standard? Do they not realize that the media is merely another commercial enterprise whose sole goal is to make money and continue their business?
In regards to my issue of the privatization of international fighting forces framing would be a necessity, in which the media would play a pivotal role. Consider it if you will a massive public relations scheme whose sole purpose is to express to the public just how efficient and responsible it would be to privatize some of our military excursions. The public should be shown that through employing private forces money would be saves as well as human lives. The market would drive this media love affair in an attempt to promote the privatization of war in order to keep military companies lucrative so they may pay for add space. These privatized companies would also show the easier side of military conflict as there would be no large number of casualties, but instead efficient quick decisive victories. The market would drive the framing of this issue, while the polis would be conditioned by the framing of the market.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


What is the definition of free that best applies to my issue? In relation to private forces being contracted to execute military operations usually undertaken by national armies the idea of freedom is somewhat varied. Should freedom in respect to my issue mean that these private companies are free to protect their own interests? Or should freedom be viewed in regards to those who are contracting to these armies, and their freedom of choice to choose the company that is best for them? Or do we wish to address the larger picture of whose freedom is actually being protected by these armies? Freedom and its many differing angles may lead to numerous and very different understandings of the belief.
First let us tackle this idea of freedom in regards to the military organizations themselves, and their apparent lack of oversight in their dealing and exploits in foreign battleground. Freedom in this case is not carte blanche to decimate a country in the process of achieving a goal, freedom would mean that they have the ability to move without the hindrance of a large military company and are allowed to possibly bypass hostile situations which may require the attention of national armies, allowing them to focus on their specific mission and avoid becoming embroiled in larger issues. These units would have the freedom to basically stream line their excursions to execute their goal and then leave the area.
In regards to those who contract these private armies freedom must viewed as the ability to choose a small private specialized force to achieve a highly specialized purpose or goal. The nation must be given the freedom to choose the best contractor for this operation as well as possess the freedom of regulations to allow the hiring of third party forces for military ventures. Freedom in regards to the nation then may be seen as a market freedom, the freedom to choose the best offer for the most efficient outcome, yet at the same time allowing for proper oversight so as to see that these privet companies do not overstep their bounds and go outside preset guidelines, the private companies may not be free to do as they please.
Lastly let us address the freedom of those that these armies are believed to be protecting. The polis if you will, either it be of the country that has hired the contractors, or that of the country into which the military action is taking place. Human life must be given a top priority in all military operations. Human rights must be provided for on all sides of the issue. The freedom of the contracting nation’s polis must be upheld while at the same time allowing for the freedom of those individuals in the areas of conflict. For both these groups I chose to see freedom as the right to live life free and unhindered by forces outside their own country or political sphere, meaning their cultures and lives must be given consideration, and only in an effort to protect the greater good may their be infringement upon social norms and rights. (Yes “greater good” is extremely vague, but that would require several pages of explanation, so for the present and in the theme of keeping this a blog and not a fully fledged paper I shall return to it at a later date.)
Overall there is no clear cut definition of freedom that may fit this topic ideally across the board; each aspect must be highly compartmentalized to allow for the optimal and fair outcome. In some case this means allowing for the freedom of the market to take control, while in others the freedom of the polis must be accepted.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Secure Outcome

Security, is it truly obtainable? Or is it merely the illusion of protection provided by a fragile bloated bureaucratic system on the verge of collapse? There are those who would attempt to argue that our own personal security may not be obtained through military measures on massive international scales, rather on our home front in a more privatized individualistic fashion. How can we truly secure the American populace while at the same time not alienating ourselves from the world around us?

Security is necessary in a world of constant change and upheaval. One must look for protection from a multitude of sources, whether they are international or domestic, physical or financial, we all seek shelter from something, this need for shelter and protection thus necessitates a body able to give such support and care. The ability to provide such protection from physical harm relies on our country’s armed forces and their diligence in protecting the citizens which look to them for assistance. Yet in providing this protection from physical harm are they unintentionally embroiling our country in a fiscal debacle that could leave our generation finically unstable for generations to come? War is expensive, as it has always been, yet many times war is accompanied by an increased need for goods and services, to be provided by the national populace, yet in the case of our most recent military conflicts, none required massive arms build ups or increased production of goods. It seems we have continued with our business of war while letting its perceived products fall by the way side. What good is a war if not to bolster our economy and strengthen our national industries? Should a war not unify the country behind one common purpose or goal? Or should it merely fracture it into differing political and ideological groups all bent on their own agenda? Have we not already de personalized and striped war of its fiscal benefits? Leaving nothing more than the dry shell of democratic freedom behind as the resounding reason for war?

If we are bent on continuing a policy of military conflict we must go about it in a manner conducive to a changing market. We must open the door for private groups to offer their services for a modest price, competing with other such groups, driven by the market mentality to offer the best service at the most reasonable price. If people cry for smaller government and smaller military intervention let us give it to them in the form of a small specialized, privatized industry. Let us offer security to the polis through the privatization of armies driven by the market!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Efficiency and the Military

Efficiency and the military have always seemed to be at odds with each other. Whether due to increased troop deployments or unspecified time frames, it seems that our military has not always been the model for efficiency, if efficiency is measured in regards to using the given input for the most output, and that output being something positive.

In regards to my specific issue of contracting out our military needs to private companies in order to achieve both an efficient cost and resulting outcome several aspects must be taken into consideration. First the outcome must be deemed fiscally efficient as well logistically efficient. By this I mean if we can pay a private highly trained fighting force to liberate a small terrorist compound for 10 million dollars when it would cost us no less than 15 million in logistics, troop transfers and other odds and ends needed to insert a specialized force into a hostile area, with the end result being the same in both situations, then it would be fiscally efficient to use the private security over our own. Second we would need to prove that not only is the private method fiscally and logistically effect but morally as well, for when dealing with any military situation public support always seems to hinge on an emotional undertone, such as discerning what is morally acceptable. For this reason one would have to show that even though the company was a private organization they would still be subject to all the rules and regulations which national military forces must abide by, that way lessoning humanitarian concerns and clearing the way for an unobstructed private military excursion.

The driving force behind this privatization and outsourcing of military operations would need to be a happy combination of both the market and the polis. The market through competition would drive the cost of the operations down due to outbidding by companies. While the public exposure and successful PR spin would allow the polis to feel substantially involved in that any private operation would still be under the oversight of the national government, which should be in the simplest terms, an extension of the polis. Therefore through the successful manipulation of both the market and polis could one successfully outsource military operations to private companies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can there really be an equitable outcome for all?

War has always been quick to spark massive and often heated debates in those forums unlucky enough to be chosen for the topic. It seems that humanity has always been slow to discuss the uglier side of its animalistic nature, especially when we couple this nature with fierce competition for natural resources dwindling in the world community, as well as the need to maintain both military and economic superiority. We then create for ourselves the picture of a fractured world dependent upon military prowess as a last line of defense to protect the rights and goals of every private world power in and around those areas precious to them. yet now we find that often those forces upon which we rely to further our own agendas may be lacking in efficiency due to massive government oversight, and the inability to mobilize merely due to the momentous task of coordinating a military campaign. In theory then could we not privatize these military forces in an effort to cut down on government spending, while at the same time increasing efficiency by decreasing unnecessary involvement from unneeded sources? Such as congressional oversight committees and U.N. International protocols? It seems that privatization is the red headed step child of this era, with such subjects as government run health care for all and having now our national economy closely tied to government owned industries, few see this as a time to push for the privatization of anything, let alone defense. Yet let us ponder for a moment what the privatization of defense may do for our country. Certainly it would lesson the strain on our already taxed administration, for instead of spending countless hours and dollars on the allocation of man powers as well as the time spent on logistics alone, we could instead pay one lump sum to a private company and allow them to spear head the operation, streamlining the process while freeing up national resources for more pressing matters closer to home. we may also solve the pressing issue protecting our civilians at the cost of numerous American lives. no longer would we deal with the public outcry for our soldiers to return home to avoid heavy causalities, for these would not be "our soldiers" we would de-personalize war, making it far more acceptable to the American public. so lets recap here, in the most broad sense, the privatization of war would take the strain off government agencies, decrease our costs in the long run, fast track armed conflicts and provide for a way in which to lesson casualties taken by American service men and women. why would this not be an equitable outcome for all? wars continue, the safety of the country is preserved, while at the same time our own troops are not killed in battle? we can have our cake and eat it too!!
yet on the other side of this argument we have that nagging question of accountability. if we are selling the rights to protect our country tot he lowest bidder what type of quality are we getting for our money? with our own armed forces we are able to provide a military service with a regimented structure of oversight as well as a strong code of engagement, right? the outsourcing of military support can do nothing but degrade the and infringe upon the established moral code by which our military functions, how could know that these private forces would not be violating national and international human rights in every conflict that they were deployed? the lack of national oversight would be far to great a risk to take in order to create a fighting force which is both cost effective and tactically efficient!!
Can an equitable outcome be found? who is int he right? what is fair....? Should the market dictate our actions, causing us to outsource tot he lowest bidder? or should the polis win, with their calls for international human rights and the continued stringent oversight of all military endeavors? Is their a fair and equitable answer? or will the political system merely repeat itself and move to support the cause with the largest amount of support? whether that support be the public outcry for human rights, or the financial backing of powerful companies such as Blackwater and other privatized military, or security forces..... we must wait and see.