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.