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No man.

Creating the opportunity for private companies to conduct military operations was a huge mistake.  Only states should have the right to engage in military operations, allowing for the creation of a market for military services always had the potential to bring down tumbling one of the walls that kept corporate power at bay.

Think about it this way. The UK and France spend about $70 billion each annually on military expenditures. Royal Dutch Shell brought in almost $460 billion last year.  If Royal Dutch Shell were allowed to purchase military services on an open market, spending only 15% of its annual revenues would match that, and rocket it past everyone but the United States ($663 billion) and China (~$100 billion).

Do we really want to live in a world where money can buy power like that?

Potentially even more disturbing than the international implications of private military markets, are what happens in the home market.  

At what point do the praetorians auction the empire?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 04:44:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Killing for profit is and always should be a crime.  No private entity has the right to conduct war.  That is a form of terrorism and should be treated as such.

Frank's Home Page and Diary Index
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 05:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No private entity has the right to conduct war.
 

Yes, but under international law that nice thick line starts to show some wear and tear.

Mercenaries are not accorded the rights of lawful combatants in the Geneva convention, however so long as private military personnel are:

  1. Nominally acting under the authority of a state authority.

  2. Nationals of a state that is party to the conflict.

They are lawful combatants.

Thus, Blackwater in Iraq was legally an agent of the US government, so that where it employed Ukranians as employees they were lawful combatants (because Ukraine was a party to the conflict), but when they brought in former South African special forces they employed unlawful combatants, because South Africa wasn't party to the conflict.

Murky, eh?

And what happens when the size of the these PMCs armed contingents is larger than the local army?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 06:07:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyberpunk dystopia, here we come...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 06:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely.

The answer isn't a world without power, it's one in which power has a social purpose.

Which means combating neoliberal ideology, recapturing governments from the moneyed interests, and using them to create a better world.

If the US and European governments are on the same page about the world that they want than then that is the world that we will have.

It seems to me that the rage for civil society solutions has at least something to do with economic elites control over the machinery of state when the franchise was extended.  Because they've lost at the game of political democracy, they think that they can slip the leash by undermining national systems that regulate economies........

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 07:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The answer isn't a world without power, it's one in which power has a social purpose.

In the case of military contractors, including Blackwater, this would better be served by euthanizing private military organizations than having taxpayers buy them. This would be accomplished by legislation making private military operations illegal. That way the US government would not be "taking" Prince's property.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 11:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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