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topmaul said:
Yes the military can do the job, and can do it for what we are paying contractors. I see it every day, I could give you example after example.
Top: Contractors are generally cheaper because private entities like to cut cost and maximize profit. Yes, the employees are paid more. At the same time, the contracting agency isn't paying for $400 toilet seats either. This is how they can afford to pay their employees at a better rate than government and it still ends up cheaper.

Let's take the the two types of DoS diplomatic security jobs for just a second.

DoS pays Blackwater (or Dyncorp, or Olive, or TripleCanopy, or Edinburgh, etc.) $1000 per man, per day. His protectees are foreign dignitaries and Iraqi interior ministers.

He rides in a civvie vehicle uparmored and converted for convoy use. He is provided air support and recon with civvie MD500s running theater-expedient belt fed .30s at best. He's provided a PKM and told not to let VBIEDs get close to the convoy. He carries a company Bushmaster M4gery and a G19. He is a former 11B, and is considered an "independent contractor" by his employer. He sleeps on a cot in a rundown building, and craps in a portajohn provided by his employer. He also does oil changes on the Rover when their not running a convoy.

That man gets paid $600 per day.

DoS also has their own protection detail for high profile clients. They cost DoS $0. That man protects Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad.

He rides in an up-armored Humvee that never goes anywhere without at least one Stryker in the line. His aircover is provided by Blackhawks and Apaches. If there's a real problem, he can call in a strike from whatever happens to be airborne, from Marine F/A-18s to Air Force A-10s. He mans a 240B and told not to let VBIEDs get close to the convoy. He carries a US issue M4A2 with complete SOPMOD package, produced by FN, and a 1911 that first saw action in Korea. He is a member of the "Combat Applications Group", done two tours in A'stan and is considered "property of the US Army". His training cost our government millions of dollars. He sleeps on a cot in one of Saddam's former palaces, and craps in a privy once belonging to Uday. He never wonders once if the oil change has been done on the Hummer.

That man gets paid $80 per day.

Which one of these two guys cost the US taxpayer more?

...It used to be that military people would retire and go into civil service now they jump ship and work for contractors...
Yes, there is a huge amount of resentment between current service members and those who've "gone Blackwater", and I don't blame the guys who are still in for feeling that way. That said, even when Blackwater (or whoever) is making $400/day/man "profit", they are still providing a service cheaper than their government counterparts.

The is a conventional wisdom that says Contractors can do it better faster cheaper has become obsilite...
Do we really need to start going into what it would cost for the military to provide it's own construction services, catering, bulk fuel transport, etc? From what I understand, dudes at camp Liberty aren't eating MREs, nor are they eating SPAM hash and eggs in a tent like MASH. What would it cost us to provide the level of service that contractors supply, but bring it in-house.

For just a moment, don't think about money. Think about how many troops wouldn't be in a combat position specifically because they had transport, or KP duty, or one of the other million little things that get done by contactors.

Defense Contracts are now written by contractors, for contractors and the government gets screwed. I will go this a stem further if we had the government procurement methods of today in place during the second world war we would have lost.
I don't disagree with any of that. I still maintain that the private sector does it better and cheaper in the long run, because at this point, our government and military operates nothing like it did in 1942.

So you see no differance between a man with an M-4 and a man with a spatula?
Both are contract employees, and neither is a "mercenary". That was my point.

Edit to add: Top, I'm not picking, I promise. Do a little research on what the real situation is in logistics before condemning all "contractors" (&/or contracting companies). If you want contractors out of Iraq, fine. Just realize that it won't be happening until the last soldier has no sand in his boots. Good or bad, that's the reality of the situation.
 

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Remeber the Red Ball Express what if we had contracted that out? Yes the military has shown it can do the job. Maybe we would have won the Second World War faster if we had contracted it supply and logistics? Going cheap is why we have not won the war! for Christ Sake, you win a war with overwelming force not screwing around trying to fight on the CHEAP.

I could tell you about weapon systems that do not work because contractors place profits ahead of national security.

You may be a contractor for all I know we have a disagreement it depends on what side of the fence your on.

a man carrying a weapon in a combat zone is a legal or illegal combatant would you agree? If he is not in uniform what kind of combatant is he?

A man carrying a spatula in a combat zone could not be described as an illegal combatant or even a combatant.

A mercenary, as defined in article 1 of the present Convention, who participates directly in hostilities or in a concerted act of violence, as the case may be, commits an offence for the purposes of the Convention."

I AM DONE WITH THIS THREAD I HAVE MY OPINION AND YOU HAVE YOURS YOU ARE NO GOING TO CHANGE MY MIND AND I AM NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOURS. I respect your opinion and ask you to at least understand my position even if you do not agree with me.
 

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It is never a good idea to have a shadow military operating inside your country that is loyal to it's share holders and not to the country. What happens in the future if Blackwater USA gets involved in a conflict in another country that is not in the best interest of the US. Will we ask them to stand down and if they refuse, will we take military action against them. Also will Blackwater cause or further conflicts in other countries in order to maximize profits. Will they cause more conflicts in Iraq in order to keep the war going. Will Blackwater cause conflicts inside the US. Could they one day stage a Coup. Blackwater is growing, how much stronger will they be in 10 years.

To believe that Balckwater has not carried out any mercenary operations is very naive thinking. We never get the whole true story from our government.

There should only be one Military inside the US, "The US military". The one that is loyal and willing to fight and die for this country.

GC
 

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topmaul said:
Remeber the Red Ball Express what if we had contracted that out? Yes the military has shown it can do the job. Maybe we would have won the Second World War faster if we had contracted it supply and logistics?
Perhaps this question could be answered if we start with "What if we had an all-volunteer military throughout WW2?". As I said, it's not 1942 anymore.

Going cheap is why we have not won the war!
I'm not going to touch that one with a ten foot pole (reasons for/against or strategies to "win", etc.) .

for Christ Sake, you win a war with overwelming force not screwing around trying to fight on the CHEAP.
I agree whole heartedly.

I could tell you about weapon systems that do not work because contractors place profits ahead of national security.
Although they typically fall under the same heading, Defense contractors and Security contractors are a bit of a different animal. IOW The former AF weapons tech working for Raytheon is a different situation than a former SEAL deciding not to re-up and instead work for Aegis, protecting Americans in sandy places, in a Personal Security Detail.

You may be a contractor for all I know we have a disagreement it depends on what side of the fence your on.
I'm a small businessman that happens to know and shoot recreationally, and train (SD wise) with some of these "mercenaries". I've met these men. I know these men. I am proud to call some "friend". I think that's why there's a bit of a disconnect between us.

a man carrying a weapon in a combat zone is a legal or illegal combatant would you agree?
When dealing with the Diplomatic Security Services, not at all. The DSS has a set of ROE that does not include "Find and close with the enemy, and destroy his capability to fight war". They are, however well-armed enough to deal with the threats of violence against DoS employees and dignitaries in a defensive role. In other words, think of them as the Secret Service for mid-level .gov bureaucrats. :wink:

A man carrying a spatula in a combat zone could not be described as an illegal combatant or even a combatant.
You've never tasted my cooking. :twisted:

A mercenary, as defined in article 1 of the present Convention, who participates directly in hostilities or in a concerted act of violence, as the case may be, commits an offence for the purposes of the Convention."
Security contractors don't quite meet the definition of Mercenaries. The 1977 Protocol 1 Addition to the Convention was pretty specifically aimed at the situation in Africa (i.e. Executive Outcomes). Further, although the US is a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention, we have not signed onto the Protocol 1 Addition you have quoted above.

MAX: I deleted much of what I was going to respond with to you, simply because my getting angry at your words is silly, So I won't address exactly what you wrote. Instead, I will leave you all with this, and try to make a graceful exit from this contentious topic:

Most, if not all, of these "mercenaries" are former military with time in-theater (Iraq and Afghanistan).

When they came home wearing their uniform, we called them HEROES.

Their loyalty and patriotism to the United States was just as strong when they make the decision to leave the military life, but go back to the Sandbox. They fight the GWOT working for an American company, on contract with the United States of America, to protect American government employees, and the foreign dignitaries that the American government has promised to protect.

They make that decision for a variety of reasons, and yes: one of those reasons is pay. Making a better life for your family, paying off the minivan, helping to buy the house your wife always wanted, whatever. That is the American way.

We do these men a HUGE disservice by pigeonholing them as "mercenaries", impugning their character, claiming they are some "Shadow Army".

B!tch about the system all you want, but walk a mile in their shoes before you judge the men.
 

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I've stayed out of this thread, and most of the others involving PMCs. Yes, I'm calling them PMCs as opposed to mercenaries. There is a difference.
Some of the people throwing inflammatory comments around about PMCs or mercenaries as you insist on calling them and dreading the inevitable treasonous overthrow of the US by the shadow army, might want to check into what happened a few years ago in Najaf. A small section of Marines and Spaniards were on top of a hospital when a large group of Mahdi Army started to fire them up. The Spaniards refused to do anything, and the Marines couldn't even get much support from their own. After one of the Marines was shot, the .mil wouldn't even evac him. And somehow the most evil of evils, the dreaded Blackwater mercenaries somehow not only managed to drop in some much needed ammo, but they also dropped off a few extra trigger pullers WHO VOLUNTEERED TO GO IN EVEN WHEN THE .MIL WAS NOT SUPPORTING THE MARINES ALREADY THERE. Oh, and the servants of the Dark Master also managed to evac the Marine casualty.
Those that want to compare what our current military is capable of to what was done in WWII (or even the GW) haven't been paying attention to what has happened to the .mil since Graham-Rudman in the late 80s. We no longer have a 600 ship navy. FedEx has been making log runs for the .mil in both CONUS and OCONUS for almost 20 years. The CSS responsibilities have been largely taken over and assigned to Reserve units. Meaning that anytime you start posting large units in the field the US would have to start calling up Reservists. This was done by Big Army so that the leadership would have to weigh their desire to wage large scale operations against the problems and political realities of drawing all those people that joined up for the college money back into green suits. Does that sound like anything going on today? It should. We don't have a conscripted Army that can justify a bloated existence on a global struggle against large armies in the field. Hell it took almost 6 months just to assemble the GW force for operations in Jan/Feb 91 that traded a whole lot of firepower and bayonet strength with some very clever maneuver and cointel operations. We simply cannot do that anymore. We have to contract out because we don't have the people and transport capabilities in uniform anymore to do it internally.

I am done with this thread at this point. I do not intend to be drawn into an argument on this matter. It is more than clear that it would be pointless. The only reason I make this post is that I really don't think that some of you are aware of all of the details regarding this issue,.
 

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I'm a mercenary. :D

Seriously, one of the local wackjobs called us that in a letter to the editor a couple of months ago. I'm contacting my union, I'm sure as hell not making $1000 a day.... :cry:

BTW: When I first started there, we carried shotguns. Benelli M1's :D
 

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In WWII, those guys made like, 15 bux a month. The army paid their room and board, fed them clothed them, and gave them enough money to buy shaving articles, etc. Cigs were like 10 cents a pack.

That's why they were cheaper. First termers married? No way. Not until you were an NCO. Then there was base housing.

Nowadays, Fedex can't fill the aircraft it's got. And the military can't use what it has laying around. Making better sense? Why not use Fedex. Odds are, they're ex military pilots, they fly where they have to, and get the job done.

Today's military is different. Then again, so are the civilians. Makes a big difference when the country is as heavily armed and well trained as it is.
 
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