This article talks about the not so recent emergence of soldiers for hire. Mercenaries have been around since the Medieval Times. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States employed over twenty thousand mercenaries. This industry is valued at over one hundred billion dollars. 70% of mercenaries are British or American in origin and can be found around the globe. China employs both American and Chinese firms in defense of it’s development in Africa. Companies hire out firms to protect their interests in unsafe regions. Energy companies use private contractors to ensure their investments in infrastructure and equipment are not lost to bandits or local military groups.
Large scale wars have begun to slow down and many of these companies plan to market themselves to companies instead of foreign governments. Currently, 90% of the market has been from governments ranging from the United States to Colonel Qaddafi. Money not loyalty seems to be a major point to these companies and this has raised concern in the international community. These companies need to have rules in place so civilians are not hurt unnecessarily or “bad apples” do not go unpunished. Another fear is that governments will begin only hiring mercenaries who will not go out of their way to protect someone who does not pay them. Basically leaving the rest of a country to burn as an oil field remains safe.
Setting standards of training and knowledge for company’s’ employees may need to be addressed so that problems do not arise due to unregulated groups.