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New flourishing of private armies

Two centuries ago, standing armies were replaced by private as the main tool of war. Today, private military companies back in business.

Common situation. Superpower waging war and meets a zealous resistance in distant lands, than originally expected, at the same time on their own to cope, she is unable - because of the political or military constraints. To maintain military operation aggressor decides to hire contractors, some of whom are armed. These armed mercenaries are for both superpowers and salvation, and a curse: despite the valuable assistance of the military campaign, they kill civilians, provoke deviations from the existing strategy and harm the image of their employers. Without such mercenaries superpower is unable to continue the conflict. With them it is more difficult to win it.

We are talking about contract personnel are not in Iraq or Afghanistan, and in northern Italy, and the year of the narrative is not 2007, a 1377. "Superpower" - not the United States, and Papal Area under control of the Pope Gregory XI combats hostile league, led by the Duchy of Milan. The tragic killing of civilians mercenaries made not in Baghdad, and in Cesena 630 years ago. Their troops were called not to DynCorp International, Triple Canopy или Blackwater, and "Star Company", "Company Hats" and "The White Company". Known as free Order, these commercial combat formations were organized on corporate type - After working in the command hierarchy and administrative machine, was responsible for the equitable distribution of trophies according to contracts with "workers". Manage these medieval military corporation CEO commanders.

The parallels between medieval and modern private military detachments are very visible. Today, the United States and many other countries have resorted to the help of mercenaries in order to fulfill tasks, related to security in the hottest spots of the world. In the late Middle Ages such people were called condottieri («condottieri»), which literally translates as "the contractor". They provided indicated in the written contract ("Pipes") security services. And the present, medieval and contractors were organized in groups, sluzhyvshye ago, who offered the highest fee. And they, and others held in its ranks of professional soldiers, collected in different countries and the faithful, first of all, monetary payment. Both types operate as private armies and generally offer assistance in land operations, than in the sea or air. In contrast to the authorities or the police, they use force for military purposes.

mercenaries return. Previously considered odious bandits, Now they leave the shade, to once again become the main instrument of world politics. United Arab Emirates hundreds of Latin American contractors hired to fight the Yemeni Huthis, support Iran. Nigeria, after many years of opposition group Boko Haram, eventually he invited them to deal with mercenaries, with which they are well equipped. Russian President Vladimir Putin sends mercenaries to "liberate" the east of Ukraine - the conflict has not gone away. According to various sources, Mercenaries are seen in different areas of Iraq.

Consumers in the military labor market are not only state. The mining industry and humanitarian organizations hire contractors to protect its people and objects in the most dangerous places in the world. This floating arsenals, scored mercenaries, acting as corsairs in Oman Gulf and other waters, infested by pirates. Mercenaries guard cyberspace as a "hack-back units" - kibernaemnikov, those who attack, perpetrators of hacking attacks on their clients, and work primarily against their own kind. AT 2008 Mia Farrow, the actress thought about hiring a «Blackwater» within the framework of humanitarian intervention to prevent genocide in Darfur. Some, such as Hugh Malcolm in the movie "Privatizing the world" (2009), consider, that mercenaries should supplement the dwindling force of UN peacekeepers - the argument is not without reason. others are convinced, that the international community has hired them to defeat LIH, and the super rich fool around and enjoy the possibility of using mercenary troops for their own purposes.

mercenaries fight, Firstly, for profit, and not because of political views or patriotism. The English word «mercenary» (mercenary) It comes from the Latin «merces» ("Salary" or "pay"); Today, this word is associated with baseness, betrayal and murder. But it was not always so. Almost the entire history of the mercenary profession was considered fair, though bloody trade, the hiring of professional soldiers to participate in the conflict is routinely. Among the most famous mercenaries appear: Shulga army, king Hurray (2094-2047 years. BC.); army of Greek mercenaries led by Xenophon, It is known as the "Ten Thousand" (401-399 years. BC.) and Carthaginian mercenary army during the Punic Wars against Rome (264-146 years. BC.), which include sixty thousandth army Hannibal, elephants break the Alps, to attack the Romans from the north. When Alexander the Great invaded Asia in 334 BC, were five thousand mercenaries from other countries in his army, and met him in the Persian army - ten thousand Greeks.

Rome relied on mercenaries for a thousand years of its existence,, and during the war against the Gallic leader Vercingetorix Julius Caesar was saved by German mercenaries mounted near the town of Alesia. Conqueror Army XI century and consisted of mercenaries, as the future king could not contain a large standing army and did not have the number of nobles and knights, required for capture of England. In Egypt and Syria, Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) It was, in fact, regime, organized slaves mercenaries, Conversion to Islam. Since the end of X to the beginning of the XV century. Byzantine emperors surrounded themselves with the northern mercenaries. The so-called "Varangian Guard" blind loyalty differ, Mastery of a battle-ax, and a tendency to excessive drinking. In Europe, the Italian condottieri and German mercenaries, together with the Swiss squads, Bretons, Gascons, pikardistami and other mercenary forces have been leaders in the military from the XIII to XVI century. Already, at least, 3000 years of private military companies are often a key element of warfare.

War began to mutate in the XVI century, with it has changed and private military affairs. European battle became more violent: growing number of armies, weapons became more destructive, and the consequences - all the more pitiable. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), eg, in significant battles are usually attended 50 000 human, as it was in the Battle of White Mountain (1620), at Breitenfeld (1631), in Lûtcena (1632), when Nerdlingene (1634), in Vittshtoke (1636) and at Rocroi (1643). Army consisted of different groups of mercenaries with a small admixture of national troops. Patriotism was separated from military service.

there is a new "breed" of people to meet the demand for troops, making money on the war - "military entrepreneurs". They were equipped military units and "to lease them," the, who needed such services. In contrast mercenaries, military entrepreneurs gathered armies. "Units for rent" or military contractors allowed governors to conduct a large-scale war, without the introduction of emergency administrative and tax reforms, that successfully lowers the barrier to entry into the war and provoked at large in scale battle. Primeramim greatest military entrepreneurs can serve the count Ernst von Mansfeld, organized the whole army to the Electorate Palatinate; amsterdamskiy businessman Louis in December Geert, sponsor for the Swedish navy, Marquis Spinola Genoa, administrator of the War of the Spanish king's affairs in the Netherlands, and Bernhard Saxe-Veymarskiy, Army was gathering for Sweden and, subsequently, France. many people know, Count Albrecht von Wallenstein created a large army of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, becoming the richest man in Europe. By the end of the war, the market has moved from tycoons like Wallenstein to smaller players, eg, mercenary commanders of regiments and investors, that existed at the expense of loans and supply chains, based in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Genoa.

Military entrepreneurs can be described as a cross between a mercenary and investors. mercenaries, they represent private sector agents, involved in armed conflicts and motivated, basically, profit. But unlike the mercenaries, they work in a monogamous public-private partnerships with clients from governments in order to create armies, not command them. Entrepreneurs - a military public-private partnerships, combining the mercenary greed and dedication to national armies.

Military entrepreneurs have changed the business of war, transforming the armed forces of the market in free indirect. In a free market the conflict kommoditiziruetsya: consumers and suppliers of military services are looking for each other, They agree on the price and go to war. Both parties to the transaction acted without coercion, and market relations in nature were free competition. for example, such mercenaries, ascondottieri, often they fought for that, the highest bidder; They crossed to the other side, when it was convenient for their wallet; like, where there is a war, and sometimes it yourself started. When the business was hindered, they often plundered villages, unless they are employed or they were not paid for, them to leave. The free market of military force provoking war.

This differs from indirect market, where there are military entrepreneurs, the, he brings a fraction of abuse of military power suppliers and their patrons. Long-term and exclusive public-private partnership balances the interests of both sides, so that is now more difficult to desert, that brings to market stability. for example, from Wallenstein had no motive to betray Ferdinand II. conversely, Ruler was his main source of income. Ferdinand II also had no reason to break a contract with Wallenstein: Military businessman was its main supplier of the armed forces during the war of survival. In other words, they depended on each other so, it does not depend medieval mercenaries and their clients. Such relationships have existed in the past, but they began to dominate the time of Wallenstein. the existence of common, long-term interests helped pacification of corrupt behavior and the emergence of market-mediated military force.

The transition from state to private army has been gradually, stretched out on a century, until the state strengthened its power in European politics. TO 1650 it became clear, the military services, available on request, were no longer economically viable rulers, given the harm, caused by mercenaries rural communities, and threat, they represented to their employers. Needed government army systematically trained and disciplined professionals, maintained in peacetime and wartime, winter and summer, permanent sources of equipment and the renewal of the State. Significantly, that these troops would pay the state, that they would be faithful.

for example, after the Iberian world (1659) France established a regular army, organizing most of the officers of Louis XIVjandarmerïyu and establishing six regular infantry units. These shelves allow "Sun King" promptly mobilize its army during the War of Devolution (1667–1668) and belonged to the Habsburgs occupy the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comté region in eastern France. By the end of the war, Louis XIV creates more regular army. Meanwhile, in England, Oliver Cromwell and his army of the new sample created a prototype of a regular army. after Restoration 1660 year Charles II was allowed to leave the five regiments of those troops, which amounted to about three thousand people. These relatively small private armies were the beginning of a large national army, which will develop in the next century.

Over the next three centuries, the state army continued to displace hired. The advent of gunpowder also worsened their position, as he discounted mercenary skills, allowing a simple peasants to win. Growing government bureaucracy made it possible to manage large regular armies and collecting taxes for their upkeep. Education Ideas and their accompanying political revolution also accelerated the collapse of the private armies, strengthening the relationship between the soldier and the state. "Social Contract", mass appeal, Napoleonic reforms, the rise of nationalism and other ideas are encouraged military service as a major patriotic duty. This rate is maintained and the current state armies. By the end of the XVIII century the national army were so great, that Minister Friedrich von Shrotter noticed: "Prussia was not a country with an army, and the country, "the army.

Over time, the state has become a major player in the military forces of the market and put competitors like mercenary outlaw. The only exception was made for the States, who wanted to "borrow" your army to other countries for money. During the American War of Independence, the United Kingdom has doubled his army by hiring nearly thirty thousand German soldiers, mostly of Hesse-Kassel, to suppress the revolt of the colonies. American rebels called these soldiers gessenovtsami (Hessians).

Similarly (although piracy was forbidden, and in the case of the capture of pirates waiting for the gallows) representatives of hired private military court, or privateers, giving them a letter grade to attack enemy ships. Privateers were allowed to plunder ships as a reward. The distinction between piracy and privateering was thin. Pirate action considered illegal, because the, As explained by a lawyer of the XIX century, they were made "under such conditions, that it was impossible or unfair to consider any of the states responsible for their commission ". AT 1856 year, on a wave of nationalism, Paris Declaration on maritime law forbade privateering.

State also delegated quasi-military action trading companies like the Dutch or the East India Company, who had their own armed forces. But last mercenary army used during the Crimean War 1854 year, when Britain hired 16 500 human.

In XX century the power of the state was at its zenith and the free market has driven engagement underground. The great conflicts of the period - the First and Second World Wars, The Cold War - took place between the "great powers" with huge state armies. Provision, that only the state can legitimately wage war, It is the basis of the theory of international relations and is enshrined in the "laws of war", regulating only hostilities between the states, ignoring non-State armed forces. In the book "Humanity in War" (1980) historian and jurist Geoffrey Best describes the period from 1856 by 1909 gg. as a "glorious era" of military etiquette, but only by ignoring the genocide of some "small wars" in the colonies and border lands.

Despite the trend of delegitimization of mercenaries, state-funded mercenaries survived into the twentieth century. French Foreign Legion accepts recruits from around the world, but it remains a part of the French army: subject only to the orders from Paris, should the French military doctrine, headed by French officers. volatile Tigers, perpetrators of combat missions against Japanese occupation forces in China, It consisted of a former US military personnel and enabled America to war with Japan before the official start of the war. British private military company WatchGuard International, founded in 1965 year, the first of several British private military companies, It consists almost entirely of veterans of the Special Air Service (SAS). They specialize in small bloody conflict, and only worked on contracts, competitive British national interest, to enable politicians to avoid responsibility in case of failure of covert operations. But these state-sponsored mercenaries - an exception to the rules of the XX century.

Most of the mercenaries of the period lived in hiding, becoming a secret private soldiers, instead of working for the company in the open market. Individual soldiers move between geopolitical luck "hot spots" in China, Latin America and especially Africa. Among their employers were the rebel army, weak states, multinationals, working in hazardous areas, and the former colonial powers, who wanted to have a real influence in the affairs of the former colonies. decolonization, followed the Second World War, especially large opportunities offered by this private soldiers. The secession of Katanga and the Congo crisis 1960-1968 gg. attracted hundreds of mercenaries; some of them were known as Les Affreux ("Awesome"), among them - the Irish "Mad" Mike Hoar and a Frenchman Bob Denard. In explanation of their adventures they were filmed "Wild Geese" (1978), Hoar in the shooting which took part as a technical consultant, and "Dogs of War" (1980), based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth, which the, in its turn, was written based on the lives Denard.

It is these African wars of decolonization led to, that the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions banned mercenary. The most common legal definition of a mercenary contained in article 47 Protocol I. However, it is written in such imprecise language with so many reservations, that almost no one falls into this category. How Best notes: "Lubos mercenary, unable to exclude yourself from this category, deserves, to give it a shot - and his lawyer, too!"And the definition - not a major problem: International law barely regulates the activities of mercenaries, because they can be more representatives of the law.

Shortly after the end of the Cold War, the world could watch the revival of private armed forces. The first company, providing services to the recruitment of troops, He appeared in Africa. After the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa are unemployed soldiers from special units, such as the 32nd battalion or division of the South African Police counterinsurgency Koevoet (translated from the Afrikaans "crowbar"), They formed the first modern military company, called ee vesma podobayusche: Executive Outcomes ("The predetermined result"). Unlike WatchGuard, Executive Outcomes were not military entrepreneurs, and this by hiring troops, working on that, who will pay the most. The company operated in Angola, Mozambique, Uganda and Kenya. They offered their assistance in the cessation of the genocide in Rwanda 1994 year, However, Kofi Annan, at that time - UN Secretary-General, refused, stated: "The world may not be ready to privatize the public order". Annan ideology costly: killing 800 000 human. TO 1998 Executive Outcomes was closed, but mercenaries market only expanded.

Executive Outcomes members participated in the creation of Sandline International, London firm managed by former British Army Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, former SAS officer Simon Mann and US Special Forces colonel retired Bernard McCabe. AT 1997 the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Julius Chen concluded with Sandline contract $36 million for the return of the captured separatist Bougainville copper mine. Mercenaries rebuffed an army of Papua New Guinea, and mercenaries were arrested and deported without a single shot. Chen was forced to resign, and all this performance hit the world news titled "Scandal Sandline». Similarly, deposed president of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah agreed with Sandline about training and equipping 40 thousands of militias and the peacekeepers of ethnic Kamadzhor, to dislodge the military junta and to ensure control of the diamond mines. Sandline also pledged to support the intervention of neighboring Guinea. It's all too ended in failure, causing a scandal in the UK over the participation of British arms in African conflicts.

Later private soldiers found themselves on different sides of the barricades. AT 2004 by Mann led a group of mercenaries, according to some, financially supported by Mark Thatcher, the son of former British prime minister, which tried to make the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea coup, known as the coup Wong. The attempt failed, and Mann jailed. McCabe left Sandline and became head of the Marathon Oil Company security forces in Texas, many invest in Equatorial Guinea. What to Spicer, then shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 he won a major contract to $293 million in security from the US government in Iraq. The Legacy Executive Outcomes is still alive.

It is America and its war in Iraq and Afghanistan truly revived the market for military forces. US senior officials, especially, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expected, that the war would last "weeks, not months ". Of course, it was more than a decade ago. The US military, consisting entirely of volunteers, quickly discovered, that they can not dial into their ranks a sufficient number of Americans to wage war, leaving the officials rather unpleasant options. At first, they could withdraw and admit defeat. Secondly, they can announce a call, to make up for losses. Thirdly, they could hope, their allies, and the UN will save the US from wars. finally, they could make war with the help of contract. The first three were either varianata political suicide, or does not constitute feasible, so they took the default fourth option - contractors - this policy was continued by President Barack Obama.

Mercenaries also form 25% all US losses since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. AT 2003 by mercenaries of death accounted for only 4% of the total number. TO 2010 already killed more than mercenaries, than military staff, that is, for the first time in the history of private losses exceeded the losses of the national army in conflicts involving the United States. Furthermore, it is still cautious assessment, because the US does not keep records of the data, and the number of companies underestimate their losses, since the loss is bad for business.

Most of the mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan do not fight, engaged in logistical support without weapons. Only 12-15% of mercenaries killed themselves or were trained to do other. But the failure of armed mercenaries have too much strategic importance, as you can tell by events in Nisour Square in Baghdad 2007 year, when a handful of mercenaries from Blackwater killed 17 civilians on the ring road - it was one of the worst moments of the war.

US investments in the industry of private military companies have turned it into an even greater business sector. The total market capitalization is unknown; Expert estimates vary from $20 to $100 billion annually. Just to say, that 1999 by 2008 year, the US Department of Defense increased spending on mercenaries $165 to $414 billions. AT 2010 the US War Department was due to them $366 billions, which is six times larger than the entire defense budget of Britain. Furthermore, this number includes only the obligations of military contracts, ie contracts, concluded with other government agencies, like the State Department or the US Agency for International Development through its "implementing partners" in this figure does not include. It is not known, United States how much money is spent on defense contracts.

Mercenaries take such a significant place in US military doctrine, Without them, America can not wage war. Also, the US de facto legitimized the industry of private military companies, giving Nigeria, UAE and Russia the moral right to hire the add. Now mercenaries are even oil and shipping companies. The public does not pay attention to it, and it is reflected on the calm, like this are at the international level. Shortly speaking, mercenaries are back.

And they are unlikely to disappear somewhere. Throughout the history of private war was the norm rather, than the exception - the last 400 years in this regard anomalous. The consequences of the return of mercenaries invisible not call. If any person will have access to the means of warfare, It changes the war itself, its meaning and the future. When firepower will hit the market, the large corporations and oligarchs can become new superpowers. Then, to compensate for their demand, there will be new mercenaries, who will offer their services to suicidal, not limited to the laws of war.

The more mercenary, the more wars, because they are going to start and expand conflicts, as it brings them profits, and in the lull between contracts they turn to criminal activities. Also, a new type of war can be - Contract, which obeys the logic of bribery market, fraud and foreclosure. This will be an active market for power, able to move the existing inter-ethnic relations. The world order will be similar to the European Middle Ages, exactly when the mercenaries fought on the battlefields, a war could start any, to whom it was too expensive. A better name to this world order - a long mess: world powers themselves contain issues, not solve them. Quite possible, what kind of future awaits us.

Author: Sean Makfeyt.
original: Aeon.

translated: Alexander Pozdeev, Ekaterina Evdokimova, Kirill Kozlovsky.
edited: Roman Vshivtsev, Polycarp Nikiforov, Anna Nebolsina.