PMC


28
Oct 07

Two things to read about PMCs

First, Tyler Cowen in the New York Times, second Letters of Marque on Wikipedia.


23
Oct 07

Tuesday morning rapid fire


2
Oct 07

Tuesday night rapid fire


15
May 07

Tuesday rapid fire


15
Apr 07

A paper worth reading

On the rise of privateers. We’ve let this option go as our country has become wealthier, but it’s worth looking at.


22
Mar 07

A good article

I came across this article on Iraq’s Mercenary King recently. It’s an interesting read. One thing that’s always said about Private Military Companies is that the contractors make several times what normal American troops make. Usually in another sentence it’s said that PMCs can be deployed at a much lower cost than deploying the regular military. No one ever draws any conclusions about this disparity.


9
Jan 07

A lonely Monday post

I spend all day today debugging, which is also how I spend the early morning hours after I got home last night. It’s been a strange day. There has been very little email and phone contact today. Combine that with the weather and listening to quiet singer-songwriter music and the day has a rare seamless quality.

Your link for the day is It’s time for a new International Brigade, which is about private armies and the crisis in Darfur.


21
Oct 06

Darfur

It escapes me how anyone expects the “Rock for Darfur” campaign to do any good. The conflict in Darfur is an ethnic and territorial war that isn’t based on any sort of historical misunderstanding or trivial difference. It’s also true that anything the US or any major power would do would wind up looking like Iraq. The duke of Wellington’s adage “For a great power there are no small wars” is being proven true everywhere.

So then what? Another adage “If a problem seems insolvable, enlarge it”. In this case, don’t act as a great power, or more specifically, use small powers, like private military companies, like Blackwater et. al. The money could be raised privately, they’re relatively cheap by military standards, and it wouldn’t require a massive US commitment.

There are massive legal and oversight problems involved with using PMCs, but using private means for what are essentially humanitarian efforts seems far better in every way than making a national commitment.


9
Jul 05

LA Times echoes A-Sides

From Max Boot in the LA Times

In the last 50 years, $2.3 trillion has been spent to help poor countries. Yet Africans’ income and life expectancy have gone down, not up, during that period, while South Korea, Singapore and other Asian nations that received little if any assistance have moved from African-level poverty to European-level prosperity thanks to their superior economic policies.

and

Any real solution to Africa’s problems must focus on the root causes of poverty — mainly misgovernment. Instead of pouring billions more down the same old rat holes, maybe the Live 8 crew should promote a more innovative approach: Use the G-8’s jillions 2 hire mercenaries 4 the overthrow of the 6 most thuggish regimes in Africa. That would do more to help ordinary Africans than any number of musical extravaganzas.

Oddly enough, Adam expressed the same idea, in nearly the same words last Sunday. Strange.

And as I do a spell check of this post, It tags “misgovernment” as a misspelling, and wants to replace it with “McGovern”.