Blackwater proves that we don’t need a large standing military to raise highly technical and specialized military forces in time of need from the general population. Their excesses prove that this shouldn’t be done by the private sector. Likewise, the logistical and service support needed for an eclectic military force provided by such firms and Halliburton proves the same point.
South Africa has made it illegal for South Africans to join private military companies in the aftermath of objections to Executive Solutions, featured in “Blood Diamond” were objected to by the rest of the African states. Executive Solutions proved that a highly trained force was more than cost effective, replacing ineffective UN and African peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone. Since reconciliation, large numbers of highly trained and combat experienced South Africans have been seeking employment in the guns for hire sector.
Historically privatized military forces on sea were either pirates or privateers, the latter being pirates with a government license. Privateers were banned by the Declaration of Paris in 1856 signed by all the major European powers, but which the US did not for lack of greater protection for what was left of US shipping after the devastations by the Confederate Navy. Half the US merchant marine reflagged itself to prevent capture by the Alabama and Shenandoah.
Field and siege artillery were private sector until the French in the late 17th Century made it a part of the regular military establishment. It seemed that the private artillery companies had a penchant for leaving the battlefield to preserve their capital investments against capture or destruction.
Logistics in the US Army used “sutlers”, private PX’s, up until after the Spanish American War. They tended to be gougers of troopers paychecks. While there are many private sector logistics operations that have provided the services that Army Reserve and Guard logistics units were tasked to perform, there has been widespread corruption and incompetence that has proved counter-productive in the war on terror. The building built by private contractors for the Iraqi Police Academy leaks shit from the light sockets. Shoddy construction and abandoned projects throughout Iraq leave a bad taste in the mouths of the people whose hearts and minds we bleed for.
The motives for the unprecedented use of the private sector on the battlefield stems two mutually reinforcing sources: Neo-Con religious fervor towards privatization and job security for the Regular Army. The latter fear that People From Outside the Box will threaten the job security and promotion opportunity and flowpoint if the Guard and Reserve forces trained for over a quarter of a century to provide combat service support and service support at levels from battalion to Theater Army would interfere the availability of command and field staff positions to budding field grades.
Few outside the military know that the structure of units above division (corps, field army, and theater army) were well trained and ready to go to support any kind of military operation. Fortunately for the US, the private sector has drawn from the experience and training of the Guard and Reserve in this capacity to provide the services needed. That is in addition to the ranks of the retired, and from those on active service who wish to double or triple their paycheck in the private sector.
There is a move in global politics and within the Bolshevik Left in the US to exploit the trigger happy reputation of Blackwater to emasculate GWOT. Rather than revert to the tried and true,however, the threat of Guard and Reserve parity with the Regular Army is enough for the Pentagon to now speak of withdrawing from Iraq to be able to be ready to fight an imaginary war instead of winning he real one in front of them.