The case for private armies?

David “Blackwater” Shearer has a blog post at? Red Rag Alert about whether or not we should be sending the SAS to Afghanistan or not.

It is an interesting post in that he now opposes this when his party sent the SAS to Afghanistan previously. In fact I believe it was Phil Goff as Defense Minister who sent them there in the first place. the post is entitled “Wrong Approach on Afghanistan”, I’m wondering if he is now proposing an approach similar to his paper written in 1998?

David mentions in his Red Rag Alert post that;

Three pillars are needed to achieve success in conflict and post-conflict settings -? each of which is well understood.

  1. Development – jobs, economy, better services etc;
  2. Governance -? sound? local structures that are representative and sustainable;
  3. Security

These can ensure stability while the other parts take root. Like a three-legged stool, without one of those pillars, the endeavour falls over.

I wonder though if he doesn’t want to send the SAS if he wants instead to outsource the Security aspects of the three legged stool to private enterprise as he has advocated for previously? he doesn’t say but when you post on troops and security and you have previously supported such a position then you really should be a bit more honest about exactly what you are trying to say in your post.

For example in relation to security as one of the main legs he says;

Military companies may in fact offer new possibilities for building peace that, while not universal in applicability, can hasten the end to a war and limit loss of life. Moreover there is no evidence that private-sector intervention will erode the state.

Despite the commercial motives of military companies, their interventions, if anything, have strengthened the ability of governments to control their territory.

You know, why doesn’t David just say that in his blog post it sounds so reasonable. But no, he goes out of his way to say somehow it is bad that foreign governments are assisting the Afghan government but completely ignores his previous position that it would be ok for private enterprise to sort those pesky little aspects out.

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