November 22, 2017 at 11:26 am #3732
So myself and Elvridge had what I thought was an interesting discussion on the scales of war specifically strategic and tactical objectives of national militaries vs smaller entities such as Private Military Corporations and Mercenary units.
It got me thinking of the more wider universe and how prevalent private military forces are in the known space of CoM. More specifically how do nations feel about PMCs and Mercs being used on the battlefield and how willing are nations to use them.
For myself thinking about the United Star Commonwealth, I feel they wouldn’t have too much use for PMCs, they pose too much of an intelligence risk as they could easily be bought by your enemy and give away your plans. This isn’t to say the USC wouldn’t use them at all they would be great for potential deniable ops or for policing work in particularly turbulent areas where you want to minimise the risk to your own forces.
I’m interested to see what other people think on this topic.November 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm #3737
How thorough security forces are used really does depend on how much the nation wishes to allow them to be used and how much regulation the nation authorizes. Akria, for instance, would have no straight answer, while Threshold is very much for PMCs, and USC, as you said, is rather against.
In peacetime, they could be used to supplement a military in patrol, but they’ll probably go to more troubled areas to provide security for companies and individuals who have to travel these areas or have assets. Basically, fluffed up security guards unless there is conflict.
Naturally, they’ll also lose people and have to downsize until wartime unless a nation decides to keep them on as effectively an Active Duty military.November 23, 2017 at 10:52 am #3741
Well an PMC that betrayed there employer would not find work anytime soon. In fact am sure that PMCs in COM would be some of your most loyal troops for an bad review could ruin there company chance of finding work else where. Also I belive that an PMCs best time would come in pace with the downsizeing of the national militaries. For in war sure the PMCs would start of with many contacts but in time they would be pushed out by the nation’s for they will be incresting there own military to an degree that in time they will overtake the PMCs. And after an war with so many solders with skills they would be looking for work and we’re else to gour. (Such examples as the end of the cold war and both Gulf wars)November 23, 2017 at 11:06 am #3742
And there would more than likely that there be governing law and regulations as well as an code of conduct for there operation. For the PMC field is an industry and would have different laws in different nations. Related to this it i can see nations only working with one or two PMCs due to history and trust.November 30, 2017 at 3:53 am #3762
PMCs are also in the business of making money. They aren’t going to give up their lives “for the cause” like troops of a loyal military would, and while PMCs might make sense in some regards, I do not see them as replacements for modern militaries or even a nation that is downsizing its military.
The reason why is because you are paying twice for a lot of things. You are paying the company at some marked up cost to manage its logistics, its own outfitting, research and development, weapons acquisition and testing, infrastructure, etc. That is a lot of inefficiency. Its why big companies tend to do a lot of things on their own when they can rather than buying it wholesale from another company. If you just had your own military, you don’t have to pay the mark up for profit to manage logistics, etc. PMCs are really small scale security entities rather than a replacement for a military. At least in the way modern economics work and the way PMCs act today.
I also don’t see nations only working with one or two PMCs due to “history and trust.” PMCs are a company. If free market economy has shown, its going to be a shifting market of who provides a good product, who provides the best price, and who provides the best services. That is going to shift and flow as different PMCs provide better prices, better quality, etc. While some nations might have a history with a PMC – like big companies and governments do – there is no “loyalty” in free markets and companies and governments will do what is best for the bottom line.December 13, 2017 at 11:20 am #3827
With the economy of COM being far larger than what we are dealing with at the moment, it stand to reason that any PMC would be many times the size of any current PMC. For example one of worlds largest security companies G4S employees some 585,000 as of 2017 (to be fair there are not direct military security but still are a security provider), but in terms of Government use much would depend on the national Government and there willingness to use such a service. And in terms of cost that Joshua mentioned, if you are having to pay twice as much for the service but don’t have to deal with the fallout of dealing with a number of dead national soldiers (which can effect the voting population not to vote for an individual that wants to put national troops at risk). So why not pay the extra free to not deal with such “issues” for there are countless real world examples where this has happen.December 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm #3829
I think there are lots of reasons why you wouldn’t want to pay the premium. Firstly, if you are using your military force for defense, you will want to have a national military. There are a lot of reasons for this:
- National defensive forces don’t “break contracts” when the situation seems hopeless.
- National defensive forces can easily/quickly scale as necessary.
- National defensive forces are often tied to the political regime in their constitution.
- National defensive forces are invested not just financially in the nation but also in it socially and politically.
- National defensive forces want to win – they need to win. No matter the cost. (Cost has to always play into a PMCs thinking)
The only time your logic really holds true is when a military is engaged in an offensive war. Think Vietnam. In that case, PMCs might make sense, but PMCs aren’t full-scale militaries. They don’t have the integration that a national military does with the rest of the nation. They also don’t – typically – have the cohesion a coordinated military does. PMC soldiers are free to leave their job when they want (because it’s a job, not a legally binding agreement to serve for a period of time). So they also make a pretty poor offensive force when it comes to these types of wars.
Furthermore, PMCs remain companies. They have to think about their bottom line and making money. They don’t operate based on “honor” or “self-sacrifice”. They operate on making financially smart contracts and decisions. Consequently, PMCs won’t send their assets into risky ventures and such. That is why most PMCs stick with basic security work. They aren’t offensive units. That is why they would never replace a military. To operate a PMC realistically, you have to think of them as a business, not a military. If you do that, then it becomes quickly obvious why a nation might avoid using them. Becuase sometimes a nation needs someone to stand heroically against impossible odds. That won’t be a PMC.
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