Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Russia & U.S., brothers in arms

It's not just the Americans who employ mercenaries  (example article) to do the fighting in the Mideast that for one reason or another is kept 'off the books' so to speak. Russia and the United States appear to be on the same mercenary page for largely the same reasons:
When [Russian President Vladimir] Putin went to a Russian air base in Syria on Monday and told Russian troops that “you are coming back home with victory,” he did not mention the private contractors. Russian troops are expected to remain in Syria for years while the contractors are likely to stay to guard lucrative oil and gas fields under a contract between the Syrian government and another Russian company allegedly linked to a businessman known as “Putin’s chef” for his close ties to the Kremlin.
Proxy fighters like Slyshkin have played a key role in Syria. In addition to augmenting troops officially sent by Moscow, their secret deployment has helped keep the official Russian death toll low as Putin seeks re-election next year.
Russia and the United States, allies in war. It seems that leadership in both countries does not want to be blamed for sending troops to die -- the pesky electorate is touchy about seeing its sons and daughters killed, especially in an election year that Putin faces and American policy makers can envisage all too clearly. The American military is short-handed and 'contractors' help to fill in the gap where policy makers lack the integrity to declare a shooting war. Those congress men and women sure as hell don't want their kids shanghaied by the blood-and-bullets crowd.

Objectives seems to vary mildly (the U.S. wants bases and oil; Russia wants access to a warm-water entrance and exit to the world) but whatever the longings, mercenaries seem to fill the bill. No need to record the depressing dead-and-wounded statistics in the national military column. It's just... uhhh... "contractors" dontcha know.

Oh well, I am late to this particular party: Here is an article that's a couple of years old and probably much better thought out.


  1. I remember the draft during Vietnam. American youth were collected and sent to deal with an insurgency. It was on the nightly news, death tolls, atrocities, secret maneuverings and bombings by our government. American became outraged that our youth were forced by lottery into such misfortunes.

    Now we have an all volunteer force, insufficient to the task regarding boot counts. Yes, they're volunteers, but they volunteered to defend their country, family, way of life, etc. But at a barely living wage they aren't in it for the money. And they were innocent of the misfortunes that war brings, they didn't volunteer for the kinds of things Americans were once drafted to do. The kinds of things that were sure to happen because that's just what war is.

    But mercenaries do it for the money, and there's no innocence in that. They are paid to do what an amateur at home would be labeled a criminal for doing. And they are well paid. Just as seeing a woman's nipple signifies obscenity in the amount of breast being seen. A better than living wage signifies obscenity in the chores undertaken to protect American financial interests abroad.

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