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Posted: 10/21/2001 7:34:57 PM EDT
So, whats the consensus opinion on soldiers of fortune around here? I always had a somewhat negative opinion about them, but I think that was due more to the whole mystique and bad publicity surrounding them. I've just finished reading 2 books written by former mercs and I certainly have a more realistic and educated view about them. One of the books, "No Mean Soldier" by Peter McAleese is one that I highly recommend. If all mercs were like him, I think that men in the profession would have much more respect from civilians and their contemporaries still serving in national armies. Peter McAleese personified the professional soldier with morality and ethics, loyalty, pride and honor... Of course this is a book written from his perspective, but he seemed to be a stand up ex-para and SAS trooper who wanted to set the record straight and not lie about his own past at the same time... Anybody else read this one?
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 7:45:32 PM EDT
As a matter of my own opinion, a proffesional soldier and a merc are not the same things. A professional soldier can be found in the military, where a merc, by definition, is a hired gun. Understand that this has no bearing on an individual who is former military and chooses to remain physicaly, mentalu and tactfully sound, only to those who will hire out to whoever pays them the most money.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 7:48:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2001 7:43:26 PM EDT by Scipio]
Thats a major misconception I had too... these guys don't, for the most part, make a large amount of money. McAleese certainly never did, but he did it because he loved soldiering... it was his passion and he knew of nothing else. So, when the British military didn't want him anymore, he went where there was a need. oh, and trust me... he was and is a true professional soldier. If you don't want to take my word, read the book...
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 8:18:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Scipio: ....... One of the books, "No Mean Soldier" by Peter McAleese is one that I highly recommend... Anybody else read this one?
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Scipio, I've tried to find this author and title. Can't find that book. Do you have an ISBN? TIA! DaMan
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 9:13:08 AM EDT
I'll give you the ISBN as soon as I get home from work today! Pick it up, its a great read...
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 9:36:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/22/2001 9:32:15 AM EDT by SOG]
Personally, I think mercenaries perform a valuable service to society. Take the example of Sierra Leone for instance. Back in 1998, the legitimate government of Sierra Leone paid British Mercenary group Sandline International 20 million dollars to take care of the rebel problem. After Sandline International had properly disposed of the rebels, thereby solving most of Sierra Leone's problems, the United Nations stepped in with a peacekeeping mission. This peacekeeping mission ended up costing the UN 1 BILLION dollars, which was 5 times the price tag of Sandline International. If you ask me, that was a total waste of money, as the UN did nothing for Sierra Leone except come in and steal the glory after Sandline International had solved the problem. Anyhow, the bottom line is that mercenaries can do the peacekeeping work of the UN for only a fraction of the cost. In addition, mercenaries can also step in when political leaders need to achieve certain goals and objectives, but are unwilling to commit state military forces due to limited political will. Such is the case in Colombia, where many civilian companies such as DynCorp and the Aviation Development Corporation are being contracted by State and DoD to take care of GW's anti-narcotics agenda.
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 10:43:49 AM EDT
Dress it up however you like, it is still being a hired gun.
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 10:52:55 AM EDT
SOG, check your math bud, that's 50 times. The dirty little secret our special ops forces is that they have been losing lots of people to become "Security Consultants" for other governments/entities. That may have changed after Sept 11, but I was told that lots of SEALS especially were leaving to do this. The low morale in the Navy was even effecting them. From there, it's not far to being a merc!
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 12:18:57 PM EDT
ha... Thanks DriftPunch. Considering that all I do is sit around and work math problems all day, that's quite an ironic mistake.
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 2:50:25 PM EDT
Here's the ISBN... 0-304-35684-0
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 2:54:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/22/2001 3:46:59 PM EDT by DaMan]
Thanks, Scipio! Title: "No Mean Soldier" Author: Peter McAleese I NOW have the correct title and spelling of author's name. Had a different ISBN 1857972503. Rather hard to find. Thanks again! DaMan
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 3:02:57 PM EDT
Also read Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNabb.
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 3:37:58 PM EDT
Smeg, thanks! "Bravo Two Zero" by Andy McNab (only one "B"). Special Forces in Iraq. ISBN 0440218802. DaMan
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 3:57:47 PM EDT
Mercenary can mean a lot of things, from "hired gun" to a true professional soldier, from a thug with an AK to a former SF soldier. I personally like 'em and one day may join them. If you haven't done the research, then shut up and do it before you post. Has anyone ever heard of a rich mercenary?
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 7:13:20 PM EDT
Under no circumstances would I ever want to see Mercs working for the UN. Ben
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 7:45:22 PM EDT
I've nerver had a negative opinion of Mercs. I think the negative opinions about them were created and spread by liberal gun hating wimps.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 2:43:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rifleman2000: Mercenary can mean a lot of things, from "hired gun" to a true professional soldier, from a thug with an AK to a former SF soldier. I personally like 'em and one day may join them. If you haven't done the research, then shut up and do it before you post. Has anyone ever heard of a rich mercenary?
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I have done the research; far back into history, in fact. I still do not have a high opinion of mercenaries as a group. Historically, neither have soldiers in their own country's military (for the most part) thought very highly of mercs. There are, of course, exceptions.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 3:25:45 AM EDT
Ask George Washington how he felt about the Hessians.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 3:54:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch: The dirty little secret our special ops forces is that they have been losing lots of people to become "Security Consultants" for other governments/entities. That may have changed after Sept 11, but I was told that lots of SEALS especially were leaving to do this. The low morale in the Navy was even effecting them.
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Whoever "told" you that about SEALS is probably full of sh*t or is overgeneralizing based on one or two examples. Moral is and has been very good in the teams for years now. It reached it's low during Panama and has gone up ever since. Some SEALS leave to take jobs, paying a lot more money, with "3-letter agencies", but it has nothing to do with morale. I've only known one guy to do "contract" work, and that was for a South American country that wanted a jump-master to teach freefall and canopy work to their spec ops guys, but the guy was ex-military. It was training only.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 4:16:26 AM EDT
Of course, then you have the "Spec Ops" soldiers operating from a broke down school bus in Montana... I guess it takes all kinds. Seriously, I don't think you can form a concrete opinion about "mercenaries," the term is to broad and encompasses many types of people.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 4:20:00 AM EDT
In a way, we are all "hired soldiers."
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 4:34:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rifleman2000: Mercenary can mean a lot of things, from "hired gun" to a true professional soldier, from a thug with an AK to a former SF soldier. I personally like 'em and one day may join them.
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Really? How exactly would you go about "joining them".
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 4:36:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/23/2001 4:34:27 AM EDT by meh_cps]
Hey DaMan, If you want to order the book try here. [url]http://shop.store.yahoo.com/britishbooks/2828.html[/url] HTH Michael, NRA, GOA, JPFO, HRA
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 5:21:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/23/2001 5:19:24 AM EDT by 95thFoot]
Originally Posted By mattja: Ask George Washington how he felt about the Hessians.
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Whatever GW might have thought of the Hessians and Brunswickers, etc., they were NOT mercenaries as we understand the concept today. They were troops from their respective states in Germany who served as intact units under their own state officers and flags, sworn to fight for their state and duke/landgrave/prince. These heads of state contracted these units to the British, and like all military units, some were better than others in behavior, courage and discipline. The main job of these German auxiliaries was to help out the British with garrisons and guard/frontier duties, esp. in Canada and Florida. Not all that many of them actually fought, but those that did, Jaeger, Grenadiere, Musketiere, usually did quite well- esp. the Jaeger, who at various points, because of their effectiveness with their rifles and stealth, had prices put on their heads by the Continentals. Mercenaries? Hired individual gunslingers/freebooters in the modern, Rolf Steiner sense? Nope- not the "Hessians" of 225 years ago.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 2:03:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Major-Murphy:
Originally Posted By rifleman2000: Mercenary can mean a lot of things, from "hired gun" to a true professional soldier, from a thug with an AK to a former SF soldier. I personally like 'em and one day may join them.
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Really? How exactly would you go about "joining them".
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I'm going to go ahead and make the bad assumption that this question is not tongue in cheek. Honestly, I don't know right off the bat. I was thinking of joining an outfit such as MPRI, who operate overseas a lot, and may have contacts. I have a good friend who was former Israeli military, and he was recruited more than once by various agencies. Basically, I think, you let people know that you are available and have the right skills. Then, you must be very careful, from my understanding its a crooked world and one is more likely to end up in some foreign jail than blowing away terrorists camps like Arnold.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 2:11:52 PM EDT
If you are serious about living out this SOF fantasy, then why not learn to speak French and join the French Foreign Legion? You'll be a real, live fightin' for lucre mercenary in the employ of a govv't other than your own. Unlike scads of other mercs throughout history, you WILL get paid, you are unlikely to be abandoned when the tide of battel turns against you, and your chances of ending up getting group sodomized in a 3rd world prison are not appreciably higher than they are now, unless that is one of your goals. Better yet, why don't you just join (or rejoin) the US military and tell yourself you're only doing it for the money?
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 3:18:01 PM EDT
Actually, yes it was meant to be tongue in cheek.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 5:26:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
Originally Posted By mattja: Ask George Washington how he felt about the Hessians.
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Whatever GW might have thought of the Hessians and Brunswickers, etc., they were NOT mercenaries as we understand the concept today. They were troops from their respective states in Germany who served as intact units under their own state officers and flags, sworn to fight for their state and duke/landgrave/prince. These heads of state contracted these units to the British, and like all military units, some were better than others in behavior, courage and discipline. The main job of these German auxiliaries was to help out the British with garrisons and guard/frontier duties, esp. in Canada and Florida. Not all that many of them actually fought, but those that did, Jaeger, Grenadiere, Musketiere, usually did quite well- esp. the Jaeger, who at various points, because of their effectiveness with their rifles and stealth, had prices put on their heads by the Continentals. Mercenaries? Hired individual gunslingers/freebooters in the modern, Rolf Steiner sense? Nope- not the "Hessians" of 225 years ago.
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I totally agree. It's difficult to compare the Hessians to modern day mercs, but as far as GW was concerned, I'm sure the distinction is merely academic. Since the Hessians were unpaid, they are not really mercs in our modern sense of the word. But again, the distinction is academic. In the end, many of them became good US citizens. They were obviously on the wrong side.
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