Thursday, July 05, 2007

More On Mercenaries

A couple of days ago, I had a brief discussion about the complexities that surround the notion of being a 'mercenary'. It seems this is a current problem. It is perhaps because of this discussion that this blog got a visit from a machine owned by the CIA, according to the connection logs.

Yesterday, there were a number of news stories about members of the US military who took their oaths of citizenship on Independence day. This surprised me a great deal. I was not aware that non-US citizen's were able to join the military. However, it seems that this is surprisingly common. Indeed, the military even seem to be happy to boast about this. I find this very strange and perhaps a little worrying.

However, given the numerous recent reports about the misdeeds of army recruiters (see here, here and here for example), one must wonder of the exact methods used to entice non-US citizens to join the military.

When I was in high school studying history, it was not uncommon for armies to employ foreign nationals in their service. Often times, these would be specialised companies of bowmen, or other kinds of specialist. However, my high school history books made it quite clear that these individuals were mercenaries. What puzzles me, is why the US military do not consider these individuals also to be mercenaries? I guess they cannot, due to (a) The Anti-Pinkerton Act, which prohibits this and (b) the fact that these individuals acting as additional cannon fodder is to the advantage of the US.

With this in mind, it seems that now would be a good time to share a video I found on YouTube. This video should be essential viewing for anyone, whatever their nationality, who is considering join the military. Peace.

The CP

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