By Gerry Schumacher, Steve Gansen
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Additional resources for A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq
Such considerations have frequently been labeled as immoral. However, their reluctance begs the question: Is it moral to do nothing? The morality of employing private contractors, or the lack thereof, is succinctly summed up in an article by David Shearer, in which he states, “There is a serious question here: if a private force, operating with international authority and within international law, can protect civilians, how moral is it to deny people protection just because states can’t or won’t find the forces to do it?
For many, it’s a chance to fulfill a patriotic sense of duty they missed by not joining the service when they were military age. Perhaps many men and women feel the need in their lifetime to have done something for their country, something above average, something beyond the norm. Maybe it’s just for the adventure. While the risk to life and limb is essentially the same, it probably doesn’t hurt that the pay is much better than in the military, and contract work comes without any long-term obligation.
Some of these contracting agencies have even launched public relations campaigns to clean up their image. To stem the flood of mercenary activity in Africa, several nations have passed laws prohibiting their citizenry from involvement in military actions outside their borders. In Zimbabwe, more than sixty mercenaries were imprisoned for a plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. Conversely, the requirements and opportunities in Africa for mercenaries continue to grow. Some are even being retained to shoot wildlife poachers.
A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq by Gerry Schumacher, Steve Gansen