To start of my Blog I would like to give my thoughts on a subject that is very important to me and very relevent to the headlines from the middle east- Using PMCs to slow Boko Haram and other radical terrorists groups.
Recently the South African PMC, STTEP* was successful In engaging Boko Haram at the request of the Government of Nigeria. These actotion have been reported as highly successful and been applauded by the civilians who have been terrorized by extremist. The successful employment of a Non governmental military corporation was named as one of the key issues used against the outgoing president of Nigeria in recent elections.
There has been some call for wider use of non governmental military organizations to stop the spread of ISIL in the middle east. This has been meet with several questions pertaining to the values and ethics of PMC personnel and the corporations as a whole. Some of the concerns are:
"With the spread of extremest terrorist group and the ineffectiveness of many government to protect its citizens with conventional military forces, does the use of so called "mercenaries" go against modern values and ethics?"
"Do the PMC personnel have a obligation to conduct themselves with the same (or higher)code of ethics of the employing government?"
"In countries like the US with three branches of government, at what level does the authorization to use a PMC need to be made at?"
I personally believe that governments have the ultimate responsibility to protect the safety and rights of the citizens with any means approved by their elected representatives. The use of PMCs carries a stigmatism that has been perpetuated by the media and reenforced by recent misconduct by Blackwater personnel in Iraq. I feel that the argument against the perceived morals and values of private military companies are far outweighed by the effective results they have achieved in dire situations. The rescue of nearly 300 girls that were held captive after over a year by Boko Haram was predicated by the work of STTEP after military aid from China, the UK and the US had failed.
There is never excuse to violate human rights and the acts of Blackwater's employees directly contributed to the companys demise. However, I would much rather be free of the oppression and deadly actions of groups like ISIL and Boko Haram the and would much rather me detained by most of the PMCs than most of the developing countries that are plagued by these terrorist ( namely Nigeria).
* Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection international