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Prof Sean McFate

Video & transcript: Prof Sean McFate on rising danger of mercenary armies forming corporate military states or running amuck

The United States has been gradually replacing its own military with military contractors to the degree now where they formed 50% of troops in Iraq and 70% of troops in Afghanistan deployed in its name. What happens to those business model troops when the US wants to wind down military activity in a particular place? They are private armies with power and money and the risk is that they will use it to extract a living, as in splintered Libya. The bigger risk is that they will form corporate military states in their own right - as ISIS pretends to. Professor Sean McFate spent some years - mostly in Africa - as a mercenary, largely because he was curious about this. "Mercenaries have always been there, where there is bloodshed going on. The times when whole armies of mercenary troops, or even personal regiments were bought and sold seemed to be long gone. But now, they are called Private Military Companies, and their popularity among the governments rises, with the US leading the trend of shopping at the market of force. Are we witnessing the end of the age of national armies? And why mercenaries are in such high demand these days? We put these questions to Professor Sean McFate, who once was a private military contractor himself." (Sophie Shevardnadze)

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