This is about ‘Private Military Companies’, those unofficial armies of, I would say, almost exclusively ex-soldiers, meaning that they are in reality ‘mercenaries’ – paid, unlicensed, war machines for hire, and their role in the world where officially licensed soldiery i.e. the military wing of national governments, are just too expensive or too controversial to field these days in many cases where certain governments want to spread their influence but are restrained by cost or the need to appear to behave in a civilised manner.
Most (supposedly) wealthy, developed nations and a few jumped up pipsqueaks – like Israel and Saudi Arabia – can afford (they are independent, self-supporting, capitalist entities anyway) to, I imagine, financially support such businesses, in their own interests when need arises. PMCs of these nations are continually active in all the trouble spots around the world. No-one seems to notice or care that this goes on. And they cannot be declared to be ‘angels’ or even ‘heroes’ in any way.
In fact PMC contractors are probably highly active in lucrative criminal programs of one sort or another. The NEO article I am sharing below goes into that aspect further.
Both China and Russia also field PMC contractors. Though I feel there may be a point of difference between the armed warriors of these two nations and the criminal rabble of other countries. It may be that Russian and Chinese mercenaries are the only honourable non-military security guarantors active anywhere. The quote I used as the title of this piece, comes from this article and explains why that is the case. The reputation for excellence of conduct and results of Russian PMCs speaks for itself. Chinese PMCs may only not be so recognised due to their low profile and so far limited use in just a few situations.
“Why is the West Annoyed Only by Russian PMCs?” – Vladimir Platov for NEO