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View Diary: Mercenaries, war, and my childhood (368 comments)

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  •  Some merc's and soldiers are the same people (none)
    In the twisty maze of passages our world has become, many bodies in the "mercenary" pool -- mostly former senior active duty servicemembers -- are also on military reserve status.

    Call them up, and they go to Iraq for ordinary pay and benefits.

    Muster them out, and them can volitionally go to Iraq for perhaps four times the compensation.

    Either way they are indispensible elements of the strategy our leaders have chosen. Force multipliers or force complements, take your pick.

    Either way they can catch an RPG or an IED. The pay differential between voluntary and obligatory deployment gives us an indicator of the going rate for playing that particular lottery.

    In light of recent events, I expect the spot market price of paramilitary contract service is going to increase ... and "labor supply" on the obligatory side is going to decrease as regular military, guard and reserve contract options expire.

    The intersection where those two curves cross is a "jaws of death". Somebody will step into it. Who?

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