The 21st century world is far from the peaceful utopia many envisioned 100, or even 50 years ago. There are no flying cars, endless renewable energy resources, or money-less societies where each person is a contributor to the greater good.
There are no Enterprise style starships exploring the far reaches of our galaxy or spreading the goodwill of humankind to distant civilizations. No, there is none of that.
What we do have in the 21st century is an overabundance of what we had in previous centuries: War.
Most regions of the world today are in conflict – either hot engagements, or teetering on the verge of violent hostilities. Even our relatively peaceful United States is moments away from active engagements with army-like drug cartels and, potentially, armed jihadists slipping over our southern border amid the chaotic violence of the cartel wars in Mexico.
The one common theme seems to be an inability, or perhaps a lack of desire, to deal with it. Around 60,000 people have been killed in cartel violence in Mexico. Untold thousands have died at the hands of jihadists throughout the middle east and Africa. Asia and Southwest Asia have certainly not been spared.
The gutless and ineffective UN seems more intent on makimg things worse or, even worse yet, siding with the wrong people in most of these conflict regions. (See Rhodesia for historical perspective.) The U.S. seems to be in a state of confusion as well, arming and training terrorists and insurgents, many with direct connections to groups responsible for killing Americans.
Most countries in the middle east and Africa do not possess the nerve or the ability to end the violence in their own countries. Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and an ever lengthening list of countries seem impotent when dealing with the growing jihadist movement.
So then, what is the solution?
As the world sinks into a retrograde spiral counter to our visions of a grand future, governments seem inept at stopping the flow of blood in the more troubled regions. The answer is the private citizen – the mercenary.
A mercenary army.
Not typical contractors working for some legitimate government organization. Not the contractors of which we are all now far too familiar. An army. A mercenary army with a singular goal of destroying the evil that threatens to consume our world.
Trained, experienced, professional soldiers – Mike Hoare, Wild Geese, “We came to kill motherfuckers for the good of the world” mercenaries.
Imagine if you will, a battalion sized element with its own support and logistics unleashed on al Shabaab or ISIS. There is no government to intimidate, no national sovereignty to protect, and no legal boundaries on a map to contain their violence. They are free to fight the enemy as they see fit.
There would be no shortage of recruits. With shrinking defense budgets and the “ending war without victory” position adopted by western countries, there is a rather large pool of displaced and unemployed veterans from which to draw. With most having served their government masters in conflict regions, and having been prevented from actually accomplishing the goals of victory and peace, they would be eager to actually make a difference. Don’t doubt me when I say that half the people reading this are already wondering where they can sign up.
These types of operations have been successful in the past. Mercenaries have always played a role in conflict and there is no rational reason to prevent such an endeavor. Unless, of course, the powers that be have no interest in victory – which, based on recent events, may actually be the case.
Funding would not be an issue. Governments could invest in the new mercenary army without committing their own forces to the fight. Millionaire philanthropists could donate and feel good that they have done something good for mankind with their fortunes. It would be a much better investment than Greenpeace, that’s for damned sure. Hell, Bill Gates alone could fund the eradication of extremists and never even fall from the top three wealthiest people in the world.
What is lacking? Balls. Real balls. Not lip service and meetings between impotent world leaders. Not resolutions and hollow condemnations. Real action. Real courage. A real desire to end this onslaught of evil once and for all. But, probably the largest impediment to creating this solution is that it would actually work. I have a feeling most governments have no interest in that.