*The fighters in the O’Reilly Mercenary Army would be recruited by the United States;
*They’d be trained by Special Forces under “strict discipline”;
*They’d number 25,000;
*They’d be English speakers;
*They’d be well compensated.
*Cost over $5+ billion/year (which would be about $200,000 per person)
According to data provided to the House panel, the average per-day pay to personnel Blackwater hired was $600. According to the schedule of rates, supplies and services attached to the contract, Blackwater charged Regency $1,075 a day for senior managers, $945 a day for middle managers and $815 a day for operators
The US Foreign legion proposal I had is far better. Here is why:
* Mercenaries (veterans of regular military) have already been used and are still used
* 25,000 Mercs are less than the 40,000 or so that are in ISIS now
Those who criticize the idea of mercenaries as “outsourcing the job of the US military” are idiots or liars not representing the actual modern history. The US has used mercenaries aka combatant private military contractors. Two out of every three in Afghanistan are contractors.
In December 2009, the Congressional Research Service, which provides background information to members of the United States Congress, announced that the deployment of 30,000 extra U.S. troops into Afghanistan could be accompanied by a surge of “26,000 to 56,000” contractors. This would expand the presence of personnel from the U.S. private sector in Afghanistan “to anywhere from 130,000 to 160,000”. The CRS study said contractors made up 69 percent of the Pentagon’s personnel in Afghanistan in December 2008.
There were 100,000 to 200,000 private military contractors during much of the Iraq war.
I criticize the mercenary idea as something that we know is too expensive and it is something that has been used at large scale.
* I had proposed around 150,000 – 500,000 in a US foreign legion. Much more than the numbers in ISIS that they are going to fight. Pay them about the wage of the French Foreign legion ($20,000/year for new recruits up to $60K/yr for senior experienced officers. which is about the French Foreign Legion payscale). Like what was attempted with arming and training the Iraq army but they do not report to Malaki or other corrupt Iraqi officials or leaders. Also, the US makes a permanent commitment to the US foreign legion.
Note – the French Foreign Legion has a decent recent battle record in Afghanistan in fighting the Taliban and has a long history of good performance in battle.
By being over ten times cheaper per soldier means it is affordable to have ten times more soldiers.
* the US already tries to arm and rent foreign armies all the time
– the US tried to train and arm the Iraq army and spent over $25 billion on it. The Iraqi army had officers replaced with political loyalists. The Iraqi army has a massive desertion problem
– the US plans to spend 3+ years and many more billion training up more Iraqis
– the US plans and arm and train some people in Syria
– the US armed and trained a bunch of people in Afghanistan (spending over $26 billion)
The US has spent $710 billion in Afghanistan since 2001.
A US Foreign Legion of say 300,000.
Much more affordable economically than the regular US military or private contractors and more effective than trying to have forces paid for and trained by the US under corrupt Afghanistan and Iraqi leaders.
Important to be economical because the US will commit to support it for decades and provide pension and insurance for the families.
The US is saying, we will be in the region for good and we are stepping up to be the world’s policeman for good.
You will not be able to take US money and not follow through or try to play us. There will be a command structure and the officers will be loyal to the US. The US foreign legion will adhere to and be judged by US justice.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.