The story I read was a brutal one. Freelance soldiers have a different code of conduct than regulars and their atrocities have been several. Worse in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai was forced to sign Order Number 17, an agreement which “effectively immunized these hired guns from prosecution, whether for war crimes or crimes against humanity.” (“The Warrior Class,” Charles Glass, “Harper’s,” April, 2012) Our military men and women who volunteer to serve their country and who bleed and die in greater numbers are paid far less and afforded none of the legal protections of these freelancers who make a business of war.
Something seems terribly wrong with this growing industry. And what, Glass asks, are the consequences to the morality of a nation when we employ private armies to defend our nation? Do I see Rome burning?