After the Americans
The "new" meddle east
I had posted the other day that I think PMC's would play a role with the Shia uprising. But I didn't make things clear. As long as the Americans are on the ground in Iraq, that's not going to happen. Most of the PMC's are adjuncts of the West's elite forces, SAS, SEAL's, Delta, and are not going to go against western governments. First, they can't afford to with their government contracts, second, they have close ties to the US military, third, there are legal issues to content with.
But when US forces leave Iraq, as they will sooner rather than later, someone will step in to provide military services.
I think the mainline US PMC's will have too much other work to deal with, to have any desire to deal with Sadr or the Iranians. But someone will want those oil contracts.
After the US withdrawal, the Kurds will be desperate to seize Kirkuk, and thus, probably the first to hire professional soldiers. The Peshmerga is going to need an edge to hold on to Kirkuk and mercenaries will be that edge. Once the Shia realize that they don't have the military skill to actually disloge the Kurds, they're gonna need help as well.
And the sweetner is oil. Someone will have to run the oilfields, and they will have to win the confidence of the Shia. And they will have to protect the oil fields, the ones carefully sabotaged by the workers. Since the Shia will have to train and fight Sunnis and Kurds, they won't have many men to spare for security. Someone will need to do that job.
Then, of course, the Shia will need someone to create a real army and teach them to use their new, Russian weapons. Of course there are large numbers of unemployed Russian soldiers looking for a payday.
The map depicted above has been circulating around the internet, which means the Arab world as the future of the middle east. The Turks, who are our allies, get to lose a fifth of their country for the Kurds. Which proves the map was designed by a cretin, or Ralph Peters.
But my larger point is this, because of the oil, the lure of professional military services will be irresitable. It probably won't be the big US or UK companies, but what would stop South Americans or Pakistanis from jumping in the mix, or the Russians? There is money to be made.
posted by Steve @ 2:47:00 AM