Part 2 in a two part series by guest author Dr Majed Ashy.
Companies providing mercenaries need international regulations and need to be subjected to international law. Unlike governments that can be held accountable by voters, international law, and freedom of information act, these companies act like private national and international businesses that resist any intrusion into their work and claim a right to secrecy.
One of the many disturbing features regarding mercenary groups is that the standards of hiring are different of those of regular national armies. These mercenaries in different parts of the world can include individuals with criminal, psychiatric, or drug issues that influence their conduct. In addition, as we have seen in several incidents, these contracted mercenaries and their companies might not be held to the same standards and accountabilities of regular professional armies.
We might be moving into an era of wars that are not conducted by national armies for the sake of certain ideologies, religions, or national interests, but by private contracted armies of mercenaries who will fight outside the restrictions of international or national laws for narrow interests of individuals or groups or governments. This will take us into a new understanding of wars, terrorism, and peace.
Suggested reading: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order by Sean McFate. A brief excerpt is available here.
Dr. Ashy is an assistant professor of psychology at Merrimack College and a research fellow in psychiatry at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He was born in Lebanon and is a Saudi. He earned his B.A., M.A, and Ph.D. in psychology from Boston University. His research in psychoneuroimmunology and political psychology focuses on childhood experience of adversity and its psychobiological consequences.