Would Haliburton be considered a 'mercenary' group?

Previous statements on the Dope have indicated that mercenary groups in the modern world are few and far between, and usually used in isolated incidents. But watching a show on the History channel the other day, it gave me the impression that the Haliburton group were mercenaries, and that much of the logistical aspect of the US Army presence in Iraq is taken up largely by such mercenary groups.

Is this true? Is a ‘Private Contractor’ or ‘Security company’ just doublespeak for ‘Government-sponsored mercenaries’ ? I am seeing footage of Americans in civilian clothes armed with automatic weapons patrolling around and I can’t help but think that they must be mercenaries.


No. It’s an energy company that also provides outsourced logistics services to the US military. “Mercenary” implies a “soldier” for hire, not drivers and clerks and logistics managers.
You might be thinking of Blackwater
http://www.blackwatersecurity.com/

They are a security company with strong links to the government and tend to hire a lot of ex-military types. In many respects they might be considered a mercenary group.

Some of the people working for Haliburton are “Private Security Forces”, many more are indirectly hired via subcontracts thru companies like Blackwater.

While a few of these people might have jobs comparable to the guy sleeping in the corner of your local bank, it is clear that in Iraq the overwhelming majority are really just Mercenaries with a different job title for political reasons. I.e., they ride around in military-type vehicles in uniforms and carrying weapons with the right to shoot/imprison/harass/torture/steal from any Iraqi they feel like.

The consequences of having so many person who are not subject to US or international laws running around Iraq are not generally reported in the US. E.g., the big flare up in Fallujah in April was a direct response to the behavior of these people.

Why the media doesn’t use “The M-word” is a matter for someplace else.

(bolding mine)

I think that fits about any definition of mercenary I’ve ever heard.