Contractor or Mercenary?

Contractor or Mercenary?

A Swiss citizen who worked for the Blackwater Security company in Iraq is under review by a Swiss military court, charged with being a mercenary.

Switzerland, known for its mercenaries since the Middle Ages, now forbids citizens from working in a military capacity for other countries.

 There is one exception: the famous Swiss Guard of Vatican City, protectors of the Pope.

Swiss Guard, Vatican City

A recent report from the UN High Commission for Human Rights calls for member nations to reject the use of  these new “private security contractor” mercenaries, uncontrolled by military convention or command and control. Neither Switzerland nor the United States is among the signatories to this UN agreement. The U.S. rejects the definition of private security groups like Blackwater as mercenaries.


Top image by Mike Licht and Diebold Schilling (c. 1445 – 1485); Swiss Guard photo by the Biloxi Diocese.

3 Responses to “Contractor or Mercenary?”

  1. Josh Says:

    Technically we arent mercenaries like you want to think. Im a protecter I havent hurt innocents at all. I even treated a prisoner nice we drank some soda. They wont report the good though.

  2. Josh Says:

    Pretty offensive though Ive stopped kid nappings. I and groups like mine will be treated like this. I

  3. Mike Licht Says:

    Josh: It is a matter of accountability as well as command and control. As I’m sure you know, there is also the false economy of “privitization” of essential government services, not just the military ones.

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