Although US President Donald Trump has announced a pullout of troops from Syria and a draw-down in Afghanistan, the fighting continues.
Waiting to make a killing are the “Dogs of War” – men who fight not for flags, but for cash. As pullouts leave geopolitical vacuums that invite or intensify conflict, the business forecast looks upbeat for “private military contractors,” or PMCs – the polite corporate term for “mercenaries.”
There is considerable speculation underway as to whether US PMCs – and the man who had led the American sector, Erik Prince of former blue-chip PMC Blackwater – will fill the vacuum created by Trump. However, the sector is in flux.
American and other Western contractors in recent years have profited by operating on the margins of – and under the aegis provided by – coalition and NATO military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is not the case in Syria, nor is it likely to be the future case in Afghanistan.