That is three times the number of UK troops currently in Iraq. Just as the US has lowered the bar for recruiting, low standards are often used when recruiting mercenaries though the so-called security companies are making enormous amounts of money on this outsourcing project and the “security staff” are pulling in $1000 per day, tax free. Running a war with guns-for-hire is a strange way for democracies to win hearts and minds.
Many in the private sector have, however, expressed alarm about the types of recruits attracted by the money. Robin Horsfall, a former SAS trooper and security guard said “former soldiers are working alongside people who have been involved in nightclub security and have very limited experience. It’s because a lot of contracts only demand that you can prove you have got six week’s security experience”.