AOL True Stories, an online repository of documentaries–you can watch them online (with some ads) or buy them for your portable media player–launched this past week. Nick Bicanic’s documentary Shadow Company, about private military contractors, or mercenaries, is worth a look (as are some of the other documentaries, this for example).
In the late 20th Century the distinction between soldier and mercenary became blurred. The recent use of private military companies (PMC) in Iraq has been more extensive (and more high profile) than at any time in modern history. The issues raised by the brutal killing of four PMC staff in Fallujah in April 2004 and the subsequent reaction of the general public and the US Army make it clear that these “contractors” are not merely workers in a foreign land.
(H/t Dan Balis.)