In 1859 an American named Frederick Townsend Ward arrived in Shanghai. A sailor, mercenary, smuggler and filibuster, he created a force of Europeans to protect the city from, and engage directly in, the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, to avoid the complications of Western powers getting directly involved. After a severe defeat at Sungkiang/Songjiang, he decided to recruit from the local Chinese population instead, arming and training them in the Western fashion. This force was dubbed the 'Ever-Victorious Army.' [more inside]
SelectArmor, owned by Michele Lynn Ballarin, is a private military company based in Virginia. Her firm is at the center of covert military action in the waters around Somalia. [more inside]
“It is my hope that this essay will initiate such a conversation. As for me, I'm planning to retire. I'm tired of helping you make your students look competent.”
In the wake of allegations from ex-employees at Blackwater/Xe, founder Erik Prince is now under investigation for murdering federal informants. [more inside]
Like most boys, I grew up dreaming of a life filled with action and adventure. Unlike most men, I was able to live out those boyhood dreams during my five years in the French Foreign Legion. Previously.
The coup d'état of Fiji continues today, having picked up again yesterday after letting the Friday deadline for the step down of PM Qarase pass and taking a couple days to enjoy the rugby and a weekend off. Unlike the violence generated largely by Native Fijian/Indo-Fijian tensions in the three previous coups, this latest act by Commodore Bainimarama appears bloodless thus far. It has again crippled tourism however, and, possibly more damaging, halted their trade in soldiers-for-hire.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find his snakedumb black-arts maggot, maybe you can hire Jean-Jacques
The many lives of Jean-Jacques de Mesterton: A simple-minded hack for FOX News, a soldier of fortune, or perhaps something much, much more sinister?
Defensor Fortis: A Photo Set. A soldier in Iraq has been posting images of consumer vehicles modified and employed by "Civilian Security Contractors". [via] War has always seemed to instill the creative spirit in its participants, and we also have a detailed history of Military vehicles making a successful transition into the civilian marketplace. With the unprecedented rise in Mercenary Employment, it's hard to tell where the innovation is coming from - the top down, or the bottom up? Our favorite grease monkey seems to have missed out on all the hot welding action, but you can't blame him for not trying. At the very least, it seems they can all agree on something.