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Mercenaries & Military Conflict

Date: 09-07-06
Host: George Noory
Guests: Robert Young Pelton, Richard C. Hoagland

In the middle two hours of the show, adventurer and author Robert Young Pelton discussed the world of hired military contractors. The number of mercenaries used in various conflicts has increased dramatically since 9-11. In fact, right now, there are 70,000 security contractors working in Iraq, hired to "help keep people alive," in a situation that is more chaotic than a civil war, he said. A large portion of the US budget allocated for Iraq goes towards security, Pelton pointed out.

The pay for such workers is lucrative, he noted, but their situations are "hellacious," (about 400 have died so far in Iraq). The company Blackwater USA (founded by Erik Prince) offers training for this line of work, yet Pelton said one of the greatest dangers in Iraq you can't necessarily prepare for-- explosives targeted at vehicles just driving down the road.

A private army not bogged down by bureaucracy and political agendas would handle military conflicts more efficiently, Pelton argued. He also offered analysis of Osama bin Laden, whom he described as a facilitator who puts middle men in touch with each other. But Pelton believes Iran has done more to damage the US, in terms of funding attacks, than al Qaeda.

The last hour of the show was devoted to Full Moon Open Lines.

Shuttle Update

During the first half-hour, Coast to Coast AM Science Advisor Richard C. Hoagland gave an update on the upcoming Shuttle launch, expressing concerns over a faulty fuel cell.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Thursday September 07, 2006

  • War
    Edwin Starr

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