Mercenaries are a controversial topic. With the government relying more on private military companies (PMC) such as the infamous Blackwater (now Academi) there has been an increase in outrage by the general populace. As it turns out the general populace is totally fine with soldiers killing for king and country but they lose their shit when people kill for profit.
To gain a better understanding of PMCs I started reading The Modern Mercenary by Sean McFate. What I expected to be a fairly interesting read has turned out to be an absolutely fascinating read.
One of the points McFate makes that I found very interesting is that the side effect of the continue beatification of military personnel is an inventive for nations to utilize mercenaries. It makes sense. People loves heroes. People hate dead heroes.
It has become a mortal sin against statism to speak anything less than worshipfully about military personnel. Even as the general populace flips out about the State’s use of PMCs it continues to worship soldiers. Part of this worship is public outrage whenever soldiers are killed. In their eyes it’s not a mere soldier who has been killed by a genuine hero who was overseas protecting our freedoms. But since the general populace reviles PMCs their deaths occur without such outrage. In other words the hero worship of soldiers encourages the State to rely more heavily on disposable PMCs to do its dirty work.
Thus another vicious cycle is born. Due to their worship of soldiers all these people that are championing the use of government soldiers over private soldiers are unwittingly incentivizing the State to more heavily rely on PMCs.
It always amuses me when the religion of the State works against itself.