People have been attacking Bill O’Reilly’s plan to use a 25,000 strong mercenary army to compact Islamic terrorism. It sure as hell sounds crazy doesn’t it? But guess what; that’s essentially what the United States government is doing.
There’s been a lot of fuss over O’Reilly’s proposal to use well trained, English speaking, mercenaries to create an anti-terrorist army. Rightfully so. It’s insane. For one thing, the United States already has one of the largest militaries in the world. For another, continued warfare is going to just lead to even more terrorism. However, let’s compare O’Reilly’s plan to what’s actually happening in the world. On Thursday, September 18, congress approved a bill which includes provisions to fund, arm, and train Syrian rebels. While not quite as large as the task force O’Reilly has suggested, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey has stated that they would need a task force that includes between 12,000 and 15,000 rebels.
Now, this has been attempted before. The Taliban is a prime example. In the late 70s and early 80s, the United States and Pakistan gave large amounts of financial support to the Taliban in order to help them fight off Soviet forces. This may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but these rebels had their own agendas and as we see today, the result was not exactly beneficial.
This seems likely to be the case whenever the United States funds a rebel group in order to fight a “common enemy”. On the other hand, mercenaries have only one goal: get paid. They will not back-stab the people who fund them, and, they may be tomorrow’s enemy if there’s another high bidder, they are not likely to become a group with its own internal agenda and defined set of enemies. So what O’Reilly has suggested may indeed be insane, what the United States government is actually doing is even worse.
What should be more astounding than O’Reilly coming up with this idea, is the number of people who oppose it while supporting the Syria plan, or who at least fail to oppose it. If you’re such a person, it may be a good idea to take a step back and consider why you think one makes sense and the other does not.