I have always been fascinated by the involvement of mercenaries in wars and insurrections throughout the planets history. From Alexander the Great, to the Hessian's during our Revolution and currently the mercenary forces involved in Somalia and other areas of the planet. Blackwater, now Xe, is apparently assisting the Somalian government by training security forces to combat the pirates and Al Queda wannabees. The story is HERE.
Founded by Erik Prince in 1997, Blackwater became a major security force hired to assist our armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company was wildly successful. They have since moved their operations overseas and changed their name to Xe. I actually don't know how they pronounce that. They are also helping other mercenary groups such as the Saracen Group out of South Africa. Saracen was hired by the Somalian government to train security forces for the government personnel.
Mercenaries have been used many times over history for a number of reasons. Governments are too afraid of doing a deed or they wish not to be tied to a deed so they hire others. Sometimes it is for humanitarian reasons that mercenaries are hired. I remember when I was a kid and the Belgian Congo was in turmoil. The Simba's were murdering all the white people including priests and nuns. Mercenaries were hired to rescue and remove the remaining whites and they where successful. Mercenaries are usually discharged and retired military. The movie "The Wild Geese" was a loosely true version of the rescue.
I guess there are parts of me that admire a mercenary soldier. They place themselves in harms way. Many are rogues. Yes they receive money for doing what they do but why is that wrong? They are hired by governments to implement action the government is afraid to do for whatever reason. Many mercenaries get killed and like the four murdered in Iraq and dragged through the streets and hung from an overpass in Fallujah, they can meet a terrible end.
As long as there is conflict on the planet there will always be a need for these kinds of organizations. Money can buy almost anything, even people risking their lives for it in faraway places.