Sadat Hussain Rafsanjani : Mercenary, a soldier for hire is considered the second oldest profession in the world. Although the word is used negatively from the beginning, but the real reason behind this shadow guys was controversial through the ages. It is well documented in the history that mercenaries have been around from thousands of years, especially in the Europe from the dawn of medieval ages. From that time they have been called the most violent persons ever exist in the civilized societies. They are the gunslinger, the brute. But what actually they do, what is a mercenary? In feudal Japan, there was a race of trained assassins called ninja. Ninjas were then considered as the mercenary of darkness. They were skilled in many tactics like sabotage, infiltration in the enemy territory, assassination and espionage. From 15th to 17th century, mercenary and spies became the hired necessity. The word mercenary has its roots in Latin merces, which means rewards or fees. From the very beginning the word mercenary have been used with negative connotation, as early mercenaries from the medieval age were known for their brute and barbaric nature of violence. They are ruthless, daring indeed proved very fruitful as they don’t show any lineage with the attacking government or ruler. In 401 BC, Persian price Cyrus the Younger hired ten thousand Greek mercenaries to capture the throne from his brother. Not even that. But what defines a mercenary apart from a general soldier? A mercenary is a person who fights and gets paid for a cause that is not necessarily for his origin land. Basically, mercenaries are ex-military or military personnel who are interested in selling their skills. May be they are unemployed thus they make money by engaging in combat without caring any sort of politics or morality. The word unemployment is at some extent very ambiguous as it is recorded that, many skilled military personnel nowadays quit their government jobs and joins private military industry for greater payments. Thus the money thing is proved to be the one and only reason to become hired guns. In short it can be proclaimed that, a mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict in exchange of personal gain where he is not a part of the conflicting nation or country. That is the reason they are called sometimes guns for hire, dogs of war. A soldier always serves his respective nation and fights under a flag where his used force is legitimate and would be considered criminal in normal sense but a mercenary fights to get paid anything of his own interest thus lacks an immediate social judgment and justification. This is how the word soldier of fortune evolved. Mercenaries are occasionally hired by any government to pacify a serious situation, to make a coup and often offered lucrative amount in return. Thus it has become a global trend to trade a person behind enemy lines and perform a military job. If we want to dissect the concept behind military and defence industry, we first need to understand what exactly is the defence industry is. The trained force of a country that remains even in peacetime is called army. They are the responsible citizens of that state, permanent resident of the country, are paid for government service and maintained by the respectable government. In any sort of collision against another state, the serving state faces strong allegiance for their army deployment. Militia, a similar force made up of civilians is also like a military unit or force although their actions are highly disputed. They are not paid for active service but they are the resident and citizen of a certain country for whom they are serving at their own will. On the other hand a mercenary is a citizen of a country, they fights for another state where they have no citizenship while their respective country does not face any allegiance and they are paid a high amount of money than any other ordinary soldier. According to the Geneva Convention protocol 1977, mercenaries are not protected under the laws of war as they are considered unlawful combatant. Therefore, a mercenary can be charged with issues which are considered protected only for militaries and they can be trailed afterwards executed. But private military organisations have three basic rules for engagement any conflict: they can act in self-defence, they can be hired to protect a certain person, place or an organisation and they engage to protect civilians from any crisis or hostile situation. It’s a rule that, any civilian vehicle must be at least 100 meters back. But there are situations when civilian vehicle comes closer to the mercenary vehicle. In that case the mercenary must give hand sign to the civilian driver to maintain a minimum safe distance and fall back. If the civilian does not recognise the sign, one can draw a weapon to that vehicle and fire a blank as a warning shot. Further if the civilian is not worrying, the second shot is to the engine and if the civilian vehicle is still running the third shot is made to the driver. This tactics was applied heavily in Iraq by the American mercenaries to avid ambush and conflict in the Bagdad, Iraq. After the collapse of Berlin wall in 1989, many soldiers from eastern Germany became hired guns. At that time the number was limited but suddenly the scenario changed. In 1989, UN General Assembly passed a resolution that outlawed mercenaries. However only thirty countries ratified the resolution and USA and Ira had not signed it yet. There are basically three types of military organisations exists. The first one is non-lethal service companies; they support military operations, peace-keeping operations. The second one is military consulting firms; they perform all sorts of training and technical consultation to the active personnel. The final and most important is the private military companies. They are usually hired by the government to fight and take part in active armed conflict. All together they are called private military companies (PMC) or private military farm (PMF). PMCs don’t claim themselves to be a mercenary providing organisation rather than they introduce themselves as the security-providing agency. PMC staffs refer themselves as the security contractors or private military contractors and call their company the circuit. As per the law of United Nation, mercenary is banned from any armed conflict thus private military firms rose to fame. They generally work the similar way as the military or police force do but at a smaller extent. Basically, PMCs are used to be employed as personal security details (PSD) commonly referred to as bodyguards for VIP protection, providing training to the armed forces, convoy escort training and consultation purpose. Previously the ratio between the contractors and soldiers were 1 to 50 but now it has increased to 10 to 1. Mostly ex army or special force or police officers are recruited in these companies. Some posts are reserved for only highly skilled ex-SAS or a former sniper where others are open to any ex-military personnel. At least 50 different countries used these companies to provide security and training facilities to their geographical area. Notable uses of PMCs in recent years are training and protecting guards in Congo, providing site security, security force training to the international companies, guarding ambassadors and diplomats in the other countries, Iraqi oil rig protection and counter drug operations in Columbia. Contractors earns at least 50$ to 700$ a day where an ex-SAS or special force operative working for the company can earn up to 1000$ per day. Currently, the industry worth’s is 100 billion dollars. The PMCs works mostly for the government and they are paid high. PMCs work on the contract basis. Governments hired them to perform security jobs overseas or at any part of the world. But PMCs maintains a certain code of conducts. The first rule is legality. A valid PMC contractor will only accept jobs or contracts that are legitimate, protected under the UN laws of war and does not violate any treaty. The PMC cannot work for any personal use of any other organisation or any evil entity. The second rule is if they are well paid and the job is worthy of the price. The third one is morality. PMCs do not react to engage in any sort of unethical or illicit conflict.