Ever wonder what the largest private armies in the world are? Even though nowadays many countries are struggling to protect peace, there are several official “war” conflict zones on Earth. In many cases, major countries can interfere with their own troops. However, in order to prevent the risk of losing soldiers from a national army, or in case a country doesn’t have enough of a military force, a government can hire mercenaries.
Mercenaries are soldiers who are fighting in exchange for a gain or material compensation. If we look back in the history, such military force was used for thousands of years in Ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Roman Empire.
If we fast-forward to present times, we can observe that mercenaries have became a type of business. Companies engaged in recruitment and training of mercenaries, provide security services for private clients, as well as participate in war conflicts being hired by governments.
Even though an army can benefit a lot from the use of mercenaries, there are several risks involved with hiring soldiers, including training inefficiencies and above-average wage expenditures. Desertion is also a possibility.
With defense budget cuts being made around the globe, mercenary services are organizations that are worth investors’ attention, but only a few have managed what we’d truly consider to be “leaders” in this space.
Let’s take a look at the companies that control the 9 largest private armies in the world:
Academi is operating the largest private training facility in the U.S. which is located on a 7,000 acre territory. The company has trained over 50,000 foreign military personnel, law enforcement agents, counter-terrorism experts. At the same time, Academi employees participated in many missions, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defion is headquarted in Peru, but also has offices in several countries among which is Dubai, and Iraq. The company has been in strong contact with another mercenary firm, Triple Canopy, and was involved in training and recruiting personnel for it for the Iraq War. Overall, the company delivered about 3,000 people, which served in the Green Zone in Baghdad.
Aegis Defense Services
Aegis has participated in missions held in about 40 countries, for almost 20 governments, and the UN. With offices in the UK, US, Afghanistan and Bahrain, the company also provides security services for protection of interest of companies in emerging markets.
Triple Canopy has signed a contract with the U.S government for sending its forces in Iraq. The company provides services of mission support, security solutions, and training programs.
Public Domain Image: Public Domain
DynCorp was founded in 1946 as Land-Air, Inc. and was a company engaged in aviation. The company’s mercenaries participated in combating rebels in Columbia and anti-drug operations in Peru, as well as some other conflict regions. Currently it is one of the companies who has its forces in Iraq.
Asia Security Group
Public Domain Image: Public Domain
Asia Security Group is an important local military force in Afghanistan, which has signed contracts with the U.S military for the security services and protection of supply convoys in the conflict war zone. Asia Security Group also provided mercenaries for DynCorp, which also conducts operations in the country.
Erinys is anothe company who has its troops in Iraq. Aside from that, it is engaged in security services, training and consulting for big oil companies with operations in Asia, and Africa. The company also provides services for companies engaged in mineral extraction in Africa.
Unity Resources Group
With a staff of more than 1,200 people, Unity Resources Group is engaged in providing land, sea, air security services in Africa, Americas, Middle East, Central Asia, Europe.
The company has over 620,000 employes dislocated worldwide and participates in operations in 125 countries, with a focus on developing markets. G4S plc (LON:GFS), traded on the London Stock Exchange, has been named the second-largest private employer in the world, being outrun only by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). The operations in which G4S is engaged involve: (a) the providing of security forces for private clients and government agencies, (b) intelligence, (c) land-mine clearance and (d) training.