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Mercenaries: Guns for Hire

The role played by privatised military forces in modern conflict

The use of mercenaries in warfare has a very long history, and still very much in evidence today. African governments seeking to push back rebel insurgents often employ mercenaries to carry out the task. From Yemen to Syria, mercenaries are directly involved in combat roles. And defence and training work once carried out by national armies is now often done by private military contractors. In this week’s Newshour Extra, Owen Bennett Jones and his guests consider the role played by these privatised forces fighting someone else’s war.

Photo: soldier firing automatic weapon Credit: Getty Images

Available now

50 minutes

Last on

Sat 8 Oct 2016 03:06GMT


Sean McFate - professor at Georgetown University and author of the Modern Mercenary - Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. He also worked as a private military contractor.

Katarina Galai - University of Sussex

Ase Gilje Ostensen - political scientist at the Christian Mickelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway.

Vincent Magombe - analyst of African affairs, originally form Uganda

Also featuring Iona Craig, journalist specialising in Yemen; Umaru Fofana, BBC correspondent in Freetown, Sierra Leone


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