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The First Casualties of War

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In 1917 Senator Hiram Johnson opined that the first casualty when war comes is truth. He might have added that the second casualty is solemnly signed national and international treaties.

At the onset of Russia’s Special Operation on February 24 UK government minister Liz Truss invited her country’s army veterans to offer themselves as mercenaries in the central European conflict.

Surely this hapless cabinet minister’s advisers would have pointed out that a recruitment drive on behalf of another country is illegal and made her complicit in the crime of mercenary recruitment. Besides, the deployment of mercenaries is outlawed by the United Nations.

Liz Truss was hardly alone. The main signatories of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, include countries like Poland and Ukraine. These countries and others openly flout the Convention in recruiting and deploying soldiers of fortune to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The romantic notion of mercenaries is that they are well-paid idealists who volunteer to fight in wars in which their own countries are not involved. This was not my conclusion when researching material for my best-selling book The Last Gladiators. THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook)

The Congo Crisis (1960-1966), in which I was caught up, was just one conflict during the transfer of Africa’s colonies from European tutelage to international finance. A number of foreign mercenaries were sympathetic to the despots that rewarded them but the first loyalty of soldiers of fortune is to their bank accounts

Kyiv’s Ukraine Foreign Legion pays $630 per month to foreign soldiers of fortune. However, the lure is their being assured that in addition to the regular soldier’s pay will be several thousand US dollars a month.

The conflict in Ukraine is less easily defined than other conflicts and civil wars. It must be remembered that this outbreak of hostilities is a civil war that pits Slavs against those who consider themselves first and foremost Ukrainian. This mood might change if the delusional prospect of NATO and EU membership is withdrawn.

To the hostilities of ethnic and nationalist interests add the multi-national private military contractors, independent foreign fighters, idealists, mercenaries, extremists, and terrorist groups. The latter include Turkish and Washington-sponsored ISIS fighters.

General Sergei Surovikin was recently appointed by President Putin as Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces. In his usual off-the-cuff style, Surovikin says, “the mercenaries sent by NATO will have to stay here forever.”

Vladimir Putin claims to regret his being left with no choice but to pit Slavs against Slavs in this foreign-inspired conflict. There is, however, no sympathy or quarter given to foreign actors. The Russian military prioritizes identification and the targeting of deployment points of foreign mercenaries – especially those composed of American fighters.

Special attention is paid to fighters contracted to the American Constellis private security group. This private contractor was created in 2014 in the wake of the Maiden Coup whose regime change operation resulted in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions breaking away from the emerging Washington-backed regime.

Foreign fighters are treated with the same no-holds-barred approach as the Russian armed forces display towards ultra-nationalists they describe as ‘Neo-Nazi’ units. Americans and other mercenaries can expect no quarter given by their Russian and Chechen adversaries.

At regular intervals, there are exchanges of prisoners of war. Dogs of war who live to tell their tale will have to wait a very long time before they get the chance to.

As roughly half have been killed the survival rate of foreigners is not good. The high attrition rate is partly due to the harsh climate and terrain. Then there is the professionalism and state-of-the-art air and field weapons of the Russian armed forces. The current confrontation is quite unlike the NATO Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts in which most Western mercenaries were blooded.

The blood of NATO personnel must have curdled at the news that an alleged Russian missile had audaciously targeted a Polish tractor and its two operators. Joe Biden was in no hurry to sacrifice Washington for Warsaw. The US president immediately joined the chorus by disclosing that the missile and trajectory that nearly started World War III was Ukrainian and fired from Ukrainian territory.

Shooting from the lip, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dimitry Medvedev tweeted, ‘Russia is ready to supply Poland with the best air systems to prevent further aggression by Ukraine.’

We can only hope that this further humiliation of NATO will cool hot heads and avert the last war on earth. 

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AFRICA RELATED BOOKS

A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL Vigilante Thriller (Paperback / Ebook); THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook); AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS: African Victims of the Liberal-Left (Paperback / Ebook); RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL European to Wall Street Colonialism (Paperback / Ebook); The Stigma Enigma (Paperback / Ebook).

African odyssey is the author’s collection of four books based on his first-hand experiences. Michael Walsh lived, worked and socialised in most of Africa’s nations from Cape Town to Tripoli, Lagos to Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of WITNESS TO HISTORY, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL (Paperback / Ebook), EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITY MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERDEBTOR’S REVENGE,  IMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook)Odyssey Adolf Hitler, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I and II,  SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY, REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise, THE DOVETAILS, SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S, THE PHANTOM OF OPHELIA, A Leopard In Liverpool, The Stigma Enigma (Paperback / Ebook), The Souls Meet, All I Ask Is a Tall Ship, The Leaving of Liverpool (Paperback/Ebook), Britannic Waives the Rules (Paperback/Ebook), UNTOLD SAGAS OF THE SEA Volume I (Paperback / Ebook), Whispering Hope, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, and other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL Vigilante Thriller (Paperback / Ebook); THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook); AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS: African Victims of the Liberal-Left (Paperback / Ebook); RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL European to Wall Street Colonialism (Paperback / Ebook); The Stigma Enigma, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL (Paperback / Ebook),  EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook)The Stigma Enigma(Paperback / Ebook), INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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