Fighting Daʻish, the un-Islamic State, with Mercenaries: an effective, feasible alternative?

We might be forced to deploy boots on the ground because air strikes are not sufficient to subdue the repugnant Daʻish (ISIS/ISIL/IS); instead, allowing Private Military Companies (PMCs) to lend direct support to suffering peoples via Mercenaries might be a more effective alternative. Many locals want to fight back (Kurdish Syrians, for example); let PMCs hire them and let them liberate themselves from Daʻish! It is not foreign support that people dislike but the feeling of indignity that arises from others having to fight your battles for you. The mask Daish wears is ideological in order to recruit more extremists and maintain an image; however, many rank-and-file members fight because of the relatively high wages paid (like the Taliban). Attracting individuals to PMCs instead of Daʻish and inducing defections would dwindle their numbers, slow their recruitment drive and show people that it would be increasingly risky to join them. Furthermore, as people defect, those inclined toward violent extremism for ideological reasons would realize that Daʻish is not what they thought it was and, therefore, Daʻish would lose some vital, core supporters. This would encourage a natural death for Daʻish through depletion of native support instead of a long and ineffective war against guerilla fighters.

Whereas our own armed forces would be reluctant to employ natives in the rank-and-file for security purposes, PMCs are more flexible with their recruitment policies. Furthermore, they would be legitimized, have more funds available and pay more than Daʻish; thereby giving young fighters a visible alternative (which isn’t their Govenrment, Foreign Governments or Militias they may have learned to despise) to Daʻish at a time when peaceful employment is scarce and they are pressured into joining for economic reasons (in Daʻish strongholds, for example). The PMCs’ recruitment efforts would also be counter-propaganda to Daʻish’s brainwashing.

Private entities could pay the PMCs to fight Daʻish. This would avoid impositions on those who do not want to see their servicemen on the ground in Iraq whilst enabling those who despise Daʻish to act. Funding would primarily be from sympathisers including, but not limited to; the Iraqi, Syrian and Kurdish diaspora, masses of moderate Muslims, humanitarian and charitable organisations, concerned global citizens, businesses that have vested interests in a stable Middle East, Philanthropists etc. PMCs would also have no incentive to continue fighting once sponsors cut funding.

What about the potential for immoral activities perpetrated by the PMCs? Where is their accountability? Sponsors of such PMCs would naturally distance themselves from those who exploit the chaos of war rather than alleviate suffering; it would be in the PMCs’ best interest to behave relatively decently in war though still ruthlessly toward Daʻish.

If Governments are wavering to offer even inadequate support, why should we be forced to lobby them to do so? Why should innocent people suffer as a result? This alternative can avoid compulsory deployment of servicemen, imposition of taxes and, most importantly, enable us to express ourselves and fight injustice in any way possible.