UN collars the dog soldiers

20.08.45: A POLITICAL STORM erupted last night as the United Nations' top soldier criticised EuroCorps' latest recruitment campaign.

For the first time, the head of the UN Intervention Force, General Patrick O'Rourke, condemned EuroCorps for recruiting mercenaries instead of building up an ethos of global public service.

The biggest armies include EuroCorps, AmeriCorps, ChinaCorps and troops from India and Latin America - all provide troops for the UN.

O'Rourke is concerned at the number of private armies contracted to leading corporations, and their ability to recruit the best candidates.

Trouble arose when the EuroCorps' FreeNet brochure went live last week, emphasising links between Europe's military force and the world's top 10 private armies. Recruits were promised frequent secondments and prospects of lucrative careers after their seven-year terms.

EuroCorps' HQ in Mons last night admitted that it was having trouble recruiting top-quality entrants in the face of the high pay offered by companies such as Britain's SAS plc and the Paris-based Foreign Legion. The only way out was to provide clear links with these groups, but this risked the criticism that public money was being used to train mercenaries.

The row goes to the heart of the global controversy over private/public security control. O'Rourke and other UN professionals want a powerful UN force, very much in the spirit of the 2033 Balance Plan and completely independent of the numerous private armies.

However, they remain opposed to economic elements of the plan, even though early indications are that the world economy is stabilising and crime and violence falling rapidly. PR

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