Military Policy & Weapons/Private armies



In the video game franchise ''Metal Gear'' there are five private military companies wielding armies of a hundred and fifty million men and women per private military company.

Would it be in any way feasible to have private armies this big? Would they be feasible to fund?

In a word: No. Nations the size of China and the USA maintain armed forces numbering 2.3 million and 1.3 million, respectively. And doing so is extremely costly (Beijing recently announced it will reduce its armed forces by 300,000).

So-called private armies in Africa number in the hundreds only. "Private" armies in the millions is sheer fantasy - fit for video games only.

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James Bruno


Diplomacy and foreign affairs. How government decision-making takes place. Interactions of the White House, State Dept., Pentagon, Congress and CIA in formulating policy. How governments deal with each other. Area expertise includes Afghanistan, Indochina, Europe, Cuba. Served in Guantanamo. Currently a member of the Diplomatic Readiness Reserve and Standby Response Corps.


23-years as a diplomat with the U.S. State Dept. Previously at the Defense Dept. Prior to joining government, worked as a journalist with major news organizations.

CBS-News, UPI; various newspapers. Bestselling novelist: TRIBE, PERMANENT INTERESTS and CHASM.

M.A. - U.S. Naval War College
M.A. - Columbia Univ.
B.A. - George Washington Univ.

Awards and Honors
Various in government.

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