The New York Times has an editorial today on the use of private security teams in Iraq. There are now nearly 20,000 people employed by private security contractors there, making them the second-largest military force in Iraq.
Is America becoming Rome? Our dream of empire has surpassed the ability of our military to effectively occupy the territories we’ve subjugated, so we turn to foederati, barbarians for hire, to defend the frontier.
The problem is that the foederati eventually turned inward and went for the big prize, overwhelming the empire and ushering in the Dark Ages.