Timmymagic wrote: ↑19 May 2023, 07:46
Caribbean wrote: ↑18 May 2023, 23:12
And that's the problem. As soon as they pay more than regular members of the Ukrainian armed forces, they become mercenaries in international law.
Thats absolute nonsense...
Status as a mercenary is not defined by how much you're paid....
Its entirely whether or not you are signed up to that country's armed forces....if they sign a contract and oath of allegiance, no matter how long or short, as long as they are on it they are not mercenaries...
It's a bit more complex than that.
International Convention against the Recruitment,
Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries
General Assembly resolution 44/34
Article 1 sets out the definition of a mercenary. A mercenary is anyone:
(a) Is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
(b) Is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar rank and functions in the armed forces of that party;
(c) Is neither a national of a party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a party to the conflict;
(d) Is not a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict; and
(e) Has not been sent by a State which is not a party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.
I would say any US F-16 pilot recruited in the USA and paid more than local pilots would fall foul of every one of those sub-sections.
Section d) would not apply if they signed up for a standard military contract once in Ukraine.
i.e. Same pay & conditions ("substantially in excess" is not defined, but I would suspect that anything greater than 20-25% higher remuneration would fall into that rule) and same length of service.
Any pilot who wouldn't fly for standard UkrAF pay, but would for higher pay falls might be deemed caught by Section b)
The most critical part is the indefinable "motivation of the individual".
This is just the basic definition - there's plenty more rules involved, many of which are not directly combat-related, but refer to financing, control, organisation, recruitment etc. etc. any of which an individual could inadvertently fall foul.
Even the training side is covered, though I suspect that the UK has thoroughly researched the legal requirements around that, if the UK and the Netherlands are looking to set up a training school.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.