Various African nations have experienced a need for outsourcing military services as has the U.S. to shore-up its depleted forces in Iraq.  .Additionally, the United Nations is currently considering using mercenaries in regions such as Rwanda and Darfur, Sudan. The history of the oldest profession for men is long, rich with glorious accounts of adventure, an integral part of world-changing events and the topic of this discussion.
The ancient Greeks and the Romans were known to use mercenaries on many occasions. The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II hired Numidian mercenaries to fight in the Battle of Kadesh in 1294 B.C. (Dupuy, 1986: 98). King David of Biblical fame utilized mercenaries in 1000 B.C. to drive the Philistines from his homeland of Israel. Hannibal’s army which made the epic march across the Alps in a bid to invade Italy and conquer the Roman Empire in 200 B.C. was entirely composed of mercenaries. Half of the Norman army that invaded and conquered England in 1066 was hired by William the Conqueror. During the Italian Renaissance, cities contracted mercenaries to guard against impending rivals from attacking and to prevent upsetting “the productive economy by forcing normal citizens into military service” (Zarate, 1998: 84). The majority of the army that fought the Thirty Years’ War that lasted from1618 to1648 was made up of mercenaries and the British famously hired Hessians to fight the Americans against during the American Revolutionary War (Zarate, 1998: 85). Hiring foreign military forces was commonplace until the 1870 Franco-German War. This was the first war in which the ‘nation-in-arms’ model gained predominance among the militaries of the world. Following this conflict, armies become increasingly built on the concept of national loyalty (Milliard, 2003: 6).
In ancient Greece, mercenaries were used extensively in several aspects of warfare and became tightly interwoven within the economic and social fabric of the era. The Spartan, Persian and Athenian naval fleets provided employment for many thousands of indigent men.