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quixote100104
06-24-2009, 11:21 AM
Greetings :-),

Kind of an odd question here: If someone were independantly wealthy, had time on their hands and wanted to spend some time in a war zone (out of curiosity, morbid interest or perhaps to power some image enhancement later among the homies ;-) ), what sort of options would they have?

Can you just rent an apartment in the Green Zone, if you've got the juice? Get a permit to carry weapons if you have no official military/ security capacity? What kind of obstacles would they face (apart from the obvious risks of such a place)?

Assume they have money, but no special skills or contacts (at start) and that they are willing to accept a title, but not do any actual work.

Thanks :-),

errantruth
06-24-2009, 01:37 PM
I can't answer your military-related questions, but would like to toss in that people DO stick around for some wars because they're "in the area," and they might do it also to feel important to themselves, to give back to people who've hosted them, and even because "they've got time."

I imagine to some extent their access to war-war (as opposed to floods of refugees) would depend on what sort of country they're in, and what kind of war it is. I bet you could easily hook yourself up in some places where a meritocracy is not paramount anyway and where mercenaries are called/used. Because they would in some ways be mercenaries, selling their wartime services for a price, even if the price is the buffeting of their ego.

At any rate, I've seen the former but haven't lived through the latter.

Oh, one problem they'd face is that of language and that if hard war is being waged, ie the place they're in is under invasion, no-one would have the time to translate for them. They could hire a driver (if under seige, not if invading) who would double as a translator. This driver would often be found either among the family of the military/paramilitary person who hooked the person up, or would be a former cabbie (ie English would be limited) or someone who's hard up for work. Again, this is in the case of your rich gentleman is in the under-seige place as opposed to the invading-army place.

Of course there's always civil wars.

~ R

Momento Mori
06-24-2009, 02:15 PM
quixote100104:
Can you just rent an apartment in the Green Zone, if you've got the juice? Get a permit to carry weapons if you have no official military/ security capacity? What kind of obstacles would they face (apart from the obvious risks of such a place)?

If your character wants to actually do something out there, then I know a couple of people who've been sent to Baghdad and Kabul on mini-secondments (they were negotiating infrastructure and reconstruction projects). To get in they needed a sponsor to vouch for them in Iraq and Afghanistan so they could get the relevant visa.

Their employer engaged a private security consultancy who advised that they live in hotels rather than rent an appartment (if you're a foreigner living in an appartment block or residential area, it makes you more susceptible to kidnap, plus it means you don't need to go out to buy food, drink and other necessities, which can all put you at risk). The security consultancy then supplied them with personal bodyguards.

I *think* I'm right in saying that they had a total detail of 10 who arranged travel, vetted locations for site visits etc. The bodyguards were all armed and known to local Allied forces (but they still got stopped at checkpoints).


quixote100104:
Assume they have money, but no special skills or contacts (at start) and that they are willing to accept a title, but not do any actual work.

If your character is more of a tourist, then there is tourism out into Iraq at the moment (a couple of specialist package holiday companies offer trips out to see Babylon and the other sites). But it's dangerous and it's expensive. The company does all the arrangements (including buses, visas, security etc) but you need to keep together as a group.

The alternative is to go in as an individual tourist on a visitor's visa - you can cross over the land border without too much difficulty but unless you can pass for a local and speak enough Arabic to get by, it is like walking around with a target on your back.

MM

Ariella
06-24-2009, 11:51 PM
There's a book on that subject. Check out The World's Most Dangerous Places (http://www.amazon.com/Robert-Peltons-Worlds-Dangerous-Places/dp/0060011602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245872669&sr=1-1)by Robert Young Pelton. It hasn't been updated since 2003, so the information on Iraq is well out of date, but the general advice makes for good reading.