Top 7 Most Badass Elite Private Armies

The vast array of specialized task forces, weaponry and technological advancements have long made the varied armed forces of the world an intimidating and marvelous subject. However, with a huge amount of cutbacks - including budgetary and personnel cuts - private security and task firms have become something of a booming underdog force. These groups of privatized mercenaries range from the deadly to straight up ballsy - but they all share the same quality: they're flat out intimidating. Let's take a look at seven of the most badass and dangerous private armies in the world - you won't believe the places some of these 'mercs will go.

Elite Private Armies #7: Unity Resources Group
Unity Resources Group
Unity Resources Group Army

The Australian owned Unity Resources Group has steadily grown its Iraqi presence as sovereign armies continue to withdraw - with a staff of over 1,200 worldwide. Comprised of Australian, American and British war veterans, its management is overseen by seasoned professionals. Best known for its successful guarding of the Australian embassy in Baghdad, Unity staff have also been the subject of two controversial car shootings in Iraq - one that resulted in the death of an Australian professor and another that left two civilian women dead. Operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Central Asia and Africa - their security assistance is formidable and altogether intimidating.

Elite Private Armies #6: Defion Internacional
Defion Internacional Army
Defion Internacional Army

By sourcing and training their privatized military personnel from Latin America, Defion Internacional has also recruited a bevy of fighters (something to the tune of thousands and thousands) from developing countries all over the world. With a headquarters station in Peru and offices located in Iraq, Dubai, Sri Lanka and the Philippines - their sometimes horrifically underpaid agents are contracted drivers, static guards, bodyguards and logistic specialists. Drawing controversy over the financial treatment of its members, it's been estimated that up to 1,000 Latin Americans were employed as guns-for-hire in the Middle East. Although official numbers have not been disclosed, it's safe to say - they're up there.

Elite Private Armies #5: Triple Canopy
Triple Canopy Army
Triple Canopy Army

As one of eight contractors brought in to replace the withdrawn US forces in Iraq, this approximate 1,800 deep private army is primarily made up of Ugandan and Peruvian soldiers - oftentimes on contracts upward of $1.5 BILLION dollars. Triple Canopy is summarized as a "well-trained, professional work force with significant prior experience", their private military has employed another 3,000 soldiers in many places around the world - including contracts initiated in Haiti to guard the US Embassy and to Israel, to provide personal protection services for the US State Department. Triple Canopy have often recruited from the ranks of the previously mentioned Defion Internacional.

Elite Private Armies #4: DynCorp
DynCorp Army
DynCorp Army

The Virginia-based DynCorp is also one of the eight contractors brought in to replace the withdrawn US forces in Iraq - however, their intimidating presence can be found worldwide in the likes of Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America - amassing over $3.4 billion dollars in revenue each and every year. With an enormous staff that has been reported to be in excess of over 10,000 mercenaries, the firm has controversially racked up a bad reputation as being a "trigger happy" institution - further exacerbated by their treatment of rebel groups in Colombia in the early 2000s. Aside from their main specialties, DynCorp have also been sent to disarm fighters in Liberia, southern Sudan and Somalia.

Elite Private Armies #3: Erinys International
Erinys International Army
Erinys International Army

As another one of the contractors to follow the US State Department's contracts in Iraq, this massive institution recently brought over 16,000 of its membered guards to 282 different locations all around the dangerous landscape - becoming a threatening force that protected energy assets and key oil pipelines scattered about. Apart from their looming presence in Iraq, the group holds a steady rule in Africa where they have focused the majority of their traditional operations in. Their impressively effective initiatives have n the Republic of Congo - for security at major iron ore and other gas, oil and energy-based projects.

Elite Private Armies #2: G4S
G4S Army
G4S Army

Boasting a roster of over 625,000 employees - this staggeringly large security firm giant is the second largest private employer in the entire world - coming in just behind the merchandising monster Walmart. Although a fair share of G4S' business has its roots in security (mainly, routine reinforcement to banks, prisons and airports) - they play an integral role to crisis-zones around the world. After absorbing Armorgroup (another organization of 9000 guards providing protection to non-military supply convoys in Iraq) in 2008, G4S has spread its looming presence to over 125 countries - including some of the most terrifying areas of Latin America and Africa.

Elite Private Armies #1: Academi
Academi Army
Academi Army

As the owner and operator of one of THE most advanced training facilities in the world - Academi's 7,000 acre facility is one of the largest and singularly complex private military training grounds on the globe. Formerly named both Blackwater and Xe Services - slightly outdated numbers in 2007 purported they had produced an army comprised of 20,000 troops, 20 aircraft, trained war dogs and an entire fleet of armored vehicles - with most of it being shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan under contract from the US Government. After scaling their Iraqi presence back after some controversial moments, Academi was also recruited to help protect the ravaged streets of New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina disaster and to protect Japan's missile defense systems - among others across the world.- with their fiery presence routinely being named as one of - if not THE - boldest private mercenary group of all time.

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