Best of all, from the point of view of recruiters, Ugandans would accept dangerous assignments for not much money. Army veterans gladly worked for $1,000 a month at a time when the average salary at home was less than $300 a year.

It wasn’t a job for the faint of heart. Bajun Mavalwalla, a former U.S. Army captain, spent a year at Camp Victory in Iraq, which was protected by Ugandans. The guards inspecting vehicles for bombs were “IED sponges,” he says, and their low pay and mistreatment were “despicable.”