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Advocates of the industry claim they are economically efficient and point towards the failure of the UN and the system of world governments to cease violence, genocide and civil war around the world.

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Those who are cautious of the emerging industry see this market as an encroachment into inherent government functions and question the real economic efficiency heralded as a true result of privatization. And there are, of course, many in between, who see benefits and drawbacks to the variety of services out there now on the world market. As Peter W. The state itself is a rather new unit of governance, appearing only in the last four hundred years.

Moreover, it drew from the private violence market to build its public power. And as Lt. When something is both widespread and long lasting, there must be some fundamental reason for it. In the case of mercenaries, the reasons why they have continued to survive and prosper down the centuries can be reduced to just two: efficiency and technology. The modern private military company has evolved from a hybrid of the wild activities of rogue white officers, and their African recruits, often linked with intelligence agencies running around Africa, and their more legitimate counterparts working under contract from Cold War hero countries.

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This coupled with the risk advisory services offered to corporations by companies like Kroll, Inc. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan along with the promised long global war against terror has created a boom in the security and risk advisory market. Many companies are subsidiaries of larger firms. Group 4 Securicor is a merger between Group 4 Falck and the Wackenhut Corporation providing services from armed prison guards to guarding embassies to supplying electronic surveillance. Computer Sciences Corporation acquired DynCorp. Many of these companies, while paid with taxpayer money when working under government contracts, are often registered offshore somewhere, escaping tax on many profits from re-entering the representative, public Treasury.

The threat to port cities where liquefied natural gas comes in on container ships could be severe. Pirating and other attacks on the high seas are a threat in many areas of the world. Companies are developing to meet the security needs of cities and companies subject to terrorist or other attacks on shipments. The laws surrounding hired soldiers and civilian contractors is not clear and not well defined under international agreements. This is a reason why increasingly the focus is regulation at the national level; e. Yet many of the hired soldiers are not American; they could be from the country of conflict, or flown in from Chile , El Salvador , or South Africa.

Exactly what jurisdiction, aside from their employer, they are under is, according to some commentators, uncertain. If in the Cold War, superpowers were in position to offer protection and act as patron states, nowadays, client states might as well hire PMC and avoid any form of patronage. With a market for security, increased militarisation is more likely to happen. Indeed, because PMCs services range from intelligence analysis type to direct tactical support type 1 , they both prescribe and supply services.


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In market dynamic, this particularity would rapidly result in an increased militarisation —the supplier being also the client advisor — Leander, a: The proliferation of security services does not necessarily induce an escalation of violence but at least certainly an increase in the means of producing violence.

This first objection leads to a second one concerning the recipients of PMC services.

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Until now PMCs assure that they will only comply under their home state accreditation. Although companies like Blackwater swear that they will only accept a contract if it is in the interest of the US and in compliance with human rights and freedom principles; the monitoring of recipients remains critical. The point arguing that PMC proliferation is likely to increase militarisation without real control over who is benefitting from such services is a real concern, and probably risks increasing with the emergence of non-western PMCs.

Since civil war and instability reigned in Sierra Leone as a symptomatic crisis of patrimonial postcolonial African state. In the Revolutionary United Front RUF gained significant battles against governmental forces and by January , the rebel troops managed to acquire the three most important mining sites of the country and consolidated their advance on the capital Freetown still held by the weak National Provisional Ruling Council NRPC.

In few months, EO, assisted by NPRC loyal paramilitary groups and the Sierra Leones regular army, repulsed rebel troops from Freetown, and secured the strategic mining assets inflicting heavy military defeat to the RUF who accepted to negotiate in Abidjan in November Although no official version confirms it, most commentators argue that payment arrangement also included diamond-mining concession Francis, The mode of payment explains why mining provinces were freed first as both the PMC and the government had interest in these regions.

This case shows how the imposition of peace and security is geographically limited to what the client and the provider consider as their own interest rather than the common good. The mode of functioning of PMCs has clear consequences in the security environment. It contributes to the phenomenon of militarisation, generates confusion in the balance of power and produces patchy security coverage. Functional and moral objections are tenacious issues with PMCs that in turn, tend to reject them on the basis of pragmatism and efficiency.


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Because the US is by far the main contractor of security services both as client and provider, this section mainly focus on the American case of security outsourcing. The Government uses IDIQ contracts when it cannot predetermine, the precise quantities of services number of units for supplies or dollar values for services that it will require during the contract period. This instance is extremely common in security contracts as the context is highly volatile and may necessitate rapid increase of services or supplies.

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Elsea, Schwartz and Nakamura, 7. Contracts are supposedly awarded after competitive bidding, even though the number of performance-based or single-sourced contracts has been growing. This latest trend is of significant importance as the Circular A only concerns competitive sourcing. Moreover, as signalled by the Government Accountability Office in its report GAO, non-competitive contracts encourage fraud, abuse, and waste.

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Because the DOD and the State Department represent the largest purchasers of contractor services, security outsourcing is very much at the centre of the concern. For example, the WPS was originally conceived as a small-scale bodyguard operation for Department of State officials and foreign diplomats. Additionally, in the case of delegation of US military services, oversight has clearly been deficient. On 90 contracts reviewed by the GAO, 26 were considered as lacking surveillance. Incorrect contractual awarding procedures and poor oversight from public agencies have evolved in parallel to a significant lack of accountability that has been endemic to the private military industry.

Because PMCs operate within grey zones mixing international-national and private-public domain, their inclusion within an adequate regulatory framework is complex and remains a matter of controversy. Often accused of wrong doings, like killing civilians or frequently and extensively using force resulting in casualties or property damages, PMCs and their sense of impunity have raised concern about accountability.

Many examples may be used here, but the particular case of Blackwater in Iraq seems to epitomize this issue. The Nissour square incident Scahill, is a central event where Blackwater contractors allegedly shot dead 17 civilians without having been provoked or threaten. Not only does the event is significant in regard to its tragedy but it has triggered an investigation and questioning from the US government on how PMCs in Iraq are held accountable. In this case, even if Blackwater had been found at fault in the shooting, no one has decided whether the contractors could be prosecuted under any U.

The status of PMC personnel under international laws falls into a grey area. On the one hand they could be legitimate targets if they get involved in hostilities, on the other, they could be prosecuted as criminals if they get captured after having been involved in combats. Additionally, international laws may consider security contractors as mercenaries and automatically denied the combatant status and thus their POW status under the Protocol 1 to the Geneva Convention.

This definition supposes that in the case of Iraq, any PMC personnel that are not national of any coalition armies may be considered as mercenaries. Elsea, Schwartz and Nakamura, Since January Withdrawal Agreement contractors to U.

Secondly, it granted absolute immunity to PMCs working for the US in Iraq, and thus disallowed Iraqi authorities to prosecute contractors for crimes in domestic courts. Finally, Order 17 has remained active even after the dissolution of the CPA and this until 5 years afterward. From this summary, one may questions the actual desire of the US government to see PMCs being accountable in front of whom they encourage to take responsibility for their own country. Some federal laws extend to American nationals at U.

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Elsea, PMC accountability is a delicate matter and although some efforts have been made to fill judicial gaps, regulatory regimes remain ineffective in a number of cases. For example the UCMJ to which Blackwater CEO, Eric Prince, refers to when trying to convince the Oversight Committee that its company acted under strict accountability in Iraq Committee on Oversight, 74 , could easily be challenged, as the trial of any civilian contractor by court-martial would clash with his constitutional rights.

To relate to our original question, these particularities are of crucial importance when pondering the involvement of PMC in a mission, as indeed, these features may undermine the primary objective of the mission. In the case of Iraq, many officials and military officers express concerns that PMC actions may alter and degrade the relationships that the military is trying to build with Iraqis Elsea, Schwartz and Nakamura, Additionally, impunity over such elements, and in such cases, makes it difficult to advocate for the importance of the rule of law and human rights in these countries.

The previous arguments of this dissertation have attempted to demonstrate how PMCs are subject to objections from a moral and functional point of view and also question their jurisdictional status. This present section proposes to investigate the effects PMCs existence and functions produce on the political and military environment, and inductively argues that the privatisation of military services and especially intelligence and analysis services type 2 and 3 have reshaped the understanding of threat and security, and that the realm of PMCs has redistributed political power within the state apparatus but also outside it.

As seen earlier, PMCs offer a different range of services from direct hostility involvement type 1 to training, intelligence gathering type 2 or logistic support type 3. The first part of the 2 nd chapter was mostly focused on type 1 contractors, that is to say the private soldier carrying a gun and likely to use lethal force. If the control and oversight of such type of contract present many challenges one may think that in theory, and within an adequate legal framework, the private gunman could be relatively well monitored, and that actually the sub-delegation of his task would remain almost unaffected by privatisation.

After all, the contractor would abide to the same laws, under a similar monitoring body than the regular soldier. In brief, he would perform the same functions under the same conditions, but will remain excluded from the public service payroll at least directly, as he will still be paid by the state indirectly —and three time more. From this theoretical point of view the trigger will be private but the order would remain public.

What Anna Leander b is much more concern about is the epistemic issue linked to PMCs; that is to say their capacity to influence and shape security. The author advances the point that type 2 and 3 contracts give too much political power to PMCs. Indeed, private security firms are increasingly providing information that forms the basis of decisions on whether or not something is a security concern Leander, b: In a way, PMCs are invited into politics, the arena of decision-making, through their technical capacities of gathering and analysis of intelligence.

With their production of security understandings, PMCs shape actions on the battlefield. Airscan flew a surveillance plane in Colombia and directed the Colombian army in a bombing operation over what was being interpreted by the PMC as an enemy base. In fact the bombs were dropped on a village killing 18 civilians Leander, b: With their legitimated power to produce security knowledge PMC shape political and military decision-making.

This particularity may be then used to influence politics in order to accommodate their profit seeking perspective. Additionally, contractors lobby strategy and links with politicians increase this tendency. The case of Halliburton is a perfect example. It then did not appear as a surprise that KBR, despite having written the oil-field plan, was awarded the Iraqi oil filled contract after the invasion without even raising particular concern, as indeed this whole operation could have been interpreted as a conflict of interest Baum, Halliburton KBR is not a typical PMC and is rather generally defined as a reconstruction company although a large part of its contracts with the US government involved logistic services to the Armed Forces.

Back in , this PMC was training Equatorial Guinea President personal guard and the military coastal guard regiment. Yet, MPRI managed to convince the US government to shift its understanding of its national interests in this country and finally secured its license Mc Intyre and Weiss, 77; Leander, b: These examples show that the access of professional of violence to the political arena has increased with the emergence of PMCs.

Generally, military have a very restricted and formalized access to political forum. Indeed, the restriction of the role of the specialists of violence in the affair of the state is an important pillar of the democratic republican system. However, because of their corporate nature, PMCs representative, contrary to regular military personnel, are able to use a variety of unconventional channels to influence politics advertising, campaigning, lobby.

Lobbying for example would be swiftly decried if a military general try to influence a political decision, yet when the PMC international association ISOA embarked on a campaign calling for an intervention in Darfur, no restriction applies Leander, Another argument for the outsourcing of military services can be found in the practical political aspect it offers to the administration in charge.


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