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Tank is prepared for combat patrol in Ramadi, Iraq.

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These books about private military and security services are organized by author last name.


Private Military and Security Companies: Ethics, Policies and Civil-Military Relations

Author: Andrew Alexandra, et. al. (eds.)
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This edited volume provides an interdisciplinary overview of private military and security companies (PMSCs): what they are, why they have emerged in their current form, how they operate, their current and likely future military, political, social and economic impact, and the moral and legal constraints that do and should apply to their operation. The book focuses firstly upon normative issues raised by the development of PMSCs, and then upon state regulation and policy towards PMSCs, examining finally the impact of PMSCs on civil-military relations. It takes an innovative approach, bringing theory and empirical research into mutually illuminating contact. Includes contributions from experts in IR, political theory, international and corporate law, and economics, and also breaks important new ground by including philosophical discussions of PMSCs.

Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq

Author: Cpt. James Ashcroft
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In the tradition of Andy McNab's "Bravo Two Zero" comes an explosive insider's account of life as a private soldier in Iraq. In September 2003, James "Ash" Ashcroft, a former British Infantry captain who served in West Belfast and Bosnia, landed in Iraq as a gun for hire. It was the beginning of an 18-month journey into blood and chaos. Ashcroft provides a firsthand view of the secret world of private security where ex-soldiers employed to protect United States and British interests can make up to $1,000 a day. He also reveals a new kind of warfare where the rules are still being written; although hostilities are officially over, the fighting goes on. 

Policing Major Events: Perspectives from Around the World

Author: James F Albrecht, et al (Editors)
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Increasingly, major events around the world are requiring police intervention, sometimes resulting in violence and destruction.  This book provides a comprehensive overview of police interventions through case studies from various authors concerning events Europe, the US, Africa, and Asia.  A Private Security Model of Police Cooperation, by Rick Sarre, examines how police and private security forces can work in tandem to handle major events in Australia.

Mercenaries: A Guide to Private Armies and Private Military Companies

Author: Alan Axelrod
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In this new book, Alan Axelrod writes about private security and private military involvement in the world today.  He describes the various services these companies provide and talks about their contracts with the U.S. military and other countries and leaders.  This book illustrates the wide array of activity by these companies around the globe by providing historical background and present day context of private security and private military companies.

The Market for Force: the Consequences of Privatizing Security

Author: Deborah Avant
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The legitimate use of force is generally presumed to be the realm of the state. However, the flourishing role of the private sector in security over the last twenty years has brought this into question. In this book Deborah Avant examines the privatization of security and its impact on the control of force. She describes the growth of private security companies, explains how the industry works, and describes its range of customers—including states, non-government organisations and commercial transnational corporations. She charts the inevitable trade-offs that the market for force imposes on the states, firms and people wishing to control it, suggests a new way to think about the control of force, and offers a model of institutional analysis that draws on both economic and sociological reasoning. 


The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed and Grievance

Author: Karen Ballentine, Jake Sherman
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Globalization, suggest the authors of this collection, is creating new opportunities—some legal, some illicit—for armed factions to pursue their agendas in civil war. Within this context, they analyze the key dynamics of war economies and the challenges posed for conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Thematic chapters consider key issues in the political economy of internal wars, as well as how differing types of resource dependency influence the scope, character, and duration of conflicts. Case studies of Burma, Colombia, Kosovo, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka illustrate a range of ways in which belligerents make use of global markets and the transnational flow of resources. An underlying theme is the opportunities available to the international community to alter the economic incentive structure that inadvertently supports armed conflict.

Just Warriors, Inc.: The Ethics of Privatized Force

Author: Deane-Peter Baker
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The presence of contractors on today's battlefields is without question one of the most significant developments in modern warfare. While many contractors perform relatively benign tasks on behalf of the military, controversy rages around those contractors who offer services that involve the use of armed force. In Just Warriors, Inc., philosopher and ethicist Deane-Peter Baker argues that, contrary to popular assumptions, a compelling moral and philosophical case can be made in favour of the ongoing utilization of the services that these 'private warriors' offer. 


Peace, Profit or Plunder?: The Privatisation of Security in War-torn African Societies

Author: Jakkie Cillers, Peggy Mason
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Much has been said on the narrow field of mercenaries, but less has been researched on the context in which this phenomenon occurs. It is to address the broader spectrum of this complex problem that the Institute for Security Studies and the Canadian Council for International Peace and Security undertook a collaborative project over more than eighteen months that has now culminated in the publication of this book. It aims to contribute to an understanding of the trend towards the privatisation of security—and even of war—in Africa within its wider context.

Identifying the Enemy: Civilian Participation in Armed Conflict

Author: Emily Crawford
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As modern warfare has changed in the past 100 years, so too has the involvement of civilians in armed conflicts around the globe. In this book, Emily Crawford examines the history of civilian involvement in war and provides a comprehensive overview of recent developments in humanitarian law regarding the treatment of civilians in combat, including the use of private military and security companies by countries such as the US.  Given the murky status of PMSCs as armed civilians, and relative lack of regulation within the industry, this field questions the foundation of the civilian/military dichotomy.

From Mercenaries to Market: The Rise and Regulation of Private Military Companies

Author: Simon Chesterman, Chia Lehnhardt
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Frequently characterized as either mercenaries in modern guise or the market's response to a security vacuum, private military companies are commercial firms offering military services ranging from combat and military training and advice to logistical support. As they assume more responsibilities in conflict and post-conflict settings, their growing significance raises fundamental questions about their nature, their role in different regions and contexts, and their regulation. This volume examines these issues with a focus on governance, in particular the interaction between regulation and market forces. It analyzes the current legal framework and the needs and possibilities for regulation in the years ahead. 

Maritime Private Security: Market Responses to Piracy, Terrorism, and Waterborne Security Risks in the 21st Century

Author: Patrick Cullen & Claude Berube
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Maritime Private Security is an edited volume which examines the evolution, function, problems and prospects of private security companies in the maritime sector. The book covers four aspects of maritime security. 1) The Historical and Contemporary Market in Maritime Private Security Services, 2) The Emergence of Private Anti-Piracy Escorts in the Commercial Sector, 3) The Privatization of Coast Guard Services, and 4) Private Security Responses to Maritime Terrorism.

Privatizing War: Private Military and Security Companies under Public International Law

Author: Lindsey Cameron & Vincent Chetail
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A growing number of states use private military and security companies (PMSCs) for a variety of tasks, which were traditionally fulfilled by soldiers. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the law that applies to PMSCs active in situations of armed conflict, focusing on international humanitarian law. It examines the limits in international law on how states may use private actors, taking the debate beyond the question of whether PMSCs are mercenaries.

Private Security Contractors and New Wars: Risk, Law and Ethics

Author: Kateri Carmola
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This book analyzes the growing industry of these private military and security companies (PMSCs) used in warzones and other high risk areas. Carmola argues that PMSCs are a unique type of organization, combining attributes from the worlds of military, business, and humanitarian organizations. This makes them particularly resistant to oversight. As a result, their legal status is uncertain, and ethical arguments can portray them as justifiable or objectionable.

Private Security, Public Order: The Outsourcing of Public Services and its Limits

Author: Simon Chesterman et. al., (eds.)
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Private actors are increasingly taking on roles traditionally arrogated to the state. Both in the industrialized North and the developing South, functions essential to external and internal security and to the satisfaction of basic human needs are routinely contracted out to non-state agents. In the area of privatization of security functions, attention by academics and policy makers tends to focus on the activities of private military and security companies, especially in the context of armed conflicts, and their impact on human rights and post-conflict stability and reconstruction. The first edited volume emerging from New York University School of Law's Institute for International Justice project on private military and security companies, this book broadened this debate to situate the private military phenomenon in the context of moves towards the regulation of activities through market and non-market mechanisms.

Beyond Market Forces: Regulating the Global Security Industry

Author: James Cockayne et al.
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This book, published by IPI, articulates clear guidelines for the potential regulation of the global security industry in the near future and represents an accessible history of transnational regulatory frameworks going back to the 19th Century. IPI undertook a large, highly-consultative research project in 2008-2009 to examine models of state and market-based regulation in thirty global industries in order to assess their relevance for the global security industry. The results of this study are contained in the book.


Author: James Jay Carafano
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With businesses now taking upon themselves many tasks previously designated to the armed forces, this important work examines the record of contractors essential to the conduct of recent conflicts around the world.


The Markets for Force Privatization of Security Across World Regions

Author: Molly Dunigan and Ulrich Petersohn, editors
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The shift towards privatized security had manifested itself differently around the globe.  This book examines and compares the markets for private military and security companies in twelve states: Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, the UK, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan, China, Canada, and the US.  Each case study examples the forces that shaped the market for security over time according to local politics and geostrategic context.  Analysis compares and contrasts the development of these markets and companies, including lesser-studied state-owned and managed companies of China, military operations in extractive sectors of Ecuador and Peru, and the alignment of private companies and warlords in Afghanistan.

Global Governance and the New Wars: the Merging of Security and Development

Author: Mark Duffield
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War is now an important part of development discourse. Aid agencies have become involved in humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution and the social reconstruction of war-torn societies. This deeply thoughtful book explores the growing merger of development and security. Its author unravels the nature of the new wars—in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia—and the response of the international community, in particular the new systems of global governance that are emerging as a result. 

Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs

Author: Laura Dickinson
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Over the past decade, states and international organizations have shifted a surprising range of foreign policy functions to private contractors. But who is accountable when the employees of foreign private firms do violence or create harm? This timely book describes the services that are now delivered by private contractors and the threat this trend poses to core public values of human rights, democratic accountability, and transparency. The author offers a series of concrete reforms that are necessary to expand traditional legal accountability, construct better mechanisms of public participation, and alter the organizational structure and institutional culture of contractor firms. 

Victory for Hire: Private Security Companies’ Impact on Military Effectiveness

Author: Molly Dunigan
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At peak utilization, private security contractors (PSCs) constituted a larger occupying force in Iraq and Afghanistan than did U.S. troops. Yet, no book has so far assessed the impact of private security companies on military effectiveness. Filling that gap, Molly Dunigan reveals how the increasing tendency to outsource missions to PSCs has significant ramifications for both tactical and long-term strategic military effectiveness—and for the likelihood that the democracies that deploy PSCs will be victorious in warfare, both over the short- and long-term. 

The Privatization Decision: Public Ends, Private Means

Author: John Donahue
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What government activities should be contracted out to private companies? This thoughtful book by a Harvard policy analyst shuns global answers and explores how to examine individual cases.


Aviation and Maritime Security Intelligence

Author: Hassan M. Eltaher
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This book is of timely interest for any organization involved in aviation and maritime security almost anywhere in the world. The methods it describes are of equal interest to transportation security in general, while its proposed approach to solving a number of international conflicts at the source of, or influencing, acts of terrorism against civil aviation, or leading to piracy on the high seas will provide a new challenge.

America's Covert Warriors: Inside the World of Private Military Contractors

Author: Shawn Engbrecht
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Initially intended for combat support, private military contractors have become full-fledged warriors, many with little experience, scant oversight, and no accountability to the rules of engagement that constrain the U.S. military and coalition forces. Shawn Engbrecht has been training and recruiting private military contractors for more than a decade. Acknowledging that some private military contractors are out of control, he argues that the oft-made suggestion to fire them all is not the solution. Instead, Engbrecht contends that with proper training and development of recruits, along with enforceable regulation and oversight, private security companies can be successfully integrated into a total force package with a professional operational staff.

Gender and Private Security in Global Politics

Author: Maya Eichler, editor
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The first of it's kind, Gender and Private Security in Global Politics examines the rise of private military and security companies from the perspective of gender and feminist security studies.  The book offers insights into the ethics of privatized security as a particular concern to feminists and the extent to which this privatization undermines women's and minority groups' inclusion in the military.  With contributions from key scholars in international relations, this book argues that privatization is a deeply gendered process and considers reforms and regulations of private forces.

Conflict Management and “Whole of Government”: Useful Tools for U.S. National Security Strategy?

Author: Volker C. Franke and Robert H. Dorff
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Franke and Dorff discuss the difficulty in creating a “whole of government” approach to U.S. national security issues, and the strategic rationale for when and how such an approach should be used. In terms of private security and contractors, Chapter 14 by Doug Brooks and Mackenzie Duelge is the most relevant, it examines the “Ethical Lessons on Maximizing Private Contractor Value in Afghanistan and Iraq”.

Privatizing War: A Moral Theory

Author: William Feldman
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This book looks at the privatization of war in terms of moral theories. The author describes two types of wars, one in which private actors can authorize war and the other in which they can participate in war. Feldman looks at this in a historical perspective and applies past lessons to current and future military endeavors.

War by Contract: Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Private Contractors

Author: Francesco Francioni, et. al.
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The growth in scope and importance of the private military and security industry in the past decade has challenged the role of the state as the main provider of defense and security functions. At the same time it has put under stress the state's authority to properly oversee the conduct of private contractors and has raised the question of whether existing rules of domestic law and international law are adequate to ensure their accountability in the event of abuse. This book addresses this question through the lens of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It presents a systematic analysis of the way in which these two bodies of international law, applicable in times of peace and in the event of armed conflict, may be interpreted and implemented in a way so as to fill possible accountability gaps. 

Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq

Author: Steve Fainaru
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Washington Post reporter Steve Fainaru traveled with a group of private security contractors to find out what motivates them to put their lives in danger every day. Part MadMax, part Fight Club, it is a world filled with “private security contractors”—the U.S. government’s sanitized name for tens of thousands of modern mercenaries, or mercs, who roam Iraq with impunity, doing jobs that the overstretched and understaffed military can’t or won’t do. They are part of America’s “other” army—some patriotic, some desperate, some just out for cash or adventure. And some who disappear into the void that is Iraq and are never seen again.


The Future of Just War: New Critical Essays

Author: Caron E. Gentry and Amy E. Eckert
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The Future of Just War contains essays on Just War principles.  The book focuses on the application of these principles in the context of world issues today and in light of future aspects of war.  Gentry and Eckert argue that the ideas of Just War need to be updated to include new tools that are becoming common in combat such as Private Military companies and nuclear weapons.

Ambiguous Order: Military Forces in African States

Author: Herbert Howe
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This work examines three potential options for increasing state security in contemporary Africa: regional military groupings, private security companies, and a continent-wide, professional peacekeeping force. Howe explores these alternatives within the larger context of why African militaries have proven incapable of handling new types of insurgency; how the failed intervention in Somalia limited Western efforts to act in subsequent crises, such as the genocide in Rwanda; and how African attempts to redefine "sovereignty" provide philosophical justification for armed intervention in the internal affairs of other states. Based on extensive travel in African war zones, his findings provide an important contribution to the growing field of African security.

The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance

Author: Rodney Bruce Hall, Thomas Biersteker
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The emergence of private authority has become increasingly a feature of the post-Cold War world. In this book, leading scholars explore the sources, practices and implications of this erosion of the power of the state. They analyze and compare actors as diverse as financial institutions, multinational corporations, religious terrorists and organized criminals, and assess the potential for reversal of the situation. Chapter 9 addresses the privatization of security in Africa. 

The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security

Author: Ann Hagedorn
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Ann Hagedorn profiles the members of Congress who recognize the dangers of dependence on PMSCs, but have been unable to limit them or even determine their true scope. She takes us to the exclusive club in London where the PMSCs were created, and she reveals the key figure in the evolution of the industry. She introduces us to a US Army general who studies new developments, such as PMSCs’ drone operations, and worries about PMSCs potentially fighting American troops. The Invisible Soldiers will inspire a national dialogue about a little-known international industry on which our security rests.



Author: David Isenberg
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This work offers an examination of the role that private security and military contractors have played in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Isenberg dissects their responsibilities, the friction that exists between contractors and military commanders, problems of protocol and accountability, as well as the problems of regulation and control that PMC companies create for domestic politics. Isenberg organizes his work thematically, addressing all facets of PMCs in the current conflict from identifying who the most influential companies are and how they got to that point, to the issues that the government, military, and contractors themselves face when they take the field. He also analyzes the problem of command, control, and accountability. 


At the End of Military Intervention: Historical, Theoretical and Applied Approaches to Transition, Handover and Withdrawal

Author: Robert Johnson and Timothy Clack (Editors)
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All modern military interventions come to end eventually and most are initiated with prearranged strategies for withdrawal.  However, little context is often provided for the operations and tactics that go into these exit strategies.  This book offers and introduction to the issues surrounding transition, handover and withdrawal of military forces with context in historical and theoretical understandings.  A compilation of essays by various authors with first hand experience, the book blends historical with contemporary examples of military transitions with a particular focus on Afghanistan.  A contribution by James Dunsby titled The Changing Role of Contractors in Security Transition in Southern Afghanistan provides an in depth analysis of the roles played private military and contractor forces in the Coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Private Military and Security Companies: Chances, Problems, Pitfalls and Prospects

Author: Thomas Jager, Gerhard Kummel
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Private military and security companies have become a distinct and increasingly relevant phenomenon in defense and security politics. They can be used in different settings and situations and constitute adequate tools for their various clients. Yet, there is an intense debate about them since they may and do generate specific problems, including severe violations of democratic norms and human rights codices. The present collection of contributions to this topic by distinct experts in the field is unique as it covers most if not all aspects involved in the use of private military and security companies.


Private Contractors and the Reconstruction of Iraq: Transforming Military Logistics

Author: Christopher Kinsey
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Private Contractors and the Reconstruction of Iraq examines the controversial role of military contractors in the reconstruction of Iraq. This book explains how and why the US and UK governments became so dependent upon military contractors during the war in Iraq. It also examines the ramifications this new dependency will have on future military operations, as the conflict in Iraq has shown that private contractors are now indispensable to the attainment of both the military and political objectives of war. Finally, the book discusses what advantages and disadvantages these companies have brought to the reconstruction of Iraq, and what lessons need to be learned from this experience.

States, Citizens and the Privatization of Security

Author: Elke Krahmann
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Recent years have seen a growing role for private military contractors in national and international security. To understand the reasons for this, Elke Krahmann examines changing models of the state, the citizen and the soldier in the UK, the U.S. and Germany. She focuses on both the national differences with regard to the outsourcing of military services to private companies and their specific consequences for the democratic control over the legitimate use of armed force. Tracing developments and debates from the late eighteenth century to the present, she explains the transition from the centralized warfare state of the Cold War era to the privatized and fragmented security governance, and the different national attitudes to the privatization of force.

Corporate Soldiers and International Security: The Rise of Private Military Companies

Author: Christopher Kinsey
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This book traces the history of private military companies, with a special focus on UK private forces. Kinsey examines the mercenary companies that filled the ranks of many European armies right up to the 1850s, the organizations that operated in Africa in the 1960s and early 1970s, the rise of legally established private military companies in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and today’s private and important actors in international security and post-conflict reconstruction. He shows how and why the change from the mercenary organizations of the 1960s and 1970s came about, as the increasing newness of private military companies came to be recognized. He then examines how PMCs have been able to impact upon international security. 




Mercenaries and their Masters: Warfare in Renaissance Italy

Author: Michael Mallett
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Michael Mallett's classic study of Renaissance warfare in Italy is as relevant today as it was when it was first published a generation ago. His account of the age of the condottieri - the mercenary captains of fortune - and of the soldiers who fought under them is set in the wider context of the Italian society of the time and of the warring city-states who employed them. A fascinating picture emerges of the mercenaries themselves, of their commanders and their campaigns, but also of the way in which war was organized and practiced in the Renaissance world.

Building Better Armies: An Insider's Account of Liberia

Author: McFate, Sean
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Recent events in Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere demonstrate that building professional indigenous forces is imperative to regional stability, yet few success stories exist. Liberia is a qualified “success,” and this study explores how it was achieved by the program’s chief architect. Following President Charles Taylor’s exile in 2003, the U.S. contracted DynCorp International to demobilize and rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia and Ministry of Defense. This monograph explores the theory and practice behind the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the legacy military and security sector reform (SSR) that built the new one. It also considers some of the benefits and difficulties of contracting out the making of militaries. The monograph concludes with 28 concrete recommendations for practitioners and 6 recommendations for the U.S. Army on how to expand this capability.

Armies without States: the Privatization of Security

Author: Robert Mandel
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What does the increasing use of private security forces mean for governments? This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the varieties, causes, and consequences of this growing phenomenon. Ranging from the international to the subnational level and from the use of mercenaries by private parties to the government outsourcing of military operations, Mandel reveals emerging trends and discovers parallels among security privatization in all parts of the world. Brief case studies illustrate the broader themes discussed. The book concludes with an assessment of the complexities surrounding responses to security privatization—and an exploration of when, and whether, it should be promoted rather than prevented.

The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order

Author: Sean McFate
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Reliance on private military and security companies in international conflicts has been increasing in recent decades.  What has inspired this change and how does the opaque world of military contractors operate?  Sean McFate, a former employee of DynCorp, illuminates this shadowy industry, giving readers a glimpse inside PMSC operations on the ground.  McFate also draws parallels between current contractor-government relationships and those in the European Middle Ages, a concept he calls "neomedievalism."

The Political Economy of Defense Contracting

Author: Kenneth Mayer
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Many people suspect that politics drives American defence spending. They feel that Congressional decisions about which weapons systems should be supported and Pentagon decisions about which companies should build them are made on political considerations of local economic impact, and that Congress looks to the defence budget as a huge pork barrel project. In this book Kenneth R. Mayer draws on previously unavailable data on recent defence subcontract distributions down to individual congressional districts to test the link between politics and defence contracting. He concludes that the accepted beliefs are oversimplified and mostly wrong.

Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives and Corporate Greed in Iraq

Author: T. Christian Miller
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This book is a critical indictment of the Bush administration's Iraq war spending, and reveals the significant differences between the war's estimated and actual costs.  It argues that reconstruction attempts have failed at the expense of thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

Armed Non-State Actors in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Author: Konstantinos Mastorodimos
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Armed non-state actors are now significant players on the world stage, however their accountability is neglected when it comes to international law and international human rights law. When functioning as agents of a state, their distinct features put them in three different categories: de facto entities, armed non-state actors in control of territory, and common article 3 armed non-state actors. 

Mercenaries: An African Security Dilemma

Author: Abdel-Fatau Musah, J. Kayode Fayemi
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This book critiques mercenary involvement in post-Cold War African conflicts. The contributors investigate the links between the rise in internal conflicts and the proliferation of mercenary activities in the 1990s; the distinction in the methods adopted by Cold War mercenaries and their contemporary counterparts; the convoluted network between private armies; business interests and sustained poverty in Africa’s poorest countries; and the connection between mercenary activities and arms proliferation. Countries discussed include Sierra Leone, Zaire, Angola, Uganda and Congo.

The Privatized Art of War: Private Military and Security Companies and State Responsibility for Their Unlawful Conduct in Conflict Areas

Author: Evgeni Moyakine
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As the use of private military and security companies has increased in recent years, their services have been noted in times of war and peace, often hired by states.  This book explores the role of state responsibility in cases where PMSCs have violated international law or infringed upon human rights.  While there are regulatory framework for national and international cases, as well as self-regulatory mechanisms for the industry, gaps remain.  Moyakine investigates the application of state responsibility to the employment of PMSCs and their personnel should breaches of international law occur.

Soldiers of Misfortune?

Author: Thomas R. Mockaitis
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In examining the role of security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, the author draws broad lessons from which he provides concrete recommendations to improve the conduct of further missions. Rather than do away with contractors altogether, the author recommends limiting their roles, providing better oversight of their activities, and improving legal accountability for their wrong doing. This monograph will be of interest to soldiers and policymakers engaged in the difficult task of planning and conducting contingency operations.

Building Better Armies: An Insider's Account of Liberia

Author: Sean McFate
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Events in Mali, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan highlight the need for professional domestic security forces to provide regional stability. This study, written by Sean McFate and offered for free download through the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College, examines the "success" in rebuilding Liberia's shattered military.  After the exile of President Charles Taylor in 2003, the DynCorp International, contracted by the US, demobilized and rebuilt the Liberian military.  This study explores the theory and practice behind disarmament and reintegration, and the costs and benefits of contracting under these circumstances.  In conclusion, the study provides recommendations for practitioners and the US Army.

A History of Government Contracting

Author: James Nagle
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This book traces U.S. procurement systems dating back to the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, including both military and civilian contracting.



Author: Juan Carlos Ortiz
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This is the first book to provide a comprehensive yet accessible survey of the private military groups involved in conflicts worldwide. Organized around four themes, it covers the history of private military forces since 1600, the main contemporary actors and their defining characteristics, the environments in which private armed forces operate, and provides an analysis of the logic behind privatizing security.


Private Anti-Piracy Navies: How Warships for Hire are Changing Maritime Security

Author: John J. Pitney Jr and John-Clark Levin
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The 21st Century has seen a dramatic rise in privatized military functions in logistics and security, including maritime security.  The outbreak of piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa, particularly stemming from the failed state of Somalia, has contributed significantly to the expansion private security companies specializing in protecting merchant shipping.  Pitney and Levin explore this new world of private maritime security, delving into regulation, or lack thereof, the economic factors that propel pirates, and the defensive tactics, logistics, and rules of engagement.  Can security companies find a balance between concerns over protection of rights and the very real need for protection against modern day piracy?

Mercenaries: the History of a Norm in International Relations

Author: Sarah Percy
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The main aim of this book is to argue that the use of private force by states has been restricted by a norm against mercenary use. The book traces the evolution of this norm, from mercenaries in medieval Europe through to private security companies in modern day Iraq, telling a story about how the mercenaries of yesterday have evolved into those of today in the process.

The Morality of War: The Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies

Author: James Pattison
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The increased use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) is often said to be one of the most significant changes to the military in recent times.  The Morality of Private War: The Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies  provides a detailed assessment of the moral arguments for and against the use of PMSCs. In doing so, it considers objections to private force at the employee, employer, and international levels. For instance, does the potential for private contractors to possess mercenary motives affect whether they can use military force? Does a state abdicate an essential responsibility when it employs PMSCs? Is the use of PMSCs morally preferable to the alternatives, such as an all-volunteer force and a conscripted army? What are the effects of treating military services as a commodity for the governing rules of the international system? Overall,  The Morality of Private War argues that private military force leads to not only contingent moral problems stemming from the lack of effective regulation, but also several deeper, more fundamental problems that mean that public force should be preferred. Nevertheless, it also argues that, despite these problems, PMSCs can sometimes (although rarely) be morally permissibly used. Ultimately,  The Morality of Private War  argues that the challenges posed by the

Privatizing Peace: A Corporate Adjunct to United Nations Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Operations

Author: Malcolm Hugh Patterson
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The history of United Nations peacekeeping is largely one of failure. This book puts a case for augmenting ad hoc peacekeepers with competent contract labor; and within the constraints of a new legal regime, supporting future operations with well-trained contractors who might subdue by force those who inflict gross human rights abuses on others.

Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror

Author: Prince, Erik
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In Civilian Warriors, Erik Prince explains his original goal of building an elite center for military and law enforcement training. He recounts how the company shifted gears after 9/11. Above all, he shares new information about some of the biggest controversies of the War on Terror, including the story of the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, the details of Blackwater’s so-called impunity in Iraq, and the events leading up to the televised deaths of Blackwater contractors in Fallujah.

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror

Author: Robert Young Pelton
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Robert Young Pelton first became aware of the phenomenon of hired guns in the War on Terror when he met a covert team of contractors on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in the fall of 2003. Pelton soon embarked on a globe-spanning odyssey to penetrate and understand this shadowy world, ultimately delivering stunning insights into the way private soldiers are used. Licensed to Kill spans four continents and three years, taking us inside the CIA’s dirty wars; the brutal contractor murders in Fallujah and the Alamo-like sieges in Najaf and Al Kut; the Deep South contractor training camps where ex–Special Operations soldiers and even small town cops learn the ropes; the contractor conventions where macho attendees swap bullet-punctuated tales and discuss upcoming gigs; and the grim Central African prison where contractors turned failed mercenaries pay a steep price. 


Betraying Our Troops: the Destructive Results of Privatizing War

Author: Dina Rason, Robert Bauman
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In this shocking exposé, two government fraud experts reveal how private contractors have put the lives of countless American soldiers on the line while damaging our strategic interests and our image abroad. Drawing on exclusive sources within government and the military, the authors show how money and power have conspired to undermine our fighting forces and threaten the security of our country.

Non-State Challenges in a Re-Ordered World: The Jackals of Westphalia

Author: Stefano Ruzza, Anja P Jakobi, Charles Geisler
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This work examines the influence of non-state agendas and "their effect on the imagined state community."  The authors contribute to the increasing scholarship on crime, violence and the rule of law by examining a range of security-related phenomena as both transformative and global, potentially usurping the role of the sate in determining legitimacy. In discussing civil wars, commercial providers of security services and multinational criminal organizations, the book uses a variety of cases studies and thematic areas to analyze how armed actors are currently encroaching on the "state's monopoly of violence."

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Author: Jeremy Scahill
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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army is the unauthorized story of the epic rise of one of the most powerful and secretive forces to emerge from the U.S. military-industrial complex, hailed by the Bush administration as a revolution in military affairs, but considered by others as a dire threat to American democracy. 

One Nation Under Contract

Author: Allison Stanger
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International relations scholar Allison Stanger shows how contractors became an integral part of American foreign policy, often in scandalous ways—but also maintains that contractors aren’t the problem; the absence of good government is.  Outsourcing done right is, in fact, indispensable to America’s interests in the information age.

An Unorthodox Soldier: Peace and War in the Sandline Affair

Author: Tim Spicer
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In this fast-moving account of his life, Tim Spicer, head of Sandline International, looks at the creation of private military companies—the modern, legitimate version of the old mercenaries—and concludes with his troubling forecast for the dangerous world that lies ahead in the new millennium, making this an essential guide to life as it is lived in some of the world's trouble spots, as well as a glimpse of the intrigue that lies behind the British political scene.

A Bloody Business: America's War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq

Author: Gerry Schumacher
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This book takes you behind the scenes and into the lives of American civilians who train Iraqi and American soldiers, drive the big rigs on Iraq's treacherous roads, teach at the Iraqi police academy, and provide security for convoys and diplomats in this hellish war zone. Who are these civilian contractors? Why do they do it? How did they get into this business of war zone contracting?

Private Armies and Military Intervention

Author: David Shearer
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This paper – the first detailed analysis of the private military sector – argues that dismissing it as an unpleasant aberration is misleading and unhelpful. Military companies can claim success in achieving immediate strategic objectives. The author cites two examples at length – EO’s operations in Angola in 1993–94, and in Sierra Leone in 1995–96 – and suggests that military force can stabilize a crisis. Engagement with military companies may create possibilities for them to complement international and regional peacekeeping efforts. Traditional UN peacekeeping is flawed in terms of its speed of mobilization and lines of authority, and is hampered by interference from contributing countries. The private sector may avoid many of these difficulties.

War for Profit: Army Contracting vs. Supporting the Troops

Author: Charles M. Smith
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The Army official who managed the Pentagon s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

Author: Peter W. SInger
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In Corporate Warriors, Singer provides the first account of the military services industry and its broader implications. Corporate Warriors includes a description of how the business works, as well as portraits of each of the basic types of companies: military providers that offer troops for tactical operations; military consultants that supply expert advice and training; and military support companies that sell logistics, intelligence, and engineering. 

Private Warriors

Author: Ken Silverstein
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In offering explanations for the U.S.'s enormous post-Cold War military budget—nearly $280 billion for the year 2000—most defense critics point to the influence of weapon-makers pork-barrel politics. Those are certainly factors. But in this eye-opening book, Ken Silverstein looks at another, all but unexamined force: private warriors, the generals, gunrunners and national security staffers who were cast adrift by the end of the Cold War and are now continuing business in the private sector. Today's private warriors have one thing in common: a financial interest in war, and the connections to push for a continuation of Cold War military policy.

Private Military and Security Contractors: Controlling the Corporate Warrior

Author: Gary Schaub, Jr. et al (Editors)
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This book addresses controlling the use of privatized force by states in international politics, as well as the interaction between private forces and military personnel including potential tensions between them. The willingness of key states, like South Africa, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel, to enforce the discipline of their contractual relationship with PMSCs is evaluated, as is the ability of the industry to regulate itself. The volume presents a theoretically-informed synthesis of micro- and macro-levels of analysis, offering new insights into the challenges of controlling the agents of organized violence used by states for scholars and practitioners alike.

State Control over Private Military and Security Companies in Armed Conflict

Author: Hannah Tonkin
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The past two decades have witnessed the rapid proliferation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in armed conflicts around the world, with PMSCs participating in, for example, offensive combat, prisoner interrogation and the provision of advice and training. The extensive outsourcing of military and security activities has challenged conventional conceptions of the state as the primary holder of coercive power and raised concerns about the reduction in state control over the use of violence. Hannah Tonkin critically analyses the international obligations on three key states – the hiring state, the home state and the host state of a PMSC – and identifies the circumstances in which PMSC misconduct may give rise to state responsibility.


War Dog: Fighting Other People’s Wars - the Modern Mercenary in Combat

Author: Al J. Venter
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Mercenaries have been with us since the dawn of civilization, yet in the modern world they are little understood. While many of today’s freelance fighters provide support for larger military establishments, others wage war where the great powers refuse to tread. In War Dog, Al Venter examines the latter world of mercenary fighters effecting decisions by themselves. In the process he unveils a remarkable array of close-quarters combat action.

Outsourcing Sovereignty: Why Privatization of Government Functions Threatens Democracy and What We Can Do about It

Author: Paul R. Verkuil
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This 2007 book describes the largely overlooked process of using private government contractors to perform essential or inherent functions in the military and civilian sectors of government. It shows how such practices undermine the capacity effectiveness and morale of government officials and it establishes constitutional and statutory arguments against the practice. It recognizes and accepts the proper role for outsourcing or privatization while safeguarding against its improper use. The argument ultimately turns on the necessity for our democratic system to require the executive branch to perform crucial tasks in-house unless Congress has permitted delegations to private contractors.

Violent Entrepreneurs: the Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism

Author: Vladim Volkov
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Entering the shady world of what he calls "violent entrepreneurship," Vadim Volkov explores the economic uses of violence and coercion in Russia in the 1990s. Violence has played, he shows, a crucial role in creating the institutions of a new market economy. The core of his work is competition among so-called violence-managing agencies—criminal groups, private security services, private protection companies, and informal protective agencies associated with the state—which multiplied with the liberal reforms of the early 1990s. This competition provides an unusual window on the dynamics of state formation. 


13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi

Author: Mitchell Zuckoff, Annex Security Team
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This true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound, is told from the experiences of six American security workers who fought to protect those inside the Compound.