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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

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Reports & Analysis

Journal Articles

A large amount of scholarly work has been published upon the use, regulation and the effects of private military and security services. Significant articles in the field are presented in below by author last name.

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Revisiting the Role of Private Military and Security Companies

Author: George Andreopoulos & Shawna Brandle
Publish Date:

 

This essay, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, addresses the role of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in security governance. In this context, it offers a historical overview of some of the main developments in the evolution of private warfare and critically discusses some of the key challenges confronting the quest for holding PMSCs accountable in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian norms. 

Private Military and Security Companies and the Liberal Conception of Violence

Author: Andrew Alexandra
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This essay, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, outlines and assesses the development of private military and security companies (PMSCs)—in the light of a liberal view of (political) violence. The essay focuses on the situation in the United States, which possesses by far the most important military force in the world today, and in which the use of PMSCs is most developed. The paper has three main sections and a brief conclusion: the first section sketches the liberal view of violence and its implications for organizations dedicated to its use; the second outlines the salient characteristics of the three historically dominant forms of armies; and the third looks at the current situation in which the three forms coexist uneasily.

The Privatization of Security and Change in the Control of Force

Author: Deborah Avant
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This article appeared in International Studies Perspectives Volume 5, Issue 2, and discusses the dramatic incursion of the private security sector into the realm of public policy. Though the legitimate use of force is presumed to be the realm of the state, a burgeoning transnational market for force now exists alongside the system of states. In this essay, Avant describes this market and argues that it poses tradeoffs to the state control of violence. Furthermore, the changes in the process of controlling violence that privatization brings with it pose tradeoffs to non-state actors as well. Rather than simply shifting influence from governments to markets and civil society, the privatization of security is likely to engender changes in each, opening the way for new institutional innovations and the intensification of international change.

From Mercenary to Citizen Armies: Explaining Change in the Practice of War

Author: Deborah Avant
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This article appeared in International Organization Volume 54, Issue 1. Mercenaries went out of style in the nineteenth century. States altered the conduct of war by raising citizen armies and eschewing the use of mercenaries in practice or in law. It became common sense that armies should be staffed with citizens. Both realists and sociologists have interpreted this change as a functional response to an international demand, either strategic or normative. Realists assume states act strategically to insure their security in the system, so states choose strategies that win wars.

NGOs, Corporations, and Security Transformation in Africa

Author: Deborah Avant
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This article was published in International Relations Volume 21, Issue 2. In it, author Deborah Avant lays out propositions about how an increasing role for non-state actors in security may transform the conceptualization of security and the use of violence more generally. She argues that international NGOs and transnational corporations conceptualize security and how to achieve it differently than states have traditionally done and that these differences have potential consequences for which problems are addressed, as well as for whether and how violence is used in the communities where they operate. 

Korbel Quickfacts in Peace and Security - U.S. progress toward PSC regulation: Promising but potentially stalled

Author: Deborah Avant
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Korbel Quickfacts concisely explore the policy-relevant dynamics that characterize contemporary security challenges. The series is produced by the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, a center of excellence within the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This document examines the regulatory environment for PMSCs in the US and offers insights into how regulations can be strengthened and improved in the coming years.

Private Security and Democracy: Lessons from the US in Iraq

Author: Deborah Avant, Lee Sigelman
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This article appeared in Security Studies Volume 19, Issue 2. Focusing on the United States, the authors use original data to compare the impacts of using private military/security forces and military forces on attributes identified as endemic to democracies: constitutionalism, transparency, and public consent. The evidence indicates that forces raised via contract are harder to learn about and thus less transparent than military forces. Largely due to lowered transparency, Congress has a harder time exercising its constitutional role, which impedes constitutionalism. Finally, though the public is just as sensitive to the deaths of private forces as it is to military deaths, it is less likely to know about them. Thus the lack of transparency also circumvents meaningful public consent. 

Transnational Organizations and Security

Author: Deborah Avant, Virginia Haufler
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This article is forthcoming in Global Crime. The fields of international relations and criminology analyse security from different directions, but both have had a dominant focus on states and state agencies until recently. An important category of security actors has not been analysed so far – ‘non-violent’ transnational organisations. Transnational non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transnational corporations (TNCs) are not security organisations per se, but the strategies these transnational non-state actors pursue in response to violence affect security for both themselves and the societies in which they operate. In this article, the authors argue that security at the local level is an outcome of interactions among diverse actors including transnational organisations and call for a research agenda focused on how transnational actors choose their response to insecurity and how those choices affect security governance. 

Security Privatization and Global Security Assemblages

Author: Rita Abrahamsen & Michael Williams
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This Article was published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18.1 Fall / Winter 2011 edition. It argues that, though the rebirth of private actors in security activities can be seen as a threat to the sovereign state, this view overlooks how security privatization reflects contemporary transformations in governance and the extent to which private security actors are part of networks of security governance. The authors suggest that security privatization is part of a broader re-articulation of the state that reworks the distinctions between the public and the private, as well as the global and the local. The consequence has been the rise of what they term call “global security assemblages”—complex hybrid structures of actors, knowledge, technologies, norms, and values that stretch across national boundaries but operate in national settings.

Countering Piracy Through Private Security in the Horn of Africa: Prospects and Pitfalls

Author: Ladan Affi, Afyare A. Elmi, W. Andy Knight, Said Mohamed
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This article was published in Third World Quarterly on January 28, 2016, and looks at the role of private maritime security companies (PMSC) in the Horn of Africa. The authors assess the origins, regulation, and challenges of using PMSCs, concluding that they should not be viewed as a long-term solution to countering piracy in the region. 

Pragmatic Networks and Transnational Governance of Private Military and Security Services

Author: Deborah Avant
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This article, published in International Studies Quarterly on February 18, 2016, addresses the shift towards greater governance of private military and security companies after the passage of the Montreux Document. Hegemonic-order theory may be the most conventional theory used to explain this shift, however it has not been based on U.S. preferences alone. This analysis is based on pragmatism and network theory, since these approaches have generated governance and collective action.

Contracting for Services in U.S. Military Operations

Author: Deborah Avant
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This article appeared in PS: Political Science and Politics Volume 40 Issue 3. When the U.S. deploys its forces around the world, an increasingly important part of its operations is no longer managed by the U.S. military, per se, but rather by what some call contractors, others call private military and security companies, and still others call mercenaries. In this essay, Avant briefly describes the private security industry and the larger global market for force that it is a part of and how the U.S. military's increasing reliance on private forces brings both benefit and risk.

Military Contractors and the American Way of War

Author: Deborah Avant, Renee de Nevers
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This article appeared in Daedalus Volume 140, Issue 3. Contractors are deeply intertwined with the American military and U.S. foreign policy. Their relationship with the U.S. government, the public, and domestic and international law differs from that of military personnel, and these differences pose both benefits and risks. America’s use of private military and security companies can provide or enhance forces for global governance. Yet PMSCs can also be used to pursue agendas that do not have the support of American, international, or local publics. Thus far, the use of PMSCs has proved a mixed bag in terms of effectiveness, accountability, and American values. Moving forward in a way that maximizes the benefits of contractors and minimizes their risks will require careful management of the uncomfortable trade-offs these forces present.

Securing the City: Private Security Companies and Non-State Authority in Global Governance

Author: Rita Abrahamsen, Michael C. Williams
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This article was published in International Relations Volume 21, Issue 2. The past decade has witnessed a remarkable expansion and globalization of the private security sector. These developments mark the emergence of public—private, global—local security networks that play increasingly important roles in global governance. In this article, the operation and impact of public/private, global/local security networks is explored in the context of security provision in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tree-huggers and Baby-killers: The Relationship between NGOs and PMSCs and Its Impact on Coordinating Actors in Complex Operations

Author: Birthe Anders
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This article, published in Small Wars and Insurgencies, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2013, studies private military and security companies' (PMSCs) evolving interaction with humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Unlike the general characterization of the tense relations of the two private actors, the author finds a surprising number of similarities between PMSCs and NGOs, thus enabling an outlook on prospects for future coordination.

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Author: Kathryn M. G. Boehlefeld
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This article looks at the distribution of tasks between civilian and military personnel and how that allocation has shifted since World War II. It argues that task allocation is now due more to skill set rather than military or civilian status.

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Author: Lina Benabdallah
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This article reviews the current context of China's military and development engagement in Africa by examining it through a "security-development nexus." The author looks at China's capacity building approach in Africa and argues that military engagement is combined with investments in human capital to ensure manximum security.

An Economic Perspective on Mercenaries, Military Companies and the Privatization of Force

Author: Jurgen Brauer
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This article appeared in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs Volume 3, Issue 1. Approaching the question of privatization of warfare from an economic perspective, the article contends that the public debate over privatization of military force in its international context is somewhat misplaced. The article suggests that the political debate on the future of armed force can proceed on a more focused basis if basic economic concepts are included in the discussion. Applying economic analysis, the article advances the argument that the distinction between “public” and “private” may be much less clear than originally thought, and that the pertinent issues actually concern monopolization and legitimization of force, not its private or public origins. It concludes by proposing that political science and international relations theory needs to abandon the nation state and its boundaries and national forces as fixed categories to obtain greater analytical clarity.

The Modern Use of Contractors in Peace and Stability Operations

Author: Doug Brooks & Fiona Mangan
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This essay, published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18.1 Fall / Winter 2011 edition,  provides an overview of the modern use of contractors by looking at the different roles that contractors play in support of U.S. foreign policy—such as the contentious use of private security companies (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, security sector reform in post-conflict nations, logistics and camp servicing for the all-volunteer U.S. military, and rule of law consulting and development aid delivery. It then addresses a number of policy concerns that have been raised in the academic and policy communities, before finally addressing the issue of extraterritorial accountability, discussing domestic and international legal frameworks and arguing that the stability operations industry benefits from effective legal frameworks.

Privatisation of Security

Author: Mitchell Belfer, Ed.
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This issue includes articles on 1) Azerbaijan’s main geopolitical challenges; 2) private military and security companies and the regulatory environment in Iraq since 2011; 3) the role of US private prison corporations in country's immigration policy; 4) the privatization of security provision in Post-Communist Poland; 5) UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding; 6) the legitimacy of international intervention in Libya in 2011 in light of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P); and 7) developments within Shi’a political Islam during Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s term in office. It also includes five book reviews.

Reconsidering Battlefield Contractors

Author: Doug Brooks, Jim Shevlin
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This article appeared in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Volume 6, Issue 2. Despite frequent claims that private firms are unprecedented, unregulated, inherently unethical and even a threat to American democracy, the private sector actually has a long history supporting U.S. military operations, is regulated by numerous domestic and international laws and statutes, plays a central role in operations critical to speedy state recovery, infrastructure reconstruction and humanitarian security, and is critical to implementing policies of democratic governments and the international community. Here, Brooks and Shevlin provide a typology for the firms involved, described current regulations, highlight problems with current laws, and provide recommendations for the best way forward.

South African Private Security Contractors Active in Armed Conflicts: Citizenship, Prosecution and the Right to Work

Author: Shannon Bosch, Marelie Maritz
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This article appeared in Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal Volume 14, Issue 7. South Africa has adopted two pieces of legislation since 1998 aimed at restricting the private security industry. Not only is this legislation completely unique, but it appears wholly at odds with international opinion. In this article the authors place private security contractors under the microscope of international law, exploring the role they play in armed conflicts, and the status afforded them by international humanitarian law. The authors then focus to the South African legislation and discuss the ambit of its application as compared with international law obligations.

Hybrid security governance in Africa: rethinking the foundations of security, justice and legitimate public authority

Author: Niagale Bagayoko, Eboe Hutchful & Robin Luckham
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This article was published in Volume 16, Issue 1 of the journal Conflict, Security and Development. It looks at security governance in Africa in terms of 'hybridity' instead of traditional state-focused models, as state models are too involved in their own power hierarchies and do not serve the weak and vulnerable in society as they should. The authors suggest that policy-makers work with hybrid security arrangements to improve security governance in Africa and make it more effective and legitimate.

Security Professionals for Hire: Exploring the Many Faces of Private Security Expertise

Author: Joakim Berndtsson
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This article appeared in Millennium: Journal of International Studies Volume 40, Issue 303. Private security companies (PSCs) do not merely provide protective services; they also sell specific understandings of the world and of security problems. Promoting their services, PSCs project images of professional security expertise. This article contributes to our knowledge of commercial security experts by analyzing the ways in which images of expertise are constructed, focusing on the contracting of a PSC in 2008 by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Drawing on material from interviews, the company website and the contracting process, the article explores ‘public’ and ‘professional’ self-images, and shows how these images differ in important respects, underlining the need to see private security expertise as multifaceted and contradictory. 

Should Private Security Companies be Employed for Counterinsurgency Operations?

Author: David M. Barnes
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Published in the Journal of Military Ethics in November of 2013, this article examines the extent to which private security companies should be used in counterinsurgency situations. Barnes examines evidence from the Congressional Research Service as well as other extant literature on the use of private security companies to explore the benefits, costs, governmental control, or lack thereof, over private companies, and the intersection of public good and private profit.  Barnes concludes that without significant oversight and contractual control reforms, private security companies should not be used in counterinsurgency situations.

The Reorganization of Legitimate Violence: The Contested Terrain of the Private Military and Security Industry during the Post-Cold War Era

Author: Joel A.C. Baum and Anita M. McGahan
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This article appeared in Research in Organizational Behavior Volume 33, 2013. It investigates the interplay between institutional structures and agency in the emergence of the private military and security industry (PMSI). The analysis points first to the central roles played by actors with expertise, reputation, and credibility based in sovereign structures, and, second, to structural shifts that reconfigured the military field in ways that both enabled and constrained agency. Various actors lent credibility to new activities that were integrated with and substitutes for previously legitimated approaches by using these openings to discredit prevailing institutional logics and to construct bridges between old and new institutions. However, it is the interplay of structure and agency that affords the clearest view of the expansion of the modern PMSI and the forces fostering and impeding its legitimacy.

The Stability Operations Industry: The Shared Responsibility of Compliance and Ethics

Author: Doug Brooks & Hanna Streng
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This article offers some insight on stability operations, contracting processes, pitfalls, and opportunities. The article then discusses some of the criticisms that surround the industry. These criticisms are often due to sensationalized reporting, and a significant problem is that reports on criminal activity such as fraud and abuse are exaggerated. In contrast, the far larger problem of waste due to poor client planning and oversight is glossed over. Finally, the article discusses industry self-policing efforts that have emerged to support the use of professional and compliant businesses in stability operations. Ultimately it is governmental regulatory enforcement and quality contracting practices that will do the most to marginalize unethical companies, reward better firms, and improve partnerships and success rates in stability operations globally.

The Privatisation of Security in Failing States: A Quantitative Assessment

Author: Zeljko Branovic
Publish Date:

Partners: DCAF

 
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The private sector supplies a broad spectrum of military and security services to governments facing a lack of territorial control and law enforcement capacities. Yet a quantifiable picture of the extent to which these private security services are being used by failing or weak governments and the implications this use might have for the security environment has not been properly painted. This paper aims to fill this gap by presenting statistical findings on the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in failing states.  The paper also reviews the literature on the strategic role of PMSCs in contexts of conflict and state failure, and deduces empirically testable propositions and expectations based on the perspective of advocates and critics. This document is part of DCAF Occasional Paper series.

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Foreign Fighters, Human Rights and Self-Determination in Syria and Iraq: Decoding the Humanitarian Impact of Foreign Fighters in Practice

Author: Dara Conduit, Ben Rich
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This article published in Volume 18 Issue 5 of the International Community Law Review seeks to explore the human rights impact of foreign fighters in conflict, especially those involved in the wars in Syria and Iraq since the founding of the Islamic State. The paper also addresses the propaganda aspect of the foreign fighters and the influence of such propaganda in encouraging foreign fighter-led violence in order to shift the conflict from local to global news-worthy.

Everyday Matters in Global Private Security Supply Chains: A Feminist Global Political Economy Perspective on Gurkhas in Private Security

Author: Amanda Chisholm & Saskia Stachowitsch
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Published in the journal Globalizations, this article is a case study looking at Nepalese Gurkhas who work for western private military and security companies (PMSCs). The authors analyze this situation through race and gender, as well as everyday interaction in this sphere that lead to the continued racialized and gendered hierarchical structures.

Labouring Under Fire: Nepali Security Contractors in Afghanistan

Author: Noah Coburn
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This study is an examination of labor migration to conflict areas, particularly in regards to security contracting. The paper argues that aside from the inherent risks of being a security contractor in a conflict zone, there are other risks to the contractors themselves arising from issues like visa renewal and employee protection. These issues are problematic for contractors facing exploitation and remain largely unaddressed by the Nepali government or the international community at large. 

The scope of military privatisation: Military role conceptions and contractor support in the United States and the United Kingdom

Author: Eugenio Cusumano
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This article, published in International Relations, explores the degree to which increased reliance on private military and security companies has spread unevenly around the world.  While the United States and United Kingdom share comparable political and market ideologies, the US has embraced privatization of military roles to a greater extent.  This article seeks to fill the gap on existing scholarship on PMSCs and contends that introducing conceptions of the role of the military as enabling or inhibiting factors for the outsourcing of military functions helps to explain this difference.

Lawyers, Guns, and Money: The Governance of Business Activities in Conflict Zones

Author: Simon Chesterman
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This article appeared in the University of Chicago Journal of International Law Volume 11, Issue 2. It argues that the norms governing businesses in conflict zones are both understudied and undervalued—understudied because the focus is generally on human rights of universal application, rather than the narrower regime of international humanitarian law (IHL), and undervalued because IHL may provide a more certain foundation for real norms that can be applied to businesses and the individuals that control them.

The Global Reorganization of Legitimate Violence: Military Entrepreneurs And the Private Face of International Humanitarian Law

Author: James Cockayne
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross Volume 88 Issue 863. Although long hidden from the public gaze of international humanitarian law, military entrepreneurialism has played a key role in the global organization of legitimate violence. By examining historical changes in the role and legal treatment of military entrepreneurs, the author sheds light on the contemporary ‘‘resurfacing’’ of privately organized violence in the form of private military companies, and its broader implications for international humanitarian law. 

Private Military Companies: Elements for contracting and regulating private security and military companies

Author: Michael Cottier
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 Issue 863. Key issues raised by the use and operation of private military and security companies, particularly in conflict areas, are their accountability and how to control them. National regulation, however, is still rare. States have a role to play first as contractors. Considered selection, contracting and oversight procedures and standards may help promote respect for human rights and international humanitarian law by companies and their staff. Secondly, territorial and exporting states may consider adopting regulations to increase control and promote accountability. In view of this still largely unregulated phenomenon, this article considers elements of contracting and regulatory options.

The Global Reorganization of Legitimate Violence: Military Entrepreneurs and the Private Face of International Humanitarian Law

Author: James Cockayne
Publish Date:

 

This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. Although long hidden from the public gaze of international humanitarian law, military entrepreneurialism has played a key role in the global organization of legitimate violence. By examining historical changes in the role and legal treatment of military entrepreneurs, the author sheds light on the contemporary ‘‘resurfacing’’ of privately organized violence in the form of private military companies, and its broader implications for international humanitarian law.  

Private Security and Armed Military Guards: Minimizing State Liability in the Fight Against Maritime Piracy (RUSI Journal, Vol. 157, No. 5)

Author: R Graham Caldwell
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This article was published in the RUSI Journal, Vol 157, No. 5. The number of private companies offering private maritime security has grown at a rapid rate. Whilst some countries have elected to draft interim, or indeed statutory, measures to allow and govern the use of privately contracted armed security personnel aboard vessels bearing their flag, others have chosen to utilize their own military personnel. R Graham Caldwell examines the pitfalls of using serving military personnel, and investigates why governments should think long and hard about private security in the maritime setting.

Drone-Sourcing? United States Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Inherently Governmental Functions, and the Role of Contractors

Author: Keric D. Clanahan
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This article was published in the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Vol. 22, 2012. In the last ten years of war, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), often called “drones,” have played a major role in the disruption of Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other insurgent enemy forces. Due to the lethality of these weapon systems, many critics have challenged the legality and morality of drone strikes. However, little scholarship has focused on the human capital requirements of the UAS mission, namely the personnel performing logistics and maintenance, video and imagery analysis, vehicle and sensor operation, and kinetic force delivery. This paper investigates the numerous roles necessary to sustain and perform the Air Force UAS mission, and attempts to identify which roles are being performed by military, federal civilian, and/or civilian contractor personnel. 

Outsourcing War

Author: Christopher Coker
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This article appeared in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs Volume 13, Issue 1. The article contends that the era of postmodern war has arrived and investigates its implications. Limited warfare is now the only way in which a postmodern society can use war as a political instrument. Moreover, the private sector is gaining importance. The commercial ethos is challenging the traditional professional ethos of the armed services. Military power is judged increasingly by more utilitarian standards, and war is outsourced to the private sector in the form of private mercenary companies. The article suggests that it may even be possible that large corporations will turn to these companies or outfit their own armies in the future. Nevertheless, the article concludes that although the future may witness a more wide‐ranging partnership between the public and private sectors, it will not —in war at least—witness a replacement of the public sector by the private.

Elements for Contracting and Regulating Private Security and Military Companies

Author: Michael Cottier
Publish Date:

 

This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. Key issues raised by the use and operation of private military and security companies, particularly in conflict areas, are their accountability and how to control them. National regulation, however, is still rare. In view of this still largely unregulated phenomenon, this article considers elements of contracting and regulatory options.

Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors in Conflict Situations

Author: Andrew Clapham
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. The author addresses the international obligations of belligerents, national liberation movements and insurgent entities, looks at the growing demands that such armed groups respect human rights norms and considers some of the options for holding private military companies accountable with regard to human rights abuses.

Bridging the Gap: Mobilisation Constraints and Contractor Support to US and UK Military Operations

Author: Eugenio Cusumano
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This article, published in the Journal of Strategic Studies in February 2015, examines the political drivers of military privatization and the corrosive effects of this process on democracy.  In analyzing contractor support of the United States' and United Kingdom's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the article identifies how domestic political constraints have increased the use of private contractors as force multipliers despite the potentially harmful impacts on military effectiveness.

Leashing the Dogs of War: The Rise of Private Military and Security Companies

Author: Simon Chesterman
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This article was published in the Carnegie Reporter Volume 5, Issue 1. In it, Simon Chesterman considers how the activities of Blackwater and other private contractors in Iraq have helped to focus public attention on the post-Cold War trend toward the outsourcing of military services. Are such scandals proof of the impossibility of holding modern mercenaries to account, or evidence that the market for force is beginning to mature?

‘We Can’t Spy... If We Can’t Buy’: The Privatization of Intelligence and the Limits of Outsourcing ‘Inherently Governmental Functions’

Author: Simon Chesterman
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This article appeared in the European Journal of International Law Volume 19, Issue 5. It explains that though it lags behind the privatization of military services, the privatization of intelligence has expanded dramatically with the growth in intelligence activities following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States. The article surveys outsourcing in electronic surveillance, rendition, and interrogation, as well as the growing reliance on private actors for analysis. It then turns to three challenges to accountability: the necessary secrecy that limits oversight; the different incentives that exist for private rather than public employees; and the uncertainty as to what functions should be regarded as ‘inherently governmental’ and thus inappropriate for delegation to private actors.

Regulating Private Military and Security Companies: The Content, Negotiation, Weaknesses and Promise of the Montreux Document

Author: James Cockayne
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This appeared in the Journal of Conflict & Security Law Volume 13 Issue 3. On 17 September 2008, 17 states including the United States, UK, China, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and South Africa endorsed the ‘Montreux Document’ affirming the legal obligations and describing good practices for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict. This article provides an insider's view of the three years of negotiation of the Montreux Document, provides an overview of its provisions and their significance, and explores the relationship between its provisions and existing law and emerging business and human rights frameworks. Finally, it explores whether the Montreux Document may provide the basis for improved standards and accountability in the activities of private military and security companies.

Contractors as a Second Best Option: The Italian Hybrid Approach to Maritime Security

Author: Eugenio Cusumano & Stefano Ruzza
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Published in Ocean Development & International Law in May of 2015, this article examines Italy's "hybrid" approach to maritime security. This approach combines the use of Navy Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs) hired by shipowners as well as Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) when VPDs are not available. Examining Italy's trajectory in maritime security arrangements, the authors seek to understand what changes have taken place and how the opening of maritime security to the commercial sector took place in a country with "a tight monopoly over the provision of armed services."

Maritime Piracy and China's Policy Options to Southeast Asian Waters

Author: Kai Chen
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Southeast Asia remains one of the worst-hit regions in maritime piracy; pirates adopt new tactics and anti-piracy security governance presents inefficiencies, particularly sovereignty sensitivity in Southeast Asian waters. This article explores the context-sensitive policy options in the foreseeable future. Private security companies could be an alternative solution to maritime piracy for China and the most critical variable would be the China National Security Council.

Relations between Uniformed and Contractor Personnel in Complex Operations

Author: Lindsay P. Cohn
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This article, published in Small Wars and Insurgencies, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2013, attempts to analyze the effectiveness of multi-agency operation by determining the conditions under which contractors will 'work' for the military. One of the major conclusions from this study is that the legal and regulatory framework makes it far more difficult to monitor and punish contractor personnel, thus making it likely that they will 'shirk' far more than uniformed personnel would. 

Bureaucratic Interests and the Outsourcing of Security: The Privatization of Diplomatic Protection in the United States and the United Kingdom

Author: Eugenio Cusumano and Christopher Kinsey
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This article, published in Armed Forces and Society in March 2014, provides a comparative analysis of US and UK diplomatic security policies, focusing on the increasing use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) for the protection of foreign service and development agencies' personnel. Authors find that in both the US and the UK the outsourcing of diplomatic security was a resultant of foreign policy bureaucracies and military organizations' preferences.

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Author: Arjan Dyrmishi
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This article examines the levels of financial oversight within the Albanian security sector, including procurement, auditing, and budgeting. The article gives several case studies detailing examples of each type of financial engagement.

Iraq's Oil Police

Author: Nicolai Due-Gundersen
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This article was published in the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security's Journal of Energy Security. The author argues the international law do not necessarily provide oil states with pragmatic regulation of private security activities. He further contends that the states must still rely on domestic measures to resist the erosion of their own political and security bodies by external interests. Also, he calls for a precise framework-agreement to retain state oversight over their resources.

(Self) Regulating War?: Voluntary Regulation and the Private Security Industry

Author: Renee de Nevers
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This article appeared in Security Studies Volume 18, Issue 3. Private security companies' growing participation in U.S. and international military missions has raised concern about whether the private security industry is subject to sufficient controls. Industry self-regulation is often proposed as part of a multilayered framework of regulations to govern PSCs. This article assesses what self-regulation can contribute to the control of this industry and whether the private security industry lends itself to effective self-regulation. It concludes that the private security industry does not exhibit the capacity to adopt and implement effective self-regulation on its own. 

Private security regimes: Conceptualizing the forces that shape the private delivery of security

Author: Benoit Dupont
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This article, published in Theoretical Criminology in March, 2014, examines the differences among private security providers.  Looking at internal forces that shape private security companies, Dupont explores four key dimensions that characterize security regimes - focus, risks, utility, and constraints.  The article contributes to current knowledge of the forces that facilitate, empower, or hamper public-private relationships.

Military Lawyers, Private Contractors, and the Problem of International Law Compliance

Author: Laura A. Dickinson
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This article appeared in the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics Volume 42 Issue 2. Using interviews with military lawyers, Dickinson argues that certain organizational features of the lawyers’ role in the military help further the military’s compliance with international legal norms. Yet, she writes, private security firms lack most of those organizational features, making it far less likely that such firms will comply with the norms. Dickinson suggests some of these organizational structures be imported into the new privatized context.

Post-modern Conflict: Warlords, Post-adjustment States and Private Protection

Author: Mark Duffield
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This article was published in Civil Wars Volume 1, Issue 1. Using material from Africa and the European East, the paper examines some of the relations and structures involved. Warlords, for example, have forged new and viable links with international organizations and global markets. At the same time, many post‐adjustment rulers, in terms of state debureaucratization and the embrace of the free market have adopted warlord‐type strategies. The changing architecture of the nation‐state has also weakened the rule of law and blurred traditional responsibilities. This has created a demand for private protection at all levels within the emerging system.

Private Security Companies and the Laws of War

Author: Renee de Nevers
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This article appeared in Security Dialogue Volume 40 Issue 169. The article examines the legal status of private security companies (PSCs) under the existing international humanitarian law framework, focusing on activities where PSC employees carry weapons and how the presence of PSCs in asymmetric conflicts increases the challenge of determining what actions are appropriate within the laws of war. 

Outsourcing Covert Activities

Author: Laura A. Dickinson
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This article was published in the McGeorge School of Law Journal of National Security Law and Policy, Issue 3. In Dickinson’s book, Outsourcing War and Peace, she lays out a reform agenda for increasing oversight and accountability of private contractors performing a range of military, security, and broader foreign affairs functions. While not all of these proposals are pertinent to contractors performing covert activities, many can be deployed in the intelligence context.  This essay briefly outlines how these reforms might apply to the contracting out of covert operations.

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Above the Law, Under the Radar: A History of Private Contractors and Aerial Fumigation in Colombia

Author: Ross Eventon, Dave Bewley-Taylor
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The U.S. government has used private contractors to carry out the fumigation of illicit crops in Colombia in their joint effort with Colombia to combat drug trafficking. However, this primary goal has not been achieved, instead displacing rural inhabitants from areas under insurgent influence. The authors argue this use of contractors undermines Colombia's national sovereignty and gives no recourse to affected citizens to fight back against violations committed by these private forces.

Military Professionalism & Private Military Contractors

Author: Scott L. Efflandt
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This article discusses the post-9/11 use of private military contractors in combat roles. Due to the reduction in military spending by governments and the lack of stability across the globe, the scope of the U.S. military has changed, which could lead to changes in civil-military relations and the viability of an all-volunteer force.

Private Security Companies and Institutional Legitimacy: Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility

Author: Heather Elms, Robert A. Phillips
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This article appeared in Business Ethics Quarterly Volume 19, Issue 3. The private provision of security services has attracted a great deal of recent attention, both professional and popular. Much of that attention suggests the questioned moral legitimacy of the private vs. public provision of security. Linking the literature on moral legitimacy and responsibility from new institutional and stakeholder theories, the authors examine the relationship between moral legitimacy and responsible behavior by both private security companies (PSCs) and their stakeholders. 

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Author: Sophie-Charlotte Fischer
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This article is a draft for publication in We Robot. It examines the role of private technology companies in the governance of newly developed automated weapons technology and how arms control policies will be impacted by that role.

Involvement of Private Contractors in Armed Conflict: Implications under International Humanitarian Law

Author: Alexandre Faite
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This article, published in Defence Studies Volume 4, Number 2, Summer 2004, details the growth of private military contractors from a more clandestine profession to a more widely accepted and used tool in the conduct of armed conflicts. The author evaluates the increased use of the contractors in terms of the implication on international humanitarian law.

The Privatisation of Military Force: Economic Virtues, Vice and Government Responsibility

Author: Eric Fredland and Adrian Kendry
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This article was published in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs Volume 13 Issue 1. It examines aspects of privatization in the process of defense production and supply from an economic point of view. It argues that the scope and rationale for the privatization of military output has expanded with the changes in the mode and style of warfare and the decline of defense budgets evidenced in the post‐Cold War era. The article proposes that limited private production can be both cost‐effective and efficacious, provided that the contracts for that service, and the duties described therein, are sufficiently specific. 

Optimal contracting with private military and security companies

Author: Matthias Fahn and Tahmina Hadjer
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This article, published in the European Journal of Political Economy in October of 2014, examines the relationship between the intervening state, host state, and private military and security companies.  These relationships are inherently complex and problematic situation due to the diverging interests of the involved parties, as highlighted in the difficulties presented in Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The article provides a theoretical model to describe a state's optimal choice in selecting private security services.

Corporate Actors: The Legal Status of Mercenaries in Armed Conflict

Author: Katherine Fallah
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. This article critically surveys the conventional law as it applies to mercenaries, and considers the extent to which corporate actors might meet the legal definitions of a ‘‘mercenary’’. It demonstrates that even mercenaries receive protection under international humanitarian law.

Guns for Hire: Motivations and Attitudes of Private Security Contractors

Author: Volker Franke and Marc von Boemcken
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This link appeared in Armed Forces & Society. Whereas the values, attitudes, and motivations of soldiers serving in their countries' armed forces have been widely studied, to date we know very little about the motivations and occupational self-perceptions of individuals working for the private security industry. Using data obtained through an online survey, this article explores the values and attitudes of more than 200 private contractors with law enforcement backgrounds and operational experience providing armed security services in conflict regions. Contrary to media-dominating images of ruthless, money-grabbing mercenaries, respondents in our sample displayed attitudes comparable to those of military professionals, adhering to high levels of professionalism and ethical conduct and motivated largely by altruistic factors.

Just war theory and private security companies

Author: 2015
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This article, published in 2015 in International Affairs, examines the ethics of the use of PMSCs in combat operations and conflict zones. Rather than relying on anecdotes of high profile cases, the author undertakes a quantitative analysis of PMSC adherence to the jus in bello tenets of war theory, particularly in Iraq. The results show a moderate to high level of adherence to these tenets and that such adherence does not expose employees of PMSCs to greater risk of harm.

Outsourcing Military Force: A Transactions Cost Perspective on the Role of Military Companies

Author: J. Eric Fredland
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This article was published in Defence and Peace Economics Volume 3 Issue 1. Since the mid-1990s, the operations of private, for profit, military companies have been the subject of increased political and media scrutiny. Firms in this industry provide both combat and support functions to sovereign governments. In this paper, the current and potential future role of these companies is examined from the perspective of transactions cost economics. The transactions cost approach suggests that inevitable contractual hazards sharply limit the combat/combat support role of these companies, despite substantial potential cost savings, even for poor countries with weak governments. However, there is a growing market, even in developed countries, for private provision of training and support.

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Private Military and Security Companies Policy in Africa: Regional Policy Stasis as Agency in International Politics

Author: Tshepo Gwatiwa
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This article from the Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies examines the possible reasons behind the lack of policy development on regulations for private security companies in Africa. The author argues that, as one of the largest operating theaters for private security companies in the world, Africa would have the corresponding regulation infrastructure. However, the author argues that interstate organizations have purposefully shirked enforcement and the creation of further regulations.

Taking Shots at Private Military Firms: International Law Misses its Mark (Again)

Author: Kevin H. Govern, Eric C. Bales
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This article was published in the Fordham International Law Journal, Volume 32, Issue 1. It examines the historical and current manifestations of mercenaries and private military firms;  provides an overview of the binding nature (or not) of international custom and the codifications of international law; and analyzes several UN instruments for their efficacy in changing customary international law on the use of mercenaries and conduct of private military firms.  The article concludes by discussing alternative bodies of U.S. domestic law that provide criminal accountability for private contractors, such as the UCMJ.

A U.N. Convention to Regulate PMSCs?

Author: José L. Gómez del Prado
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This article, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, argues that, although the United Nations has elaborated an international binding instrument to regulate their activities, opposition from the U.S., U.K., and other Western governments—and from PMSCs, which prefer self-regulation—have prevented any advancement.

Private Military and Security Companies and the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries

Author: Jose L. Gomez del Prado
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This article was published in the Journal of Conflict & Security Law Volume 13 Issue 3. The Working Group on Mercenaries, one of the special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council, has been entrusted to monitor the impact of the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs) on the enjoyment of human rights and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies. This article discusses the Working Group, its efforts to regulate the private military and security industry, and parallel efforts undertaken by governments, industry and others. 

Impact on Human Rights of a New Non-State Actor: Private Military and Security Companies

Author: José L. Gómez del Prado
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Private military and security companies (PMSCs) have been involved in grave human rights violations that have attracted international attention and debate over the legitimacy of PMSCs, the norms under which they should operate, and how to monitor their activities. These companies pose a real problem to human rights, the foundations of the democratic modern state, and the rule of law.

Business Goes to War: Private Military/Security Companies and International Humanitarian Law

Author: Emanuela-Chiara Gillard
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. This article examines the key legal issues raised by PMCs/PSCs operating in situations of armed conflict, including the status of the staff of these companies and their responsibilities under international humanitarian law; the responsibilities of the states that hire them; and those of the states in whose territory PMCs/PSCs are incorporated or operate.

A Tainted Trade? Moral Ambivalence and Legitimation Work in the Private Security Industry

Author: Benjamin J. Goold, Ian Loader and Anjelica Thumala
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This article was published in the British Journal of Sociology Volume 62, Issue 2. The private security industry is often represented—and typically represents itself—as an expanding business, confident of its place in the world and sure of its ability to meet a rising demand for security. But closer inspection of the ways in which industry players talk about its past, present and future suggests that this self-promotion is accompanied by unease about the industry's condition and legitimacy. In this paper, the authors analyze the self-understandings of those who sell security—as revealed in interviews conducted with key industry players and in a range of trade materials—in order to highlight and dissect the constitutive elements of this ambivalence. 

Global assemblages and counter-piracy: public and private in maritime policing

Author: Alex Gould
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With increasing cooperation between governments and the private sector regarding security activities, Alex Gould explores "policing assemblages" within the realm of counter-piracy operations at sea. The article investigates the use of coercive forces between public and private actors and argues that private actors have gained prominence in the provision of force as a public good. With this development, private interests, rather than national, may be central in the provision of modern security services.

Protecting the Victims of the Privatization of War

Author: Willem van Genugten, Marie-José Van der Heijden, & Nicola Jägers
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This article was originally published in the book, The New Faces of Victimhood (2011), and later published in Tilburg Law School Research Paper, No. 06/2013. This article focuses on the accountability gap that has surfaced since the tremendous growth of the use of PMSCs. It discusses not only the employees of these companies falling victim to war activities but also people that become victims of the activities of PMSCs. Authors argue that the former has been neglected and should receive more attention since the employees of the PMSCs are increasingly victimized. Thus, it analyzes the legal framework applicable to PMSCs in order to answer the question how victims can hold PMSCs to account and seek redress.

The Private Military Industry and Neoliberal Imperialism: Mapping the Terrain

Author: Richard Godfrey et al
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In this article, the authors use an organization studies approach to mapping the recent expansion of the private security industry. The authors suggest that this new organization of the security field is a mechanism of neoliberal imperalism and that it replaces state monopoly on power. Finally, the authors examine the new security-industry industrial complex emerging in the world. 

Normative Power under Contract? Commercial Support to European Crisis Management Operations

Author: Francesco Giumelli and Eugenio Cusumano
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This article, published in International Peacekeeping Volume 21 Issue 1, 2014, investigates the role of commercial contractors in supporting European Common Security and Defence civilian and military missions. Authors intend to advance the empirical knowledge of the privatization of foreign policy activities and the scope, determinants and future prospects of EU reliance on commercial actors for Common Security and Defense Policy crisis management operations.

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Intelligence Contracting: On the Motivations, Interests, and Capabilities of Core Personnel Contractors in the U.S. Intelligence Community

Author: Morten Hansen
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This article was published in Intelligence and National Security, 2012. Are intelligence contractors motivated more by financial interest than loyalty to their country's national security? Morten Hansen examines the possible differences in motivation between government intelligence personnel and contractors. The comparative research suggests that there may be more similarities than differences in the interests of each kind of personnel. 

Private Security & Local Politics in Somalia, Review of African Political Economy

Author: Stig Jarle Hansen
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This article appeared in the Review of African Political Economy Volume 35, Issue 118. It investigates the use of private military force in Somalia and the three different entities that exercise political authority within this geographically defined territory, namely the Transitional Federal Government, Puntland, and Somaliland. All three have contracted private security companies, primarily to prevent piracy and illegal fishing in their coastal waters. The article shows that while the turmoil in Somalia continues to offer lucrative investment opportunities for private security and military companies of various sorts, it cannot be uniformly concluded that private security always serves to weaken already fragile public authorities. On the contrary, in some cases the activities of private military companies have served to strengthen the power of local authorities.

Unaccountable: The Current State of Private Military and Security Companies

Author: Marcus Hedahl
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This essay, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, argues that the current accountability system for private military and security contractors (PMSCs) is woefully inadequate, and that mere enhancements in oversight cannot hope to remedy that failing. It contends that once the kind of accountability required of PMSCs is recognized, there will be a realization that radical changes in the foundational relationship between PMSCs and the state are required. More specifically, in order to be appropriately accountable, members of PMSCs must become a part of or, at the very least, directly responsible to the legitimate authoritative military or police structures, and there must be a clear and precise delineation of responsibility among public officials for holding individual members of PMSCs criminally liable.

Accountability for Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime

Author: Kristine A. Huskey
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This article, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012,  provides a comprehensive approach for analyzing the existing international legal regime, and whether and to what extent the legal regime provides “accountability for” PMSCs and their personnel. It does so by proposing a practical construct of three phases based on PMSC operations—Contracting, In-the-Field, and Post-Conduct—with which to assess the various bodies of international law.

Passing the Buck: State Responsibility for Private Military Companies

Author: Carsten Hoppe
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This article appeared in the European Journal of International Law Volume 19 Issue 5. States hire private military or security companies in armed conflict and occupation to fulfill tasks formerly exclusively handled by soldiers, including combat, guarding and protection, and detention and interrogation. PMSC personnel, like soldiers, can and do violate or act incompatibly with international humanitarian law and human rights law. Relying on the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility, the article compares the responsibility of states for such conduct of their soldiers with that which states incur with respect to the conduct of contractors they hire. It reveals a regulatory gap which states seeking to reduce their exposure to international responsibility can exploit. 

The Mercenary Business: Executive Outcomes

Author: Jeremy Harding
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This article appeared in the Review of African Political Economy, Volume 24 Issue 71. It discusses Executive Outcomes, a private military and security company. Rather than being seen as mercenaries, they prefer the label of ‘corporate troubleshooters’, a niche which incorporates a huge unmet demand for security in Africa.

Private security forces and African stability: The Case of Executive Outcomes

Author: Herbert Howe
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This article appeared in the Journal of Modern African Studies Volume 36 Issue 2. This article examines the controversial Executive Outcomes military as a security option for African governments. It sketches EO's history, its military effectiveness, and its political loyalty, to assess whether EO threatens or assists African state stability. The article concludes by looking at EO's possible future, and the lessons which it offers about African security.

‘Cowboys and Professionals’: The Politics of Identity Work in the Private and Military Security Company

Author: Paul Higate
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This article, published in the Millennium Journal of International Studies vol. 40 no.2, examines the politics of identity work in the private security industry. Drawing on memoirs authored by British private military contractors, and using a theoretical framework influenced by symbolic interactionist thought, the article highlights the relevance of intersubjectivity to identity constitution. In particular, British contractors are found to constitute their professional identity in relation to their US military and contractor counterparts, above all by framing them as ‘less-competent others’. This article makes an original contribution to the private and military security companies literature through its sociological focus on the links between national and professional self-identities and security practices on the ground. The article also explores the importance of the memoir genre as a valid textual resource which throws light on the interplay of the international and security dimensions within multinational military and militarised contexts.

Rethinking the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies Under International Humanitarian Law

Author: Joseph C. Hansen
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This article appeared in the Fordham International Law Journal Volume 35 Issue 3. The United States and other governments increasingly have turned to hiring private military and private security companies in situations of armed conflict. In light of the sudden prominence of PMSCs, as well as notorious instances of misconduct, there has been recent critical attention devoted to the role of international humanitarian law (IHL) in regulating them. As neither clearly combatants nor civilians, the application of IHL to PMSCs remains unclear. This Article provides relevant background on IHL and PMSCs and highlights the theoretical and practical problems with categorically presuming the majority of PMSC personnel to have civilian status. It concludes by detail the mechanics and benefits of a new approach to the treatment of PMSCs under IHL. 

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Whether the Criteria Contained in the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries Notably Motivation Apply to Today’s Foreign Fighters?

Author: José L. Gómez del Prado
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This article published in Volume 18 Issue 5 of the International Community Law Review seeks to answer whether Article 47 of the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries apply to today's foreign fighters. The article considers the use of Jus ad bellum which is allowed under the United Nations Charter - States may resort to the use of armed force. This reason is commonly used to justify the use of mercenaries despite there being the 1989 International Convention.

All for one and one in all: private military security companies as soldiers, business managers and humanitarians

Author: Jutta Joachim and Andrea Schneiker
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Published in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, vol. 27, issue 2, in April of 2014, this article investigates the various identities assumed by private military and security companies in given situations.  Joachim and Schneiker identified three identities independent of the services performed by the PMSCs: military, business managers, and humanitarians.  These identities allow PMSCs to adapt to specific contexts and clients and contribute to the overall norm of PMSCs.

NGOs and the price of governance: the trade-offs between regulating and criticizing private military and security companies

Author: Jutta Joachim and Andrea Schneiker
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In this article, the authors explore the position of NGOs in the US and UK (where the majority of PMSCs are based) on PMSCs and their use around the world. Drawing on interviews and documents, the article questions the conventional view of NGOs as "either passive objects of government and governance or as the moral voice of society in opposition to governments" to be incorrect. Instead, NGOs are found to be more ambivalent and complacent toward PMSCs, indicating the depth to which the use of PMSCs has been normalized. 

Secrecy, Confidentiality and "Dirty Work": The Case of Public Relations

Author: Sue Curry Jansen
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Published in the journal Secrecy and Society, this article is a brief analysis of the orgins and historical development of the "dirty work" or unsavory tactics used by corporate public relations firms and internal company offices. It particularly focuses on methods used and the exportation of US corporate public relations tactics to a more international corporate base in what the article notes is a convergence of the public relations and international relations field.
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Legitimizing Private Actors in Global Governance: From Performance to Performativity

Author: Elke Krahmann
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Published in the journal Politics and Governance, this article examines how private, non-state governance entities, which often suffer from deficits in legitimacy, look to assessments of performance as legitimizing factors. The argument is that if the performance is effective at producing a beneficial good, the legitimacy will be enhanced. Krahmann examines the effectiveness and pitfalls in that way of gauging legitimacy.

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Author: Elzbieta Karska
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This article, published in the Espaco Juridico Journal of Law, examines the human rights obligations of the private military and security industry. It looks at how the industry is currently defined, and it argues that the ambiguity of some definitions are problematic for the development of cohesive regulations. It also looks at human rights violations perpetrated by the industry and argues that a universal convention or other binding international regulation instrument is necessary.

Regulation and Control of Private Military Companies: The Legislative Dimension

Author: Christopher Kinsey
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This article was published in Contemporary Security Policy Volume 26, Issue 1. The demand for private military services is likely to increase in the near future, a point made in the government's 2002 Green Paper on options for regulation. As a consequence of this, private military companies will continue to have an impact on international security and stability. The introduction of a suitable regulatory system will therefore be vital to ensuring such an impact by UK PMCs is of a positive nature. The article outlines the six regulatory options in the Green Paper and a seventh option not included, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each option and the potential impact of each on the actions of UK PMCs operating on the international stage.

The Future of U.S. Intelligence Outsourcing

Author: Armin Krishnan
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This essay, published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18.1 Fall / Winter 2011 edition, argues that U.S. intelligence outsourcing infringes upon inherently governmental functions. Furthermore, the U.S. government should aim to achieve more transparency and accountability in intelligence outsourcing by reducing secrecy and by emphasizing the exploitation of open sources by the private sector instead of their involvement in clandestine collection, as this can result in or encourage politicization, corruption, waste, and abuse of government powers. 

From ‘Mercenaries’ to ‘Private Security Contractors’: The (Re)Construction of Armed Security Providers in International Legal Discourses

Author: Elke Krahmann
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This article, published in the Millennium Journal of International Studies vol. 40 no.2, aims to examine the changing legal constructions of armed security providers since the 1970s and the consequences with respect to their control. The article argues that the (re)construction of actors who supply armed force for money in international legal discourses has been made possible by three main discursive strategies: the distinction between persons and corporations providing armed force for profit, the changing focus from the motivations of these actors to their relationship to a ‘responsible command’, and the shift from a concern about the actors to one about certain activities.

Problematising the Role of Private Security Companies in Small Wars

Author: Christopher Kinsey
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This article was published in Small Wars & Insurgencies Volume 18, Issue 4. The article sets out to investigate the impact of Private Security Companies (PSCs) on civil wars. In doing so, it has taken an historical line, outlining the way the industry has developed from when it first emerged on the international stage in the late 1960s, to the present. Importantly, the article is able to identify three broad strands of involvement in civil wars that include substituting for state military forces, propping up weak governments, and supplementing state militaries. 

The Impact of Private Security Companies on Somalia's Governance Networks

Author: Christopher Kinsey, Stig Jarle Hansen and George Franklin
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This article appeared in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs Volume 22 Issue 1. It discusses the use of private security contractors to support coastguard forces in the Somali sub-state entities of Puntland and Somaliland. Neither of these entities is sufficiently robust to raise and maintain an effective maritime security force without external assistance, hence they have had recourse to the private sector for training, logistical and operational support and high-level consultancy with respect to their coastguards. The article makes some general observations about the international private security industry and Somali politics in order to provide a context for the three case studies. The case studies, each of which covers the engagement of one security contractor in support of a coastguard, assess the roles played by the contractors, making particular reference to sustainability and influence on governance networks.

Challenging International Law: A Dilemma of Private Security Companies

Author: Christopher Kinsey
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This article appeared in Conflict, Security & Development Volume 5, Issue 3. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a marked increase in the sale of military services by private security companies. The presence of these companies on the international stage raises fundamental questions about the way war is now being fought. Unfortunately, the legal issues raised by their presence in conflicts have not yet been properly addressed. This article sets out to examine the suitability of international law in defining and controlling the activities of PSCs on the battlefield. It then goes on to discuss the problems associated with national regulation. Here the focus is on the attempts by the United States (US), South Africa, and United Kingdom (UK) governments to introduce effective legislation to control the industry.

Choice, voice, and exit: Consumer power and the self-regulation of the private security industry

Author: Elke Krahmann
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This article looks at the importance of self-regulation among Private Security Companies (PSC), especially in light of several scandals in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Within the private security industry, it is assumed that consumers of  their services will help the self-regulation process by choosing to work with companies that have enforced codes of conduct. Using the U.S. as an example, the author develops a framework of analysis and evaluates obstacles to this process.

Externalizing the burden of war: the Obama Doctrine and US foreign policy in the Middle East

Author: Andreas Krieg
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With increasing instability in politically sensitive and strategically important areas of the Middle East, the Obama administration has relied on policies that externalize the burden of war through the use of surrogate actors, such as private military and security companies. These decisions have been made, this article contends, based on the need for cost savings and deniability. The article also contends that a lack of control and strategic alignment of such surrogates has put the United States amid a clash of interests and at risk of losing standing and influence in the region.

The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act

Author: Kathleen A. Kerrigan
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The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) is a critical statute for the future of the United States military and the American public. This statute gives the United States judicial system the ability to exercise jurisdictional control overseas. Critical issues regarding MEJA, especially the implementing of the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) remain unresolved. This thesis proposes a series of revisions to the DoDI in order to resolved ambiguities and misunderstandings, as well as an examination of a case of first impression regarding the use of MEJA. In July 2004, this case of first impression will be prosecuted determining, once and for all, if the jurisdictional gap over Americans accompanying armed forces overseas has been resolved.

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Author: Leila Lawlor
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This article from the Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy examines the legacy of forced segregation on the current allocation of police resources and the use of private security and how those features impact current unofficial segregation.

A Comparative Study of Private Security Regulations of Mongolia, Belgium and the United Kingdom

Author: Galba tLkhagvamaa and Julak Lee
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This article, published in the Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Management Studies, looks at the comparative extent of regulatory infrastructure for the private security in three different states, taking into account the ages of the industry in each state. The goal of the article is the present a path for the Mongolian government to take in order to strengthen the regulations on private security.

Engaging the Contested and Material Politics of Private Military and Security Service Governance from a Pragmatist Perspective

Author: Anna Leander
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This article, presented as part of a symposium put on by the International Studies Quarterly, responds to an article published by Deborah Avant and poses three questions regarding Ms. Avant's article discussing the issues at state, the clarity of the theories presented and the relevance of the article's conclusion.

The Power to Construct International Security: On the Significance of Private Military Companies

Author: Anna Leander
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This article was published in Millennium: Journal of International Studies Volume 33, Issue 3. It suggests that the full significance of PMCs for international security is often missed because the concept of power framing these discussions is inadequate. The power to shape shared understandings of security is particularly neglected. The article argues that the emergence of PMCs has shifted the location of this power from the public/state to the private/market and, even more significantly, from the civil to the military sphere. 

The Role of Private Security Companies in Securing the Malacca Strait

Author: Carolin Liss
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This article was published in Maritime Studies Volume 35, Issue 157. In the past few years, an increasing number of private security companies has emerged and is offering and conducting maritime security services in the Malacca Strait. These companies offer services in addition to security provided by the littoral states and their government agencies. This paper explores the role of private companies in securing vessels, ports and offshore energy installations in the Malacca Strait and suggests that current national regulation and oversight of PSCs operating in this area is insufficient and needs improvement.

Assessing private security accountability: a study of Brazil

Author: Cleber da Silva Lopes
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This article, published in Policing and Society in May, 2014, analyses the extent to which private security companies operating in Brazil are able to hold their employees accountable through internal controls created when companies perceive that violation of public norms will be costly to the company. The study concludes that only external controls exercised by client hiring security companies have significant impact on how private security companies hold their employees accountable.  The findings support the view that private policing activities suffer from governance and accountability deficits.

Current Condition of Private Security Industry in Mongolia

Author: Galbat Lkhagvamaa & Ju-Lak Lee
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Published in the Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, this article is a study looking at the current condition and continuing development of the private security sector in Mongolia. The study finds two primary types of private security in use: proprietary service and contract service. The authors intend for their analysis to be used in the further development of policy governing private security.

The Paradoxical Impunity of Private Military Companies: Authority and the Limits to Legal Accountability

Author: Anna Leander
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This article was published in Security Dialogue Vol. 41,  No. 5. It  analyzes the paradox of private military companies (PMCs)' relative impunity with intense contestation and legal innovation. This article suggests that the paradox of PMC impunity is best understood by reference to the particular form of authority such organizations enjoy. The article also shows that PMC authority is grounded in three interrelated discourses/practices relative to risk/security, market governance and exercise of the state’s monopoly on violence. The centrality of the risk/security discourse paves the way for exceptionalism; that of the role of market governance for ad-hocism; and that of the discourse of respect for the state’s monopoly on violence for inconsequentialism.

Risk and the Fabrication of Apolitical, Unaccountable Military Markets: The Case of the CIA “Killing Program”

Author: Anna Leander
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This article argues that risk is central in (re)producing the unaccountable commercial military/security markets that are a normal part of our political reality. The argument is twofold: first it is suggested that risk rationalities and the associated ‘preventive imperative’ has a depoliticising effect which lowers the eagerness to seek accountability. However, and second, depoliticisation is significant above all as a serious obstacle to the innovative thinking that is the sine qua non of effective accountability. 

What Do Codes of Conduct Do? Hybrid Constitutionalization and Militarization in Military Markets

Author: Anna Leander
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This article contributes to the debate over the whether or not the mainstreaming of Corporate Social Responsibility/Codes of Conduct should be welcomed. It shows that the Codes of Conduct are creating both a hybrid regulatory (or constitutional) network that makes it possible to hold firms accountable and a militarization of politics. Logically flowing from the argument is a suggestion that encouraging and empowering a broader, non-military/security professional involvement in the debate over the regulation of commercial military markets would be the appropriate way of handling it.

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Author: Colm McKeogh
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This article looks at the generally accepted military rule of engagement that civilians should not be targeted. The article argues that the rule is outdated and no longer relevant in an era where the line between civilian and combatant is blurred or nonexistent. It should be replaced, according to the author, by other norms, including that of compassion, influenced by social forces.

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Author: Brian Meehan
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This article published in the Journal of Private Enterprise looks at Robert Nozick's argument that the markets of private protection will turn into a monopoly left unregulated. This is disputed by Meehan, who argues that the evidence seen in the current private security markets shows that regulation in fact decreases the number of companies operating in the market.

Private Maritime Security Contractors and Use of Lethal Force in Maritime Domain

Author: Jasenko Marin, Mišo Mudrić, and Robert Mikac
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This article was a chapter in the book, The Future of the Law of the Sea. It examines the use of lethal force on the maritime omain, particularly by private contractors. due to the law of established law on the use of lethal force by contractors on the sea, the chapter examines it in relation to the use of force rules and case law regarding contractors on land.

Protect, Respect and Remedy: A Framework for Accountability for Human Rights Violations Committed by Foreign Fighters

Author: Haykel Ben Mahfoudh
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This article published in Volume 18 Issue 5 of the International Community Law Review seeks to answer whether or not today's 'foreign fighters' can be classified as mercenaries. And if so, how the United Nations Framework for Mercenaries applies to the foreign fighters. Rather than the construction of an accountability mechanism over human rights violations, the author calls for the application of the dual obligation to protect and respect.

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Author: Evgeni Moyakine
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This book review looks at a work by Corinna Seiberth on the role of non-binding norms as behavior contraints on PMSCs. The author reviews Seiberth's arguments that documents such as the Montreux Document are effective in regulating PMSCs. However, the author also pointed out several flaws in Seiberth's arguments by noting that she does not effectively address grey areas and loopholes in the documents and lack of enforcement. 

The Wars of the 21st Century

Author: Herfried Munkler
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, No. 849. It identifies and explores the salient features of the "new wars" of the 21st century. In particular, three phenomena are analyzed: asymmetry; demilitarization; and privatization and commercialization of war. It is argued that these trends are likely to continue to affect many of the wars in the near future unless there are major geo-political and economic changes in international relations.

Private Military Firms, the American Precedent, and the Arab Spring

Author: Jon D. Michaels
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This article was originally published in the Stanford Journal of International Law, Volume 48, Number 2. Among the important, but largely overlooked, developments arising out of the anti-government protests across the Arab world is the expanded role played by foreign military contractors. These contractors have reportedly endeavored to keep incumbent, autocratic regimes afloat.These regimes' use of armed contractors no doubt invites comparison with recent U.S. experiences involving hundreds of thousands of private actors supporting the American military efforts in lraq and Afghanistan. But contractors' involvement in the Arab Spring promises to deviate sharply from those American experiences. This article considers how the use of military contractors in bolstering the incumbent regimes across the Arab world raises distinct questions about (1) democratic legitimacy and (2) U.S. foreign policy.

The Ethical Implications of the Use of Private Military Force: Regulatable or Irreconcilable?

Author: Dimitrios Machairas
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This paper attempts to present an examination of the ethical/normative ramifications involved with the growing use of private military and security companies, provide some original insight, and probe the question of the degree to which potential regulatory efforts can effectively address the nature of the moral concerns thereby raised. The implications examined focus mainly on relevant principles and concepts of the just war tradition and how they relate to the issue of state control over military action, as well as the ethical/political consequences of public accountability and democratic control over force. The paper concludes that the use of private military force is currently still inconsistent with well-established ethical norms to a significant degree, perhaps one that cannot be easily overcome through legal instruments without a corresponding shift in the ethics of warfare itself.

Private Military and Security Companies in UN Missions

Author: Marina Malamud
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Published in Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, vol. 26, issue 4, in December of 2014, this article explores the growing use of private military and security companies by the United Nations.  Through its doctrine of human security, the UN assists countries in their transition from conflict to sustainable development, with the introduction of private military and security companies seen as a way to increase efficiency and effectiveness.  However, concerns remains about this outsourcing and the risk of a lack of transparency, self-regulation, and conflicts of interest.

Outsourcing Power: How Privatizing Military Efforts Challenges Accountability, Professionalism, and Democracy

Author: Martha Minow
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This article was published in Volume 46 of the Boston College Law Review. This article examines the challenges posed by the lack of accountability and oversight incurred by the U.S. military’s reliance on private contractors for what have traditionally been military roles. The lack of transparency and failures of basic government oversight in contract enforcement regarding the use of private contractors compound the problem of assessing the impact of their increasing role. These developments potentially jeopardize the effectiveness of military activities, the professionalism of the military, the integrity of the legislative process and foreign policy decision making, public confidence in the government, national self-interest, and the stability of the world order.

On “Military Professionalism & Private Military Contractors”

Author: Christopher Mayer
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This article is a response to "Military Professionalism and Private Military Contractors" by Scott Efflandt. Mayer argues that the role of private military contractors is misunderstood, as they are usually agents for private entities and not just states. He concludes that much more work is needed to truly understand their complex role.

Fighting Piracy with Private Security Measures: When Contract Law should Tell Parties to Walk the Plank

Author: Jennifer S. Martin
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This article is to be published in the American University Law Review. It analyzes the potential of using contract law to provide guidance to private security firms engaged in combating piracy. This article examines how the intersection between international law, maritime law, and contract law presents particular challenges for shipping companies attempting to protect vessels from pirate attacks in the vast area of the seas. Taking the Maersk Alabama Attack as a representation of the challenges that face shipowners, private security firms, and the government, this Article employs a typical approach to contractual analysis by interpreting the parties’ agreement in light of trade usage, public policy, and the excuse doctrine.

Overcoming Post-Colonial Myopia: A Call to Recognize and Regulate Private Military Companies

Author: Todd S. Milliard
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This article was published in the Military Law Review Volume 176, Issue 1. This article first presents a brief historical overview of mercenary activities.  The primary analysis section then demonstrates that existing international law provisions were designed to regulate only one type of mercenary, the unaffiliated individual that acted counter to the interests of post-colonial African states.  The article next summarizes the limited liability imposed by existing international provisions upon unaffiliated individuals, state actors, and states themselves.  Concluding that these provisions are altogether inadequate to reach modern PMC activities, the article’s final section proposes a draft international convention and accompanying domestic safeguards that will serve to recognize and regulate state-sanctioned PMCs, while further marginalizing the unaffiliated mercenary whose violence offends international law because it is exercised without state authority.

 

Strange Bedfellows: Private Military Companies and Humanitarian Organizations

Author: Nicholas Maisel
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As aid workers are increasingly targeted in conflict zones, international  humanitarian organizations  and non-governmental organizations are turning to private military and security companies ("PMSCs") to provide security for their operations. This Article examines the legalities of such an arrangement under International Humanitarian Law, as well as the ongoing debates regarding the militarization of humanitarian aid, and the ongoing efforts to regulate PMSCs on both a domestic and an international level.
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Legitimacy of Private Police in Developed, Emerging, and Transitional Economies

Author: Mahesh K. Nalla, Sheila R. Maxwell, Chae M. Mamayek
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This is an article published in European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminal Justice that presents a study that seeks to compare citizens' trust and confidence in private security guards in six major countries - the United States, India, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. Contributing factors observed in the research include democracy levels, perceived professionalism, nature of work, and civility of security guards.

Contemporary Private Military Firms Under International Law: An Unregulated 'Gold Rush'

Author: Jackson Nyamuya Maogoto, Benedict Sheehy
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This article was published in the Adelaide Law Review Volume 26, Issue 2. It addresses the legal issues raised by the ascendance of contemporary Private Military Firms.  It discusses the nature of the contemporary PMF noting that it bears vestiges of yester year mercenaries. It then grapples with their uncertain status under international law despite the fact that they potentially pose problems for state authority and the direct control of states over the use of force. At the heart of the argument is the reality that PMFs maintain the ability to inflict violence on a scale previously reserved to sovereign nations and the real potential to violate humanitarian norms. Yet, they are largely inadequately regulated under existing domestic and international frameworks thus bear hazy legal liability and sanction.

Global Governance and National Interests: Regulating Transnational Security Corporations in the Post Cold-War Era

Author: Kim Richard Nossal
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This article appeared in Volume 2 of the Melbourne Journal of International Law. Since the end of the Cold War, we have seen transnational security corporations (‘TSCs’), or private armies, involved in an increasing number of conflicts. In this article, the author suggest that the privatization of war became such a political issue over the course of the 1990s that while there may be an increased demand for the services of TSCs in the early 2000s, the demand for privatized combat services during this period will diminish. This will have follow-on effects: there will be fewer TSCs delivering combat services and thus political demands for regulation will diminish. In other words, the market may yet work its putative magic, making regulation of TSCs by national governments or international organizations unnecessary.

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PSCs, Myths, and Mercenaries: The Debate on Private Military Companies

Author: Kevin O’Brien
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This article was published in the Royal United Service Institute Journal Volume 145, Issue 1. The role of private military companies in LDCs is discussed. The US government sub-contracted its involvement in the Kosovo monitoring force to a US private security company, DynCorp. The changes in both the operations and perceptions of this industry are discussed.

Military-Advisory Groups and African Security: Privatized Peacekeeping?

Author: Kevin O’Brien
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This article was published in International Peacekeeping Volume 5, Issue 3. Private security firms are growing in influence throughout Africa and other regions of the world; generally composed of former special forces personnel from Western or Southern African countries, they increasingly include strong capabilities in combat firepower and support. While most often they are involved in the re‐training and re‐equipping of national armies in these countries, they have also been involved in combat operations to secure and stabilize strategic mineral or oil‐producing regions from rebel movements, or have assisted rebel movements in overthrowing the national government in order to ensure a better deal for the mining and oil firms with which they cooperate. The increasing activity of these private military‐advisory groups in regional security has raised the issue of whether such firms could replace the role of the international community in regional peacekeeping operations, or whether they are evocative of the continuing evolution of the mercenary.

In the Business of Peace: The Political Influence of Private Military and Security Companies on UN Peacekeeping

Author: Ostensen, Ase
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Private military and security companies increasingly perform services for the UN. The article describes how these companies are used by the UN organization and become part of UN operations. Their participation influences the planning and implementation of UN peacekeeping. By performing tasks such as protective security, security training, peacekeeper training, counseling and intelligence, private companies influence both the epistemological and operational dynamics of peacekeeping.

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Promoting Compliance of Private Security and Military Companies with International Humanitarian Law

Author: Benjamin Perrin
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This article was published in the International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 No. 863. The author critically examines the theoretical risks posed by private military and security company activity with respect to violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, together with the incentives that these companies have to comply with those norms.

The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000: Implications for Contractor Personnel

Author: Joseph R. Perlak
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This article was published in the Military Law Review Issue 169. It argues that if contractor employees are destined to support the modern battlefield or contingency environment, then the prerogatives of command and the imperatives of mission accomplishment must find their way into the contracting process. The role of the contracting officer in this environment must include the clear realization of commanders' intent, including crafting contracts with sufficient foresight and flexibility to meet that intent. Failing this, the substitution and use of contract support for traditional soldier functions will become a false economy that ultimately may degrade U.S. ability to prosecute wars and enforce peace.

Doppelgangers of the State: Private Security and Transferable Legitimacy

Author: Martha Lizabeth Phelps
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This article, published in Politics and Policy Vol. 42, issue 6, in December of 2014, examines the concept of a "legitimacy transfer mechanism" and how this tool establishes non-state providers of military services as legitimate actors in conflicts around the world.  Phelps argues that by borrowing from the firmly established legitimacy of developed, industrialized states, private security firms are able to legitimize themselves in Western culture.  Firms also mimic the policies and goals of the hiring state in an effort to construct their own senses of legitimacy.

The Impact of Mercenaries and Private Military and Security Companies on Civil War Severity between 1946 and 2002

Author: Ulrich Petersohn
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Research has long abandoned the view that only states wage war. On the contrary, civil war research has produced an impressive body of literature on violent non-state actors. Still, a particular group of actors—mercenaries—has been widely neglected so far, although they have participated in numerous conflicts in the second half of the twentieth century. Whether their presence aggravated or improved the situation is a matter of dispute. Some believe that the additional military capabilities provided by mercenaries help to end civil wars quickly without increased bloodshed, while others deem mercenaries greedy and bloodthirsty combatants who contribute to making civil wars more brutal, while a third opinion differentiates between different types of mercenaries. This article tests the impact of mercenaries on civil war severity. The evidence indicates that the presence of both mercenaries and private military and security contractors increases its severity.

Mind the Gap: Lacunae in the International Legal Framework Governing Private Military and Security Companies

Author: Benjamin Perrin
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This article, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012,  examines the common claim that there are gaps in international law that undermine accountability of private military and security companies. A multi-actor analysis examines this question in relation to the commission of international crimes, violations of fundamental human rights, and ordinary crimes. Without this critical first step of identifying specific deficiencies in international law, the debate about how to enhance accountability within this sector is likely to be misguided at best.

Private Security Companies and Civil Wars

Author: Sarah Percy
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This article was published in Civil Wars Volume 11, Issue 1. This article examines how the absence of effective policy about the effects of privatizing force has led to a series of unintended consequences that are influencing and will continue to influence the nature of civil wars. The first section begins by briefly outlining the nature of the private security industry and the roles it plays in civil wars. The second section examines how poor planning has led to problems for the U.S. in its interventions into civil wars, focusing particularly on the private security industry in Iraq. The third section addresses how a similar lack of policy has caused the UK difficulties in the past, and could mean the UK will face problems in conflicts in the future.

The Use of Force and Firearms by Private Maritime Security Companies against Suspected Pirates

Author: Anna Petrig
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This article, published in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Volume 62, Issue 03, 2013, gives a general description of what domestic and international rules govern the use of force and firearms by private maritime security companies on board merchant ships today. It concludes that at this moment an effort to coordinate the legal framework of governing the use of force is necessary, both with regard to the interpretation of existing rules and the creation of new norms.

Sovereignty and Privatizing the Military: An Institutional Explanation

Author: Ulrich Petersohn
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This article was published in the journal of Contemporary Security Policy, Volume 31, Issue 3. Since the mid-1990s, almost all Western states have privatized military tasks, albeit to varying extents. The article addresses both aspects of the phenomenon: Why did Western states privatize military tasks, and why did they do so to varying extents? 

Regulating the private security industry: a story of regulating the last war

Author: Sarah Percy
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This article argues that attempts to regulate the private military and security industry have been stymied by a tendency to be constantly ‘regulating the last war’ or responding to the challenges of a previous manifestation of private force rather than dealing with the current challenges. It argues that states ought to more clearly consider the direction of the industry rather than regulate in response to crises, an approach that has left regulation unequipped to deal with two fields of PSC growth: the use of PSCs against piracy, and to deliver and support humanitarian aid.

The Other Side of the COIN: Private Security Companies and Counterinsurgency Operations

Author: Ulrich Petersohn
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This article was published in the Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 34, Issue 10. The Iraq War was a watershed regarding the scope of battlefield support by Private Security Companies (PSC). Skeptics soon raised concerns about these new actors being an impediment to the success of the very same operations they are meant to support. According to the critics, PSCs are grist to the mill for insurgents as they employ aggressive tactics and thereby alienate the population, cause credibility problems because they enjoy impunity, and increase coordination problems since they are not subordinated under the military chain of command. This article argues that this is not a necessary result of their employment, but rather the consequence of a lack of preparedness to operate alongside PSCs. 

The Effectiveness of Contracted Coalitions: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Author: Ulrich Petersohn
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This article tackles the well-known trend of increasing US contractors in Iraq with an examination of the effectiveness of such groups in lieu of traditional military forces. Aiming to compensate the anecdotal evidence for and against the use of private security companies, the author uses hard data on the conduct of PSCs and compares their performance to US and Iraqi troops. With strict oversight, PSCs can perform adequately and supersede that of their Iraqi and American counterparts.

Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), Military Effectiveness, and Conflict Severity in Weak States, 1990–2007

Author: Ulrich Petersohn
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As PMSCs have become increasingly involved in armed conflicts worldwide, many view these groups as opportunistic companies that may take advantage of bad situations. However, little research has been done to investigate these claims.  This article, published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in August of 2015, explores the impact of PMSC activities on the severity of armed conflict in weak states and asserts that PMSCs support and improve the military effectiveness of their employers and the severity of the conflict. 

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Litigating Abuses Committed by Private Military Companies

Author: Cedric Ryngaert
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This article was published in the European Journal of International Law, 19:5. This article identifies the jurisdictional opportunities and pitfalls of criminal (public law) and civil/tort (private law) litigation against PMCs in domestic courts. The focus lies on litigation for human rights abuses, with special emphasis on U.S. proceedings, the U.S. being the home and hiring state of the majority of PMCs active in overseas conflict zones. It is argued that, because the chances of success of tort litigation are, in fact, rather limited in the US, given the many procedural obstacles, the criminal law avenue may prove to be more promising, if at least prosecutors show more leadership in bringing cases. 

Accounting for Armed Contractors

Author: Ian Ralby
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This article from the Fletcher Security Review of Tufts University, vol. 2, no. 1, and begins with an overview of private security regulation and accountability initiatives.  While these initiatives address many of the problems that arise from the increasing use of private military and security companies, but numerous gaps still remain.  The article elaborates further on the US contracting and the failure of accountability efforts to remain current in this dynamic industry.

Old Wounds, New Warriors: The Problem of Contractor Medical Care during and after Contemporary American Contingency Operations

Author: John Riley and Michael D. Gambone
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This article, from Armed Forces and Society, discusses an overlooked facet of contractors on the battlefield: how and at whose expense are contractors treated for injuries sustained in this dangerous work?  As the number of private contractors in combat situations has increased dramatically in the past decade, mostly under US contracts, the number of contractor casualties has also increased.  Looking at the hiring of contractors as a system defined by commercial transactions rather than the loyalty of citizens and states, this article explores how policy makers must tackle the state's obligations to employees putting their lives on the line.

Regulating War: A Taxomony in Global Administrative Law

Author: Daphne Richemond-Barak
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This article was published in the European Journal of International Law, Volume 22, Issue 4. It examines the intersection between the private security and military industry and the emerging framework of global administrative law (GAL). The article examines one aspect of this intersection, namely the use of GAL to create a taxonomy of the industry’s regulatory schemes. The industry is characterized by a fragmented and decentralized regulatory framework, which has yet to be presented in a complete and orderly fashion. This article fills the gap by applying GAL’s methodology to the private security and military industry. 

Reconsidering the Letter of Marque: Utilizing Private Security Providers Against Piracy

Author: Theodore T. Richard
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This article was published in the Public Contract Law Journal, Volume 39, Issue 3. It examines how letters of marque could be revived to effectively empower the private sector to assist governments in dealing with modern piracy. It examines Somali piracy, the development and different uses of letters of marque and privateers, the current legal framework relating to piracy, Somalia’s decade-long experience with maritime security contractors, the use of maritime contractors outside of Somalia, and addresses concerns involving private maritime security. 

Fighting War and Furthering Slavery

Author: Carissa A. Rarick
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This article deals with the rise in the use of private military contractors, and their involvement with human sex trafficking. There is little recourse to reprimand the private military forces for this, thus the article concludes with a suggestion of how to prosecute and cut ties with those who are involved in sex trafficking.

The Green to Blue Pipeline: Defense Contractors and the Police Industrial Complex

Author: Karena Rahall
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The article from the Cardozo Law Review (forthcoming 2015) explores the rapid militarization of police forces in America.  Rahall argues that with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to an end, defense contractors that once supplied coalition troops and private military companies are looking for new markets for military-grade weapons and equipment.  Thus, there has been an inward turn to domestic police forces, a shift amplified by US Department of Defense programs.
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Special Operations Forces & Private Security Companies

Author: Christopher Spearin
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This article was published in the US Army War College Quarterly, Parameters, Vol.44 No.2 in Summer, 2014.  Spearin examines in the role of private security companies as part of a global special forces network.  Looking at three factors - the industry's defensive focus, the inherent implications in serving within a humanitarian and/or developmental context, and the challenges of retired military personnel moving to the private sector - Spearin concludes that is is possible for private security companies to play an active role as partners among a broad special forces network.

Separating Private Military Companies From Illegal Mercenaries in International Law: Proposing an International Convention for Legitimate Military and Security Support the Reflects Customary International Law

Author: Michael Scheimer
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This article was published in the American University International Law Review, Volume 24. In it, the author discusses the shift of mercenaries as auxiliary in Africa. The author introduces the history of mercenaries and the development of U.S. private military companies (PMCs), as well as the existing international agreements and customary international law. He argues that PMCs can escape the whole definition by virtue of avoiding international agreements on mercenaries that does not have worldwide support.

International Standards for the Private Security Industry

Author: Dirk Siebels
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Published in the RUSI Journal, vol. 159, issue 5, in November of 2014, this article explores the grey area of private security regulation.  Siebels' analysis begins with a historical review of the use of mercenaries and the dawn of the private security industry, followed by an in depth look at contemporary issues in Iraq and Afghanistan. The article further examines attempts to regulate the private security industry, including private maritime security operations.

Against the Current? Somali Pirates, Private Security, and American Responsibilization

Author: Christopher Spearin
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This article was published in Contemporary Security Policy, Volume 31, Issue 3. The American call for commercial shippers to rely upon private security companies (PSCs) to protect their vessels from Somali pirates presents several challenges to sea users. Though this call for responsibilization inherently reveals state limitations, not all commercial shippers embrace it because it upsets traditional conceptions regarding order at sea. Also, the call's American origins suggest that the United States Navy may not work to ensure freedom of navigation in the last resort despite longstanding practice and the expectations of sea users. This, in turn, underscores the lack of structure in relations amongst states, shippers, and PSCs, which could have detrimental consequences regarding the management of violence at sea.

War, Profits, and the Vacuum of Law: Privatized Military Firms and International Law

Author: Peter W. Singer
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This article was published in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Volume 42, Issue 2. Over the last decade, a new global industry has arisen, made up of private firms that sell military services. These companies, known as “privatized military firms” (“PMFs”), sell everything from small teams of commandos to massive military supply operations. The rise of PMFs signals an important new development in the way that war is now carried out. Unfortunately, the legal side has not yet caught up to these events. This article examines the applicability of present international laws and definitions to PMFs and finds a gap in effectiveness. It next looks at national attempts at legal regulation and the challenges that they face. Finally, it surveys some of the potential solutions that have been offered to this legal quandary, seeking to offer workable proposals for how the PMF industry might be brought under some standard of regulation.

Contractor Atrocities at Abu Ghraib: Compromised Accountability in a Streamlined, Outsourced Government

Author: Steven L. Schooner
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Recent experiences in Iraq, particularly allegations that contractor personnel were involved in inappropriate and potentially illegal activities at the Abu Ghraib prison, expose numerous areas of concern with regard to the current state of federal public procurement. Sadly, because these incidents coincide with a series of procurement scandals, the likes of which the government has not experienced since the late 1980's, they cannot be dismissed so easily as anomalies. The Abu Ghraib abuses suggest at least two matters that cry out for government-wide attention and intervention. 

Globalization, Sovereignty and the Military Revolution: From Mercenaries to Private International Security Companies

Author: Lawrence W Serewicz
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This article was published in International Politics, Volume 39. The state faces a crisis of authority because its sovereignty is challenged from below, or within, by sub-state military actors and from above, without, by supra-state organizations. This article asks whether the diffusion of military technology and knowledge via globalization gives the state or sub-state military actors the advantage? State response to mercenaries in the 16th century is compared to and contrasted with state response to private international security companies in the 21st century. 

Private Security Companies (PSCs) as a Piracy Countermeasure

Author: Lars Bangert Struwe
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This article was published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Volume 35, Numbers 7-8. Private Security Companies (PSC) are a part of the Best Management Practice in the shipping industry. While the use of PSCs may offer some deterrent value, the potential costs of hiring these firms would appear to outweigh the benefits. The argument in this article is that the use of PSCs works for the individual ship owners, but it is not a long term solution of the piracy problem unless they are used in a coordinated way by ship owners and the international society. In this way they can become an added value in the fight against piracy.

Transparency as a Core Public Value and Mechanism of Compliance

Author: Allison Stanger
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This essay, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, argues that turning the clock back and returning security to an in-house assignment is both undesirable and impossible. Instead, government must identify the things that should never be outsourced and ensure that the letter and spirit of the Federal Funding Transparency and Accountability Act is upheld in order to foster private security contractor compliance with ethical norms. Transparency is an end in itself and a means to sustainable democratic deliberation. 

Dead Contractors: The Un-Examined Effect of Surrogates on the Public’s Casualty Sensitivity

Author: Steven L. Schooner, Collin D. Swan
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This article was published in the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.  When a nation deploys ground forces, an inverse relationship exists between the number of military deaths and public support. This stark and monolithic metric, which economists call the “casualty sensitivity” effect, requires close examination today.  On the modern battlefield, contractor personnel die at rates similar to —or indeed often in excess of —soldiers, yet the U.S. public and Congress remain largely unaware of this “substitution.”  This article explains the phenomenon, identifies some of the challenges and complexities associated with quantifying and qualifying the real price of combat in a modern outsourced military, and encourages greater transparency.

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry and Its Ramifications for International Security

Author: Peter W. Singer
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This article, published was published in International Security, Volume 26, Issue 3. It examines the emergence and growing influence of “privatized military firms” (PMFs), defined as “profit-driven organizations that trade in professional services intricately linked to warfare.” The author finds that not only are PMFs changing the makeup of the modern battlefield and how states conduct war, but they are breaking the monopoly of the state over violence. In addition, these “corporate warriors” are giving nonstate actors–including drug cartels and warlords–unbridled access to the instruments of war.

Private Security Companies and Humanitarians: a Corporate Solution to Securing Humanitarian Spaces?

Author: Christopher Spearin
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This article was published in International Peacekeeping, 8:1. In light of the need for humanitarian organizations to have adequate security for their operations, private security companies are now filling the void left by state forces. Little analysis, however, has been made of the impact of private security companies on the delivery of post-Cold War humanitarian assistance. To make this analysis, the article considers the changes in humanitarian activity, the relevant services offered by private security providers, the differing issues relating to legitimacy factors and financial and political implications, and the state of the mechanisms capable of bringing about positive change in the relationship between private security companies and humanitarian organizations. 

Private, Armed and Humanitarian? States, NGOs, International Private Security Companies and Shifting Humanitarianism

Author: Christopher Spearin
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This article was published in Security Dialogue, Volume 39, Issue 4. It contends that, in the light of contemporary challenges, states are not only changing the meaning of the word `humanitarian', but are also creating an expanding marketplace that includes international private security companies (PSCs) in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. 

Closing the Gap in Criminal Jurisdiction Over Civilians Accompanying the Armed Forces Abroad--A First Person Account of the Creation of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000

Author: Glenn R. Schmitt
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This article appeared in the Catholic University Law Review, Volume 51. It examines the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 which establishes federal criminal jurisdiction over offenses committed outside the United States by persons employed by or accompanying the United States Armed Forces. The author had a role in crafting this law, and this article discusses that process. The article concludes by discussing the law and addressing any continuing issues that may need congressional attention. 

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Foreign Terrorist Fighter Laws: Human Rights Rollbacks Under UN Security Council Resolution 2178

Author: Letta Tayler
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This article published in Volume 18 Issue 5 of the International Community Law Review takes a look at the wide-ranging effects of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178 of September 2014. The Resolution allows for the broad definition of 'terrorist' or 'terrorist actions' that can be applied by States. This leaves at risk several groups such as non-violent protesters, journalists, political opponents, civil society members, and ethnic or religious groups.

No More Nisour Squares: Legal Control of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and After

Author: Charles Tiefer
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This Article was published in the Oregon Law Review, Issue 88:3. It analyzes and builds upon the somewhat successful steps taken by the Department of Defense and the Department of State in 2008–2009 to manage the problem of the Blackwater incident at Nisour Square . Analyzing those steps shows a key strand consisting of what may be called the “contract law” approach. In the much-expanded form proposed in this Article, the “contract law” approach would use government contract requirements, contracting tools and sanctions, contract-related claims, and distinctive contract-related suits to both control and remedy private security abuses and injuries. This Article continues my prior studies as a professor of government contracting law with a specific interest in the Iraq war.

Drowning in Blackwater: How Weak Accountability over Private Security Contractors Significantly Undermines Counterinsurgency Efforts

Author: Jeffrey S. Thurnher
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This article was published in The Army Lawyer, Issue 422. It discusses the overall U.S. policy for controlling private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq. It highlights the significant steps of the U.S. forces in Iraq in the aftermath of the Blackwater incident in Iraq. It suggests that the U.S. must take careful steps to strengthen its oversight of PSCs if it wants to succeed in future counterinsurgency operations around the world.

Privatising war: assessing the decision to hire private military contractors

Author: Isaac Taylor
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With the expansion of private military and security services in the past few decades, the decision making process of how, or if, to hire PMSCs has grown particularly important.  The article, published in the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy in October of 2015, examines this process in seeking to understand how and why states should hire PMSCs. The author examines several points of view, but concludes that the effectiveness of PMSCs in any given situation is ultimately the most critical consideration.
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The Growth of Private Security: Trends in the European Union

Author: Ronald van Steden, Rick Sarre
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This article was published in the Security Journal. It provides an update of the trend towards greater private provision of policing and security services in the European Union. Although the authors state that their data must be treated with caution, recent figures indicate growth from around 600,000 security employees in 1999 to well over a million at the date of publication. To predict future trends, researchers must undertake international comparisons of the reach of private security and make a start towards drawing a comprehensive picture of the means by which security industries are best monitored and regulated in national jurisdictions. The authors argue that, in addition, issues of equality, professionalism and accountability surrounding privatized policing must become a focus of research by practitioners and theorists alike.

What the Research on PMSCs Discovered and Neglected: An Appraisal of the Literature

Author: Hilde van Meegdenburg
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From Contemporary Security Policy, this article explores the breadth of growing literature surrounding private military and security companies. With the expansion and acceptance of PMSCs in the past 15 years, debates have turned to the accommodation of such companies within military and democratic institutions.  This article offers a comprehensive appraisal of existing literature and a critique of research focusing solely on the regulation of PMSCs at the expense of other topics that break the mold of typical scholarship on PMSCs.

Managing the Private Spies: The use of Commercial Augmentation for Intelligence Operations

Author: Glenn James Voelz
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This article was published by the Joint Military Intelligence College as a discussion paper in June, 2006. The end of the Cold War created a paradox within which the intelligence community was required to downsize, while simultaneously refocusing its effort on a more complex and diverse set of threats. Among the most pressing challenges was the need for an on-demand, surged intelligence capability for coverage over a diverse range of operational requirements. The response has been that collection management, remote sensing, linguistic support, document exploitation, interrogation, and technical analysis, among other intelligence support functions, are currently being performed by private contractors. The author conducted data collection and interviewed personnel assigned within DOD agencies, Combined Command, and Joint Task Force intelligence staffs in order to generate a holistic evaluation of contract management practices.

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The Privatization of Violence: A Challenge to State-Building and the Monopoly on Force

Author: Herbert Wulf
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This article, published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18.1 Fall / Winter 2011 edition compares the trend toward privatizing security to state-building efforts. One of the many challenges in weak states is persistent insecurity, where the state typically lacks the capacity to protect its monopoly on force.  At present, two intrinsically contradictory strategies are used to tackle the security dilemma: (1) state-building and democratic reform of the security sector; or (2) the privatization of traditionally military and police functions. The two policies can entail conflicting goals. State- and institution-building, including security sector reform, seek to strengthen the state’s monopoly on force, while privatization partially outsources this monopoly to private actors. 

Due Diligence Obligations of Conduct: Developing a Responsibility Regime for PMSCs

Author: Nigel D. White
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This essay, found in Criminal Justice Ethics, Volume 31, Issue 3, 2012, examines the argument that structural inadequacies in international legal standards stand in the way of international regulation of PMSCs. By analyzing understandings of legal responsibility, where such structural issues come to the fore, it is argued that, rather than attempting to resolve disputes about the inherent functions of a state, regulatory regimes should focus on the positive obligations of states and PMSCs, and the interactions between them. Applying the results of this analysis, current and proposed regulatory regimes are evaluated and their shortcomings revealed.

European Security and Private Military Companies: The Prospects for Privatized “Battlegroups”

Author: James K. Wither
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This paper was published in The Quarterly Journal, summer 2005 Issue. Prior to the 19th century, European military power was heavily reliant on mercenary soldiers. This paper examines whether or not the EU could return to a reliance on the modern day equivalent, PMCs, to supplement or even substitute national military forces in an expeditionary role, specifically supplying direct combat services. Despite the EU’s attempts to strengthen its expeditionary capabilities, the modern EU soldier is generally ill-suited and untrained to operate in the fluid, asymmetrical environment of intervention operations, a void which PMCs have evolved to fill. This paper examines the practical and legal obstacles and challenges that may be encountered in the trend toward privatization of military operations. 

The Privatisation of Military and Security Functions and Human Rights: Comments on the UN Working Group’s Draft Convention.

Author: Nigel D. White
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This article appears in the Human Law Rights Review, Volume 11, Issue 1. The killing of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad by the U.S. based private military company, Blackwater highlighted the activities of PMSCs in conflict and post-conflict zones and the inadequacies of the existing mechanisms for accountability and oversight of PMSCs at the national and international levels. This article examines two efforts aimed at regulating PMSCs: the Montreux Document, initiated by the ICRC, and the Draft Convention on Private Military and Security Companies put forward to the Human Rights Council by the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries in July 2010.

Contracting Out War?: Private Military Companies, Law and Regulation in the United Kingdom

Author: Clive Walker, Dave Whyte
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This article was published in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Volume 54, Issue 3. It examines the apparent shift from the ‘night-watchman State,’ which protected citizens against violence and enforced contracts on their behalf, to the ‘ultra-minimal State,’ in which the task of the State is confined to the monopolization of violence rather than the actual provision of security, as a trend in modern Western governments. The ultra-minimal State retains only a residual steeringpolicy role in which the parameters of contractual engagement for protection can be set. Even the armed forces have fallen prey to the processes of commodification and marketization that have previously been applied to core functions such as policing and imprisonment.

Lethal Regulation: State-Corporate Crime and the United Kingdom Government's New Mercenaries

Author: Dave Whyte
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This paper was published in the Journal of Law and Society, Volume 30, Issue 4. It presents a critique of the dominant view that private military forms are legitimate, fully incorporated companies. It examines the regulation of private military and security firms proposed by the United Kingdom government, arguing that its purpose should be understood as the facilitation, rather than the restraint of those markets. States are playing a formative role in the expansion of private military markets, and the emergence of those markets should be understood as an expansion of the coercive and violent capacities of states. Western states are facilitating new modes of delivering terror and violence that are also likely to increase, rather than reduce, the incidence of state-corporate crimes.

EU Operations and Private Military Contractors: Issues of Corporate and Institutional Responsibility

Author: Nigel D. White, Sorcha Macleod
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This article was published in the European Journal of International Law, Volume 19, Issue 5. It explores the growing pressure on EU Member States to provide troops for the increasing number of EU peace operations around the globe. It notes that with national militaries being rationalized and contracted, the EU will inevitably follow the lead of the U.S., the UK, and the UN and start to use private military contractors to undertake some of the functions of peace operations. This article explores the consequences of this trend from the perspective of the accountability and responsibility of both the corporation and the institution when the employees of PMCs commit violations of human rights law and, if applicable, international humanitarian law. 

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The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000: Closing the Gap

Author: Mark J. Yost, Douglas S. Anderson
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This article was published in the American Journal of International Law, Volume 95, Issue 2. It discusses the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000, a law that closed a jurisdictional gap that had concerned the military since the 1950s. The new law establishes federal jurisdiction for crimes committed by civilians who accompany military forces outside the United States, as well as crimes by former members of the military who leave active duty before being prosecuted by courts-martial.

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Private military/security companies, human security, and state building in Africa

Author: Rachel Zedeck
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This article was published in the African Security Review, Volume 16, Issue 4. This article argues that a discussion of human security in the context of PMC operations should not only focus on observance of the Geneva Conventions and other relevant aspects of international law, but also on the immediate needs and stabilization of local populations living within the areas where these conflicts take place. The question is whether the operations  of  these  commercial  organizations  will  be  advantageous  to  stabilizing  the human  security  of  local  populations,  or  reflect  the impression left by their operations in Iraq and be exploitive and destructive.

The Emergence of a New Dog of War: Private International Security Companies and the New World Disorder

Author: Juan-Carlos Zarate
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This article appeared in the Stanford Journal of International Law, Volume 34, Issue 1. It examines the rise and legality of international private security companies. The article argues that the customary international law banning the use of mercenaries should not apply to private security companies that are hired by governments or by internationally recognized movements of national liberation for either training or combat support. Private security companies cannot be considered "mercenaries" because their activities have not challenged the sovereignty of states or the right of populations to self-determination. Instead, they restrict their contracts solely to work for legitimate regimes or organizations. 

The private security in Brazil: some aspects related to the motivations, regulation and social implications of the sector

Author: André Zanetic
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The growing Brazilian private security sector raises important questions regarding the nature of the state's responsibility to monitor and regulate private security companies. This article proposes to examine the current Brazilian regulatory framework and its more problematic implications. The author finds that the major challenge going forward is to balance the rights of Brazilians without limiting the efficiency of private security firms.