Private Military Companies, also known as PMC’s, are changing the face of warfare.

Private Military Companies have shown themselves able to operate more effectively at a lower total cost and with fewer friendly casualties than government-operated military forces.

Under Fire, Security Firms Form An Alliance

Under assault by insurgents and unable to rely on U.S. and coalition troops for intelligence or help under duress, private security firms in Iraq have begun to band together in the past 48 hours, organizing what may effectively be the largest private army in the world, with its own rescue teams and pooled, sensitive intelligence.

The Private Military Company: A Legitimate International Entity within Modern Conflict

Active military assistance operations conducted by private military companies are indeed legitimate, but measurement of legitimacy can only be assessed as being de-facto and amoral. Moreover these missions are being conducted within a vacuum of effective regulation and accountability at the international and national levels that is decidedly inappropriate for the international realm in the twenty first century.

US Army Reserve Command: CSC Joint Venture Supports Military During Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq

Medical success: well trained staff members were able to quickly mobilize and establish sophisticated military hospitals, thanks to training provided by ITS Medical Systems (ITSMED), a joint venture between CSC and Advanced Management for Material and Equipment, LLC.

The Privatisation of War

Private corporations have penetrated western warfare so deeply that they are now the second biggest contributor to coalition forces in Iraq after the Pentagon, a Guardian investigation has established.

Using mercenaries for peacekeeping ‘could save lives’

A Foreign Office plan to contract out peacekeeping duties to mercenaries could save lives by cutting red tape, the head of a private military company claims.

Inside Lt Col Spicer’s new model army

Sunday Telegraph article exploring the subjects of private military company regulation and transparency.

Soldiers of Fortune Ltd.: A Profile of Today’s Private Sector Corporate Mercenary Firms

Profiles of three private military companies: Executive Outcomes, Sandline, and MPRI.

Response to Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation

Response of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the Foreign Affairs Committee for Private Military Companies on the green paper Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation

The Pentagon’s Private Army

They run the mess halls. They program the weapons. They even recruit soldiers. And if America goes to war against Iraq, private military companies will play a bigger role than ever before. From Fortune magazine.

Dogs of War

As the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone stumbles, some are saying the private sector would do a better job. The ongoing conflict between government, the military and rebels in Sierra Leone has been one of Africa’s most brutal. Private sector militaries say they may be able to succeed where the UN has failed. From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

PMCs, Myths and Mercenaries

Since 1993, there has been a great deal of attention focused on the role of private military companies (PMCs) in the Developing World; part of this was a renewed interest in “mercenarism”, last seen during the mid-1970s, and part related to the perception of PMCs as a “new phenomenon” in regional security. This article discusses the changes that are emerging in both the operations and perceptions of this industry, especially in relation to Western governments, and confront the numerous fallacies, illusions and myths that have emerged over these six years concerning this topic.

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

A critical examination of 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 Privatization of Peacekeeping: Prospects and Realities

An analysis of the role of private military companies in peace-keeping operations.

Why Do States Hire Private Military Companies?

Due to the breakdown of state ability to contain or counter internal violence in the developing and newly emerging states after the end of the Cold War, States are increasingly rely on private military armies to maintain their security. These private forces have taken on the guise of profit making enterprises that offer military advice as well as providing fighting forces. This is a break from how they were traditionally as “mercenaries” and “soldiers of fortune”. Though the development of states hiring “companies” to preform the tasks that were once the domain of govrenments may seem new, in fact the outsourcing of private military armies states has a long history dating back to ancient times in the Greek, Roman and Chineses civilizations. What has changed has been the level of sophistication of operations and the acceptance from industrialized and developed states for the uses of “legitimate” companies. There have even been recent suggestions that private armies could be used in peacekeeping missions for the UN to replace the fear and fatigue of member states to involve government forces in an increasingly dangerous operations.

U.S. Companies Hired to Train Foreign Armies

When the Pentagon talks about training the new Afghan National Army, it doesn’t mean with its own soldiers. The Green Berets and other elite U. S. troops are needed elsewhere. Instead, the Defense Department is drawing up plans to use its commandos to jump-start the Afghan force, then hire private military contractors to finish the job. It would be the most vital role yet taken on by a somewhat clandestine industry accustomed to operating on the fringe of U. S. foreign policy by training foreign armies. As the United States pushes its antiterrorism campaign beyond Afghanistan, the role of these private companies promises to grow right along with it.

Privatising Protection

When people in the world’s conflict zones need protecting, it is the United Nations which is most frequently charged with ‘doing something’. Often short of soldiers, it should be given another option, to call on professional military companies to provide human security for a fee ‘The redeployment of mercenaries in this blighted nation would be an act of genuinely ethical foreign policy,’ noted Times correspondent, Sam Kiley after witnessing Sierra Leonean women and children being killed and their limbs being hacked off in January 1999.

America’s For-Profit Secret Army

With the war on terror already a year old and the possibility of war against Iraq growing by the day, a modern version of an ancient practice – one as old as warfare itself – is reasserting itself at the Pentagon. Mercenaries, as they were once known, are thriving – only this time they are called private military contractors, and some are even subsidiaries of Fortune 500 companies.

Private Firms Do US Military’s Work

In Iraq, private contractors do just about everything a soldier would do. They sling Spam in mess tents. They tote guns along base perimeters. They shoot. They get shot. Sometimes they get killed. And it’s not just in Iraq, but around the world – in conflict zones from Liberia to Kosovo to Afghanistan – that the United States is putting hired help behind the front lines to ease the burden of its overworked armed forces. By paying civilians to handle military tasks, the Bush administration is freeing up U.S. troops to fight.

Dogs of War Take to Suits

The growing number of private military companies operating in Iraq and Afghanistan point to far-reaching changes in the business of war since the 1990s, experts say.

The Private Sector’s Role in Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement

Refugees International recommends that the UN consider using private contractors for logistical support, given appropriate systems of oversight and accountability. The U.S. military and many other countries already rely on private contractors for support operations. The UN could greatly enhance the effectiveness of troops from developing countries, perhaps using companies to better prepare troops for peacekeeping, or to provide transportation and communication capacities that are often lacking. Non-combat roles for private companies may prove an acceptable compromise between the need to enhance peace operations capacity, and the need to keep military capacity in the hands of the state.

Should We Privatize the Peacekeeping?

With the United Nations’ mission to Sierra Leone floundering, and Western nations even more reluctant to contribute troops, there is a need for some alternative way to undertake peacekeeping in Africa. One such solution may be found in the role that the South Africa-based private military company Executive Outcomes (EO) played in Sierra Leone from May 1995 to January 1997.

New role for mercenaries

An article considering the possibility of using private military companies in peace-keeping roles

Peacekeeping ‘role’ for mercenaries

Mercenaries working for private military companies could be used for international peacekeeping duties, the British government has suggested.

Send in the mercenaries if our troops won’t fight

The catastrophe in Sierra Leone could have been avoided – but only if that fickle creature “the international community” or West African states had had both the will and the ability to defend the democratically elected government against the country’s odious rebel movement.

Mad Mike Comes in From the Cold; Mercenaries

British governments have kept the mercenaries at arm’s length. Now, however, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, has decided that mercenaries are, in fact, rather a good thing. They have therefore, in true New Labour fashion, been re-branded as “private military companies” (PMCs).

Yahoo Group: pmcs

PMCs is a discussion group on the ethics, evolution and future of the international private military services industry. This includes private military companies (PMCs), private security companies (PSCs), mercenaries and corporate armies. This newsgroup will include anyone who is interested in discussing the topic with others from NGOs, PMCs, PSCs, universities, human rights organizations or with backgrounds in the field. The group encourages the posting of relevant articles, papers, web sites and opinions.

We don’t operate in the shadows

Telegraph interview with Tim Spicer, president of Sandline, a private military company.

Should the Activities of Private Military Companies be Transparent?

Regulation and transparency go hand-in-hand. There is a growing desire on the part of ethical PMCs to subject themselves to an acceptable degree of regulation, with the proviso that it does not hinder their corporate effectiveness, such as their ability to deploy into an area of conflict extremely rapidly. Transparency of their business dealings and their corporate structure must be an important component of any such framework – no company could be accredited for example unless the regulating body was satisfied about the character of the shareholders and the business’ underlying commercial principles which, some may argue, are as important as their operating principles, albeit perhaps not on the field of conflict.

Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Private Military Companies – Independent or Regulated?

Private Military Companies (PMCs) have a valid role to play in future conflict resolution, peace enforcement and peace-keeping, together with the protection of humanitarian operations, and given that there still is a degree of unease and suspicion within the international community, there is a clear requirement for some form of oversight and regulation. However, while legitimate Private Military Companies (PMCs) would welcome this, it is a prerequisite that these regulations must not become overly burdensome and prejudicial to the speed of action and operational efficiency of Private Military Companies (PMCs), which is the hallmark of these organisations.

The New Mercenaries and the Privatization of Conflict

In a violent and often unfair world, it is certain that the demand for mercenaries will not go away soon. If the great powers, collectively or individually, are not willing to take up the role of global police in unlikely and unrewarding places, it is equally certain that others will fill that vacuum for good or for ill. In the end, the issue of mercenaries comes down to a question of deciding what kind of world we want and are willing to pay for, both in blood and money.

The New Condottieri and US Policy: The Privatization of Conflict and Its Implications

The United States continues to pursue a national strategy of engagement and needs the ability to generate forces that can respond across the spectrum of conflict. Either a large force must be maintained or alternate solutions must be found. Private military corporations provide the United States the ability to respond across the spectrum of conflict by contracting out for required non-core or emerging capabilities. Their use for peace and humanitarian operations, as well as to provide cutting-edge capabilities for combating transnational threats, conducting offensive information operations, or facing asymmetric threats at the lower end of the conflict spectrum represents untapped potential. This is a pattern in state affairs that is not entirely new; indeed, it is one that has been used successfully by states for ages. Rather than a usurper of state legitimacy, the PMC can become an extension of the United States as a tool to further American strategic interests.

Waging War with Civilians: Asking the Unanswered Questions

When we properly consider war as Carl von Clausewitz did – as unique situations limited by numerous ambiguities – how can we possibly write a contract for war? Yet, this is one of the challenges that comes from using more and more privatization to save costs in increasingly technocomplex operations. As Lt Col Lourdes Castillo points out, contractors are no longer restricted to acquisition and logistics but are found nearly everywhere – and their presence on the battlefield is a reality.

Managing, Deploying, Sustaining, and Protecting Contractors on the Battlefield

Contractors always have supported the Army and will continue to do so in the future. As contractor use becomes more institutionalized, more and more functions will be contracted out. Commanders and their planning staffs must be prepared to receive significant support from contractors in all military operations and under virtually all conditions.

FM 100-10-2

U.S. Army Field Manual 100-10-2: Contracting Support on the Battlefield

FM 3-100.21

U.S. Army Field Manual 3-100.21: Contractors on the Battlefield

Army Regulation 715-9

Army Regulation 715-9: Contractors Accompanying the Force

International Peace Operations Association (IPOA)

The International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) is an association of Military Service Provider companies – companies who work or are interested in international peace operations around the world. This includes companies that do everything from mine clearance, to armed logistics, to emergency humanitarian services, to actual armed peacekeeping. The association was founded to institute industry-wide standards and a code of conduct, maintain sound professional and military practices, educate the public and policy-makers on the industry’s activities and potential, and ensure the humanitarian use of private peacekeeping services for the benefit of international peace and human security.

Military Contractors Shoulder Heavy Burden in Iraq

They have military-style weapons and duties. Many even have military-style body armor and crew cuts. An Iraqi could be forgiven for failing to understand that these men are guns for hire – not soldiers. These hired guns, who number more than 15,000, generally prefer the term “private military contractors.” They are a mixture of ex-military, mostly from Great Britain and the United States, but also from Australia, South Africa and elsewhere, including Fiji, Nepal and even Iraq. They serve many roles that are traditionally seen as the responsibility of soldiers, including guarding supply convoys for military contractors, training Iraqi soldiers and even supplying guards for Coalition Provisional Authority (search) Administrator L. Paul Bremer.

More data about Private Military Companies (PMCs) is available on Sandline’s Publications and Views page and Doug’s Hoosier Home Page.

An Unorthodox Soldier: Peace and War and the Sandline Affair Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry Fortune's Warriors: Private Armies and the New World Order
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