Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy

Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy

Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy

Outsourcing Security: Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy

Synopsis

Faced with a decreasing supply of national troops, dwindling defense budgets, and the ever-rising demand for boots on the ground in global conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, decision makers are left with little choice but to legalize and legitimize the use of private military contractors (PMCs). Outsourcing Security examines the impact that bureaucratic controls and the increasing permissiveness of security environments have had on the U.S. military's growing use of PMCs during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Bruce E. Stanley examines the relationship between the rise of the private security industry and five potential explanatory variables tied to supply-and-demand theory in six historical cases, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the U.S. intervention in Bosnia in 1995, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Outsourcing Security is the only work that moves beyond a descriptive account of the rise of PMCs to lay out a precise theory explaining the phenomenon and providing a framework for those considering PMCs in future global interaction.

Excerpt

To date, the scholarly work on the increased use of private security, both domestically and internationally, has failed to produce a working theory of the phenomenon. At best the existing bodies of knowledge describe the private security industry in its contemporary form and provide some understanding of the contextual conditions that allowed for the industry’s growth. However, descriptive accounts by scholars have not been tested with empirical evidence to determine which causal explanations are not only necessary but sufficient to explain the growth of the industry. In addition the time horizon must be expanded to include samples prior to the end of the cold war to be considered comprehensive. Most of the scholarly work implies that the privatization of security emerged from the global conditions created at the end of the cold war. “While international changes surely played a large role in the increase in the use of private military contractors, it would be unwise to assume that domestic influences had no role in such a large policy shift. This book demonstrates, first, that the use of private security contractors by the United States is not a new condition; second, that the recent increased use of private security as an instrument of military policy or foreign policy may in fact be a consequence of deliberate policy decisions of successive presidential administrations; and third, that the security environment in the target state of an intervention is a factor that produces an increase of private security contractors.

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