Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry

Article excerpt

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by P. W. Singer. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, Cornell University Press (http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu), Sage House, 512 East State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, 2003, 352 pages, $39.95 (hardcover).

In the past 10 years, in the aftermath of the Cold War, military forces and military budgets have become smaller. The superpower standoff has disappeared, allowing former client states to engage in internal and external wars with impunity. Wars are more frequent, and those who would intervene have less capacity to do so. Militaries are also trying to maximize tooth and minimize tail. Filling all the gaps are corporate warriors, private armies willing to go anywhere and do almost anything-for a price.

P. W. Singer traces the history of mercenaries and other private forces, noting that the tradition is as old as civilization-beginning in Ur thousands of years ago. Given that the "modern" national state military dates back only 200 years, the privatized military industry (PMI) is not the departure from tradition that it first seems. But PMIs are not purely mercenaries. They come in three general types: providers, consultants, and support services. Executive Outcomes was a provider (i.e., a combat force). Consultants are more accurately designated military advisors and trainers; for example, Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI), a spin-off from the Lockheed-Loral merger, built the Croat army. …

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