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Natural Resources and Private Military Security Companies: How Do They Affect Civil War Duration

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School of Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The commissioning of mercenary companies, otherwise known today as private military security companies PMSCs, to enhance military and political capabilities as well as to ensure economic stability for state and non-state actors is well known in the subfield of conflict studies. The conflict studies sub-discipline of civil wars is also well researched with numerous studies that address the four common variables of civil war scholarship 1 onset, 2 intensity, 3 duration and 4 termination. However, there are few studies that address civil war duration, natural resources, and PMSCs foreign intervention. The goal of this paper is to identify how PMSCs may affect civil war duration in developing African states with resource wealth. This paper finds that PMSCs can increase the duration of a civil war because of the services provided and the promise of future extraction rights FER for natural resources as payment for the commission of the PMSCs by the state government. This paper will primarily build off the research design of Ross How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War Evidence from Thirteen Cases, in which he develops nine testable hypotheses about the variables that link natural resources and civil war by using the qualitative case study research method. Ross research identifies four additional variables after conducting his analysis, and this paper will build off one of these unanticipated variables, the variable affecting civil war duration. The civil war duration variable, which is the promise of future extraction rights FER for natural resources as payment to fund military action in support of the state government, will be examined in this paper with one more additional mechanism not addressed by Ross and others in the civil war natural resource subfield, the involvement of PMSCs and their potential influence on the duration of a civil war.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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