Accession Number:

ADA446127

Title:

Public War, Private Fight? The United States and Private Military Companies

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

83.0

Abstract:

The United States has long utilized private military contractors to augment regular military forces in support of its national foreign policy and security needs. Commonly referred to as Private Military Companies PMCs, contractors employ and manage civilian personnel from the private sector in areas of active military operations. Frequently, regular troops become dependent on the services contractors provide a situation that may negatively impact military effectiveness. Since 1991, contractor support on and off the battlefield has become increasingly more visible, varied, and commonplace. Given the current manpower and resource limitations of the national military, the US will likely continue its extensive use of PMCs in support of military operations. This work addresses historical precedents and trends in American logistics, the current scope of contractor involvement in support of regular military forces, and the challenges posed as traditional military institutions integrate increasing numbers of civilian workers and privately owned assets into the battlespace. These problems increase the risk to US personnel and can induce budget overruns rather than savings, disrupt civil-military relations, and have detrimental consequences for the American economy and society. The work concludes by proposing a useful rubric to evaluate this new American way of war. This work considers PMCs and their interdependence with regular and reserve military units in a broad sense. It derives from unclassified material widely available understandably, these sources limit the analysis. Lessons learned from the Operation IRAQI FREEDOM OIF and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM OEF theaters may alter findings. However, this study endeavors to frame the continuing dialog concerning the appropriate use of PMCs to support regular troops.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE