Accession Number:

ADA605751

Title:

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

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

17.0

Abstract:

Machiavellis warning against the privatization of conflict is almost a cliche of international relations. And yet conflict at the beginning of the 21st century is in many ways reminiscent of the Italian philosophers time. Niche wars, for instance, are on the rise around the globe, pitting governments and nongovernmental forces against each other. Already, the new era is marked by a decrease in conventional warfare with large armies and an increase in conflicts characterized as Military Operations Other Than War MOOTW. Added to this are a growing number of nations unable to provide security for their citizens as well as the increasing demands by civilian leadership around the world for leaner, less expensive military forces. These developments have fueled a surge of interest in the privatization of conflict. An increasingly important manifestation of this trend is the private military corporation PMC, organized to provide often-specialized military expertise to its clients. These organizations, representing a step above the mercenary, manifest themselves as transnational terrorist groups, drug cartel forces, and religiously motivated combat groups like the Islamic Brotherhood. A more conventional means of privatized violence is the private security company that provides personnel and installation protection at home and abroad. In this hierarchy, the private military corporation represents the ultimate evolution of private means of violence. The initial task of this article is to examine this evolution against the historical backdrop of state efforts to suppress violence. Why, despite these efforts and the time-honored resonance of Machiavellis warning, have PMCs emerged in the post-Cold War era In what type of future operations could these organizations be most effective What are the advantages and disadvantages of their use by the United States The purpose of this article is to provide answers to these questions.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE