ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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. The two civil war case studies for consideration are the Angolan Civil War 1975-2002 and the Sierra Leone Civil War 1991-2000. Executive Outcomes EO and Sandline International are the two PMSCs that participated in Angolas and Sierra Leones civil wars.