Egmont Institute logo

The political, legal, and military implications of outsourcing to private military companies

Post thumbnail print


Recurrent and systematic underin-vestment (or inadequate management) results in capability shortfalls, that can only be compen sated by ‘outsourcing’ to Private Mili tary Companies. While the use of private companies for corporate or logistic functions might be manageable, complem entary and legitimate, outsour – cing inherently governmental functions as the use of force to hired guns inevitably leads to legal, military and political issues. Even with an adequate management structure, not all milita ry functions can be privatized, since activities or functions linked with the state’s monopoly on the (authorised) use of force as well as core military mission – critical functions should be ban ned from privatization. Assuredly, Defence & Security investments deserve a better outcome than ke eping the balance sheets of private companies in the green: critical aware ness and an independent knowledge base on the good, the bad and the ugly of hiring Private Military Companies can make the difference for our future (austere) defence budgets betwee n pro active investments in the provision of public security or compelled recourse to private capabilities.
(Photo credit: soldiermediacenter, EveryStockPhoto)