Private military companies an assessment
O'Brien, James M.
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This thesis examines controversies regarding the use of private military companies (PMCs) as defense contractors. The history of privatized security, consideration of ethical and legal issues, and examination of three case studies allows assessment of PMCs in accordance with five criteria for success: competence, cost efficiency analysis, control, flexibility and impact on state armed forces. After examining three case studies representing a variety of types of PMCs (Executive Outcomes in Angola and Sierra Leone, MPRI in Croatia, and Blackwater in Afghanistan and Iraq), the thesis finds that although PMCs can be used legitimately and to good effect, expanded use of PMCs may pose serious risks to U.S. forces, national security objectives, and U.S. political legitimacy.