Skip to main content

Private Financing of the Military: A Local Political Economy Approach


In developing countries that are democratizing after military rule, and undergoing liberalizing economic reforms that encourage a shrinking of the state, what missions are the armed forces performing, who funds those missions, who benefits from military services, and why? This article analyzes security provision by the armed forces for paying clients—especially private companies in extractive industries—in accordance with negotiations between clients and commanders of the local military units that directly provide the security. The analysis identifies two paths toward local military–client relations. First, weak state capacity may mean that government control of military finances brought by democratization and economic reform remains limited to the national level, promoting local military–client exchanges. Second, amid minimal government control of military finances, even in the capital city, demand from companies in the powerful extractive industries and from recently endowed subnational governments can encourage local military–client contracting.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Between 1990 and 1997, proceeds generated from privatization in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to over $116.5 billion, or 52.4 % of total privatization revenues of all developing countries (Corrales 2003, p. 90).

  2. 2.

    On the Fujimori government’s authoritarian practices, see Rospigliosi (2000) and Carrión (2007).

  3. 3.

    Peru’s decisive turn toward a liberal economic model is well-known among experts on political economy in Latin America (e.g., Stokes 2001; Weyland 2002). Guasti (1983, pp. 187–192), Kay (1996), and Bury (2005) analyze private-sector involvement in Peru’s extractive industries across time. Ecuador’s most radical reforms were enacted under President Sixto Durán Ballén (1992–1996). Hey and Klak (1999) analyze the uneven nature of neoliberal reform in Ecuador from the 1980s through the 1990s. On the trajectory of private involvement in Ecuador’s oil sector since oil was discovered in 1967, see Conaghan (1988, p. 85), Sawyer (2004, pp. 94–97), and Benton (2008).

  4. 4.

    The author has analyzed the two armies’ varied performance of police missions elsewhere (Jaskoski 2008).

  5. 5.

    As proof of the strong commitment of the Peruvian military in particular to counterinsurgency, in the 1980s and 1990s the military (primarily the army) was responsible for approximately 32 % of the nearly 70,000 deaths and disappearances resulting from Peru’s internal conflict (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación 2003, Compendio estadístico, 86). Of the 50 Peruvian army officers interviewed for this study who were asked to identify the most important activities of Peru’s army, 34 mentioned counterinsurgency and/or external defense in their first three responses: 12 mentioned counterinsurgency, 12 others mentioned external defense, and 10 mentioned both.

  6. 6.

    Andrade (2002), Montúfar (2003), and International Crisis Group (2004) also examine insecurity in northern Ecuador due to Plan Colombia.

  7. 7.

    In 2001, the command center of the army’s division responsible for army security in the northeast moved north to the city of Francisco de Orellana, in the northeastern province of Orellana. The army had added 7,000 personnel to the north as of September 2003 (El Comercio [Quito] 2003).

  8. 8.

    This number represents a relatively large proportion of one division, as the four-division army is made up of approximately 34,000 personnel, according to a journalist with extensive experience reporting on Ecuador’s military.

  9. 9.

    Not all of the army’s oil work has been arranged locally. During major protests, the national government has declared a state of emergency, bringing more military force to the northeast. Furthermore, for a period, military leaders contracted with oil companies (see below), though those national contracts left much to be negotiated at the local level.

  10. 10.

    A senior officer estimated that in the departments of Junín and Huancavelica alone, there were approximately 30 or 35 such units.

  11. 11.

    This estimate is based on interviews with army officers and private-sector officials in 2005 and 2006 and on research conducted by Peruvian security expert Ricardo Soberón Garrido (2006).

  12. 12.

    Although in Peru most army–company contracting has occurred locally, military leaders have participated in cases in which major army equipment is involved, most notably, army helicopter rentals.

  13. 13.

    On the history of Southern’s investment in Peru, see Kuramoto (1999).

  14. 14.

    In Peru, this figure fell from 14.4 % in 1989 to 8 % in 2006. In Ecuador, the defense budget went from 10.9 to 7.3 % of national spending between 1995 and 2006, though security experts interviewed overwhelmingly attributed the drop to the conclusion of the longstanding Peru–Ecuador border conflict rather than to economic reforms or democratization. Budget information in this section is drawn from Palomino Milla (2004, p. 131), Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, Perú (2006), and Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, Ecuador (2007).

  15. 15.

    Currencies were converted to US dollars to calculate defense spending. The Ecuadorian and Peruvian cases illustrate a more general dynamic in Latin America, where defense spending has lost importance relative to other sectors but without contracting. On average, South American defense spending as a percentage of GDP dropped from 2.17 to 1.89 % but rose by 49 % in real terms between 1989 and 2007 (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). For Peru and Venezuela, these calculations use 1991, the first year for which the source provides data, in place of 1989.

  16. 16.

    Another funding source under Fujimori that no longer fuels the army is drug money, though this shift is not explained by democratization or liberal economic reforms. After the army began drug interdiction in the 1990s, corruption from the cocaine trade consolidated throughout the hierarchy (Dreyfus 1999, pp. 388–389; Rospigliosi 2000, p. 219). Military corruption was reinforced by practices of Peru’s intelligence forces under Fujimori’s reign: Fujimori’s intelligence advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos, and the national intelligence service were heavily involved in the cocaine trade (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación 2003; Tomo II, pp. 242–243; Rojas 2005, pp. 208–209). When corruption contributed to the army’s poor performance in the 1995 Peru–Ecuador Cenepa War, the army withdrew from antinarcotics (Rospigliosi 2000, pp. 163–164).

  17. 17.

    Prior to that point, a budget law in the early 1990s had increased the transparency of spending practices of certain public entities, including the JDN, according to an Ecuadorian Central Bank official.

  18. 18.

    Demand to end military–private sector contracting emerged strongly in 2005, immediately after the national press reported on a 2001 5-year contract between the armed forces and 16 private oil companies (Ministerio de Defensa Nacional del Ecuador 2001; Hoy [Quito] 2001; El Comercio [Quito] 2005a, b). The focus of debate over the contract was the extent to which the military’s oil services were in the interests of “national patrimony” as opposed to serving the private sector (El Comercio [Quito] 2005a, b).

  19. 19.

    From 2003 through 2005, between approximately 8 and 11 % of the annual national defense budget came from RDR (Robles Montoya 2003, pp. 159–161; 2005, p. 145). The armed forces earned over one half of those resources by charging for services, including air and sea transportation and medical assistance (Palomino Milla 2004, pp. 144–145).

  20. 20.

    The following discussion of army unit finances is based on information provided by local army commanders and other officers with direct knowledge about the referenced units’ finances, gained through their work on those bases.

  21. 21.

    Nigeria’s 1999 elections heralded in democracy—or at least “a pluralistic and largely credible set of outcomes” (Diamond 2008, p. 71). Despite subsequent irregularities ranging from stuffing ballot boxes to politically targeted assassinations (Diamond 2008, p. 71) that have pushed the regime outside the democratic category, this analysis assumes that the country has opened politically enough such that we would expect some degree of government oversight of the armed forces and their financial practices.

  22. 22.

    Simultaneously, there has also been a drive toward boosting defense spending, to lessen TNI’s reliance on third-party resources (Crouch 2010, p. 162).

  23. 23.

    In a context in which Indonesian law did not allow the audit board to investigate private companies controlled by public agencies, the Indonesian army assigned Price Waterhouse Coopers and Ernst & Young that task (Crouch 2010, p. 168).

  24. 24.

    It took several years for parliament to act because, immediately following the transition to democracy, financing the TNI without its independently acquired, off-budget resources was almost unthinkable, especially in the aftermath of major economic crisis during 1997 and 1998 (Mietzner 2008, p. 233).

  25. 25.

    Economic crisis in 1997 and 1998 and the TNI’s poor management of its enterprises meant that, by the time the military lost its businesses, they were of minor economic value (Mietzner 2008, pp. 230, 235–236; Crouch 2010, pp. 162–164). In addition, whereas the TNI no longer has its companies, it has successfully fought to retain its foundations and cooperatives (Mietzner 2008, pp. 234–235).

  26. 26.

    For analysis of the different dimensions of company and state responses to conflict in the Delta, including repressive security measures, see Frynas (2001).

  27. 27.

    Shell d’Arcy discovered oil in the Niger Delta in the 1950s (Obi 2007, p. 16), and the consortium between the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Shell produced approximately 50 % of Nigerian crude oil as of 2001 (Ukeje 2001, p. 19).

  28. 28.

    Between 1960 and 1999, governments skimmed approximately $400 billion in oil revenues (Okpanachi 2011, p. 28), and in the early 1990s, oil revenues lost because of corruption totaled up to one tenth of Nigerian GDP (Bratton and van de Walle 1997, p. 67).

  29. 29.

    Scholars have linked recent decentralization to neoliberalism and democratization, for instance, expecting that neoliberals prefer decentralization as a means of reducing the size of the central state and that under democracy voters who want decentralization will push for it (Eaton 2004, see especially 11 and 14–15). However, Eaton’s (2004) systematic analysis of decentralization in Latin America challenges these generalizations.


  1. Ahmad E, García-Escribano M. Constraints to effective fiscal decentralization in Peru. International Studies Program Working Paper 08-24. Atlanta: Georgia State University; 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Andrade P. Diagnóstico de la frontera Ecuador-Colombia. Comentario Int. 2002;4:189–240.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Arellano Yanguas J. ¿Minería sin fronteras? Conflicto y desarrollo en regions mineras del Perú. Lima: IEP; 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ariyo A, Jerome A. Privatisation in Africa: lessons from the Ghanaian and Nigerian experience. In: Wohlmuth K, Gutowski A, Kneduk T, Meyn M, Ngogang S, editors. Private and public sectors: towards a balance. Münster: LIT Verlag Münster; 2004. p. 325–48.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Avant DD. Market for force: the consequences of privatizing security. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2005.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  6. Benton A. Political institutions, hydrocarbons resources, and economic policy divergence in Latin America. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, MA, 28–31 August 2008.

  7. Bratton M, van de Walle N. Democratic experiments in Africa: regime transitions in comparative perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1997.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  8. Bury J. Mining mountains: neoliberalism, land tenure, livelihoods, and the new Peruvian mining industry in Cajamarca. Environ Plan. 2005;37:221–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Carrión J, editor. Fujimori legacy: the rise of electoral authoritarianism in Peru. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press; 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Comité Especial del Proyecto Camisea, Comisión de Promoción de la Inversión Privada (COPRI), República del Perú. Contrato de licencia para la explotación de hidrocarburos en el Lote 88. Lima; November 28, 2000. Accessed 19 Dec 2011.

  11. Conaghan CM. Restructuring domination: industrialists and the state in Ecuador. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1988.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Informe final. Lima: CVR; 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Corrales J. Market reforms. In: Domínguez JI, Shifter M, editors. Constructing democratic governance in Latin America. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2003. p. 74–99.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Crouch H. Political reform in Indonesia after Soeharto. Pasir Panjang Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Cruz C, Diamint R. The new military autonomy in Latin America. J Democr. 1998;9:115–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Diamond L. The spirit of democracy: the struggle to build free societies throughout the world. New York: Times Books; 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Dreyfus PG. When all the evils come together: cocaine, corruption, and shining path in Peru’s Upper Huallaga Valley, 1980 to 1995. J Contemp Crim Justice. 1999;15:370–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Eaton K. Politics beyond the capital: the design of subnational institutions in South America. Stanford: Stanford University Press; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Eberlein R. On the road to the state’s perdition? Authority and sovereignty in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. J Mod Afr Stud. 2006;44:573–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. El Comercio (Quito). Las FF.AA. se dedicarían a lo suyo. March 5, 1998a.

  21. El Comercio (Quito). Las FF.AA. se quedarán con las empresas. March 13, 1998b.

  22. El Comercio (Quito). Entrevista Grab. Luis Aguas: 5000 armados están frente a Ecuador. September 21, 2003.

  23. El Comercio (Quito). 2000 militares vigilarán el sistema petrolero. December 19, 2005a.

  24. El Comercio (Quito). Siete meses más para el convenio del 2001. December 19, 2005b.

  25. El Comercio (Quito). Las FF.AA. ofrecen tres tipos de seguridad a las petroleras. December 28, 2007.

  26. Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. Comparative study on the distribution of oil rents in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Washington, DC: World Bank; 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Fayemi J’K, Olonisakin F. Nigeria. In: Bryden A, N’Diaye B, Olonisakin F, editors. Challenges of security sector governance in West Africa. Wein: LIT Verlag; 2008. p. 243–67.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Ferreyra A, Segura R. Examining the military in the local sphere: Colombia and Mexico. Lat Am Perspect. 2000;27:18–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Fitch JS. The armed forces and democracy in Latin America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Frank J. Decentralization. In: Fretes-Cibils V, Giugale M, Somensatto E, editors. Revisiting Ecuador’s economic and social agenda in an evolving landscape. Washington, DC: World Bank; 2008. p. 373–400.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Frynas JG. Corporate and state responses to anti-oil protests in the Niger Delta. Afr Aff. 2001;100:27–54.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Fundación Democracia, Seguridad y Defensa, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Democracia, seguridad y defensa. Bol Bimestral. 2007;3(21).

  33. Gerlach A. Indians, oil, and politics: a recent history of Ecuador. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources Inc.; 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Guasti L. Peruvian military government and the international corporations. In: McClintock C, Lowenthal AF, editors. Peruvian experiment reconsidered. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1983. p. 181–205.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Hernández Breña W. El presupuesto del sector defensa en el Perú: gastos de ‘cuartel’ y gasto en armamentos. In: Suárez G, Hernández W, Robles J, editors. Transparencia y eficiencia en gastos para la defensa, Serie Democracia y Fuerza Armada. Lima: Instituto de Defensa Legal; 2003. p. 85–97.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Hey JAK, Klak T. From protectionism towards neoliberalism: Ecuador across four administrations (1981–1996). Stud Comp Int Dev. 1999;34:66–97.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Hoy (Quito). FFAA acuerdan con empresas petroleras. August 1, 2001.

  38. Human Rights Watch. Rivers and blood: guns, oil and power in Nigeria’s Rivers State. New York: Human Rights Watch; 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Hunter W. Eroding military influence in Brazil: politicians against soldiers. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press; 1997.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Ikelegbe A. The economy of conflict in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Nord J Afr Stud. 2005;14:208–34.

    Google Scholar 

  41. International Crisis Group. Colombia’s borders: the weak link in Uribe’s security policy. ICG Latin America Report 9. Quito/Brussels: ICG; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Jarrín Roman O. Directiva No. 2001–13 para el cumplimiento del convenio de cooperación de seguridad militar entre el Ministerio de Defensa Nacional y las empresas petroleras que operan en la región amazónica. Quito; 2001.

  43. Jaskoski M. Mission impossible? Military politics in Peru and Ecuador. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley; 2008.

  44. Kay BH. Fujipopulism and the liberal state in Peru, 1990–1995. J Interam Stud World. 1996;38:55–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Kuramoto JR. The hydrocarbons industry in Peru. Lima: Estudios Superiores de Administración; 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Kuramoto JR. Las aglomeraciones productivas alrededor de la mineria: el caso de minera Yanacocha S.A. Documento de Trabajo 27. Lima: Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE); 1999.

  47. Latin American Herald Tribune. Ecuador military to shed stakes. January 6, 2009.

  48. Leith D. The politics of power: freeport in Suharto’s Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press; 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Lewis P. From prebendalism to predation: the political economy of decline in Nigeria. J Mod Afr Stud. 1996;34:79–103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Malley MS. Decentralization and democratic transition in Indonesia. In: Bland G, Arnson CJ, editors. Democratic deficits: addressing challenges to sustainability and consolidation around the world. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; 2009. p. 135–45.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Marcella G, editor. Warriors in peacetime: the military and democracy in Latin America—new directions for U.S. policy. Portland: Frank Cass; 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Mietzner M. Soldiers, parties and bureaucrats: illicit fund-raising in contemporary Indonesia. SE Asia Res. 2008;16:225–54.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Ministerio de Defensa Nacional del Ecuador. Convenio de cooperación de seguridad militar entre el Ministerio de Defensa Nacional y las empresas petroleras que operan en el Ecuador. Quito; 2001.

  54. Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, Ecuador. 2007. Budget statistics. Accessed 10 July.

  55. Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, Perú. 2006. Budget statistics. Accessed 17 October.

  56. Montúfar C. El Ecuador entre el Plan Colombia y la Iniciativa Andina: del enfoque de los ‘efectos’ a una perspectiva de regionalización. In: Montúfar C, Whitfield T, editors. Turbulencia en los Andes y Plan Colombia. Quito: Centro Andino de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar Ecuador; 2003. p. 205–34.

    Google Scholar 

  57. New York Times. Indonesia admits “support” by U.S. Gold company to the military. December 30, 2005.

  58. Obi CI. Oil and development in Africa: some lessons from the oil factor in Nigeria for the Sudan. In: Patey L, editor. Oil development in Africa: lessons for Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. DIIS Report 8. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS; 2007. p. 9–34.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Observatorio Político de Defensa, Seguridad y Relaciones Civil-Militares. Resumen de noticias. Quito: Programa para la Administración Democrática de la Defensa, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Proyecto Relaciones Civil-Militares PUCE/Democracia Seguridad y Defensa, and Fundación Honrad Adenauer Stiftung. Quito; June 1007, January 2008, June 2008.

  60. O’Donnell G. On the state, democratization and some conceptual problems: a Latin American view. World Dev. 1993;21:1355–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Okpanachi E. Confronting the governance challenges of developing Nigeria’s extractive industry: policy and performance in the oil and gas sector. Rev Policy Res. 2011;28:25–47.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Omeje K. High stakes and stakeholders: oil conflict and security in Nigeria. Burlington: Ashgate; 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  63. O’Neill K. Decentralization as an electoral strategy. Comp Polit Stud. 2003;36:1068–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Palomino Milla F. Economía de la defensa nacional: una aproximación al caso peruano. Serie Democracia 10. Lima: Comisión Andina de Juristas; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Pegg S. The cost of doing business: transnational corporations and violence in Nigeria. Secur Dialogue. 1999;30:473–84.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Perelli C, Rial J. Changing military world views: the armed forces of South America in the 1990s. In: Millett RL, Gold-Biss M, editors. Beyond praetorianism: the Latin American military in transition. Miami: North-South Center Press, University of Miami; 1996. p. 59–82.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Pion-Berlin D, Trinkunas HA. Attention deficits: why politicians ignore defense policy in Latin America. Lat Am Res Rev. 2007;42:76–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Proyecto USAID/Perú Prodescentralización. Proceso de descentralización: balance y agenda a julio de 2011. Lima: Proyecto USAID/Perú Prodescentralización; 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Richani N. Multinational corporations, rentier capitalism, and the war system in Colombia. Lat Am Polit Soc. 2005;47:113–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Rieffel L, Pramodhawardani J. Out of business and on budget. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution; 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Robles Montoya J. Metodología de análisis para la asignación de recursos de la defensa: presupuestos y adquisiciones. In: Suárez G, Hernández W, Robles J, editors. Transparencia y eficiencia en gastos para la defensa. Lima: Instituto de Defensa Legal; 2003. p. 121–89.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Robles Montoya J, et al. Transparencia y control en la asignación de recursos para la defensa: discurso y realidad. In: Hurtado L, Florez JM, San Martín C, Salazar RL, Robles J, Sibilla G, editors. Los nudos de la defensa: enredos y desenredos para una política pública en democracia. Lima: Instituto de Defensa Legal; 2005. p. 123–52.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Rojas I. Peru: drug control policy, human rights, and democracy. In: Youngers CA, Rosin E, editors. Drugs and democracy in Latin America: the impact of U.S. policy. Boulder: Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc.; 2005. p. 185–230.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Rospigliosi F. Montesinos y las fuerzas armadas: cómo controló durante una década las instituciones militares. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos; 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Sawyer S. Crude chronicles: indigenous politics, multinational oil, and neoliberalism in Ecuador. Durham: Duke University Press; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Soberón Garrido R. Listado de bases antisubversivas en el Perú. Lima; 2006.

  77. Steele A. Refining the future: oil and gas in Indonesia. Glob Asia. 2008;3:90–7.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Stepan A. The new professionalism of internal warfare and military role expansion. In: Stepan A, editor. Authoritarian Brazil: origins, policies, and future. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1973. p. 47–65.

    Google Scholar 

  79. Stepan A. Rethinking military politics: Brazil and the Southern Cone. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1988.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The military expenditures database. Accessed 3 Jan 2009.

  81. Stokes SC. Mandates and democracy: neoliberalism by surprise in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2001.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  82. Ukeje C. Oil communities and political violence: the case of ethnic Ijaws in Nigeria’s Delta region. Terror Polit Violenc. 2001;13:15–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Weyland K. Politics of market reform in fragile democracies: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Wicaksono A. Indonesian state-owned enterprises: the challenge of reform. Southeast Asian Affairs 2008. p. 146–67.

Download references


I thank Candelaria Garay, Stephanie McNulty, Arturo Sotomayor, Harold Trinkunas, and two anonymous SCID reviewers for their helpful feedback on earlier versions of this paper. Letitia Lawson and Michael Malley provided invaluable guidance on the Nigerian and Indonesian cases, respectively. The study would not have been possible without the generosity of many individuals in Ecuador and Peru who shared with me their time and views, and for their help, I am deeply grateful. Fieldwork was supported by a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship and the Naval Postgraduate School Research Initiation Program. The findings presented here are those of the author and do not represent positions of the US navy, defense department, or government.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Maiah Jaskoski.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jaskoski, M. Private Financing of the Military: A Local Political Economy Approach. St Comp Int Dev 48, 172–195 (2013).

Download citation


  • Civil–military relations
  • Resource conflict
  • Security privatization
  • State capture
  • Subnational politics