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From Mercenary to UN Contractor?

  • Malcolm Hugh Patterson

Abstract

This chapter examines an evolving international military labour market. The general argument is that the conspicuous prejudice widely attached to non-state mercenarism and military support does not withstand analytical rigour. States and their predecessors have always employed both private and public labour in armed conflict. This arrangement has been ubiquitous over centuries and continues today. The second section contains an analysis of connotations attached to mercenaries and their often misrepresented past. The third section examines some persistent classification problems arising from an industry with a broad and sometimes ambiguous range of roles. The fourth describes several types of hitherto unidentified state mercenarism — a simple conceptual step but one curiously absent from the literature. The fifth examines the confusing posture of the UN, which alternates between criticisms of PMSCs on one hand, while hiring some of their services on the other. The sixth section provides a taxonomy that includes modern varieties of civilian logistic support and related services. The seventh condenses into a few pages contractor virtues that an advocate is likely to believe and promote; then lists several examples of services the UN might gainfully outsource. The summary steps back somewhat from the buoyant prognostications of the latter section, mindful that the following two chapters explore contrasting risks that suggest a more cautious assessment.

Keywords

Armed Force Security Council Private Security Special Rapporteur Security Company 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 15.
    K. Whitelaw, ‘Mercenaries Need Not Apply: South Pacific’, US News & World Report Vol. 122 No. 12 (31 March 1997) p. 47.Google Scholar
  2. 17.
    S. MacSearraigh, ‘Megaoil Staffed with US Mercenaries to Train Azeri Soldiers’, The Oil Daily Vol. 43 No. 246 (28 Dec. 1993) p. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 51.
    T. Lynch & A.J. Walsh, ‘The Good Mercenary’, The Journal of Political Philosophy Vol. 8 No. 2 (2000) p. 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 65.
    J. Selber & K. Jobarteh, ‘From Enemy to Peacemaker: The Role of Private Military Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Medicine & Global Survival Vol. 7 No. 2 (Feb 2002) p. 91.Google Scholar
  5. 116.
    S. Brayton, ‘Outsourcing War: Mercenaries and the Privatization of Peacekeeping’, Journal of International Affairs Vol. 55 No. 2 (Spring 2002) p. 319.Google Scholar
  6. 223.
    C. Yan, ‘Private Military Companies as Agents for the Transfer of Military Know-How: A Model’, The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin Vol. 3 No. 2 (Summer 2000) pp. 19–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Malcolm Hugh Patterson 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Hugh Patterson

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