Sie sind auf Seite 1von 15

Washingtonpost.

Newsweek Interactive, LLC

Outsourcing War Author(s): David Shearer Source: Foreign Policy, No. 112 (Autumn, 1998), pp. 68-81 Published by: Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1149036 Accessed: 04/01/2010 21:39
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=wpni. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Foreign Policy.

http://www.jstor.org

Outsourcing

War
Shearer byDavid

in that companies the 1990s-and the possibility theymayviewconflict as a legitimatebusinessactivity-has provokedoutrageand calls The has prompted forthemto be outlawed. popular press labeled thesecompanies "mercenaries" "dogs war," and of conjuring images up of freebooting rampaging and Rambosoverthrowing weak-usually At conference convenedin June1997 African-governments. a press to discussthe ongoingcivil warin SierraLeone,Secretary General KofiAnnanbristled the suggestion the UnitedNationswould at that ever considerworkingwith "respectable" mercenary organizations, that thereis no "distinction betweenrespectable mercenaries arguing andnon-respectable mercenaries." But is this depiction fair? these soldiers Certainly mightmeet the threemostwidely criteria a mercenary: areforaccepted They defining eign to a conflict; theyaremotivated chieflyby financial gain;and,in somecases, in theyhaveparticipated directly combat. Theydiffer signiffrom infamous characters such as Irishman "Mad" icantly,however, MikeHoare Frenchman Denard, fought theCongoand and Bob who in elsewhere the 1960s. in Whatmostsetstoday's military companies apart
DAV ID S H EARER is a research associate theInternational at StudInstitute Strategic for iesin London. wasa senior He adviser theUN DepartmentHumanitarian in to of Affairs Liberia Rwanda 1995and1996. in and
68 FOREIGN POLICY

nation-states should be permitted to fight wars. Not surprisingly,the rise of private military

international norm has been that only

Shearer

have is theirapproach. havea distinct character, openly They corporate and have defended theirusefulness professionalism, usedinternationally to theirdeals, so far andfinancial instruments secure and legal accepted and avoidedregimes have supported only recognized governments As Bernales to Ballescommunity. Enrique unpalatable the international on the useof mercenaries, noted, has teros,the UN'sspecial rapporteur for whentheyhavea military "even personnel working thesecompanies, and cannotbe considered "coming as withbackground arehighlypaid" in the legalscopeof mercenary status." Dismissing private-sector militarypersonnelas little more than soldiers fortune of wouldnot onlybe simplistic would but modern-day obscure broader the issuesthat these military raise.Why companies in have they emerged the 1990s? What role mightthey playin the future? they be regulated? Can and Practitioners academics spewho cializein conflictresolution comthat typically argue private military hinderefforts end warsandbroker to Yet,the evidence panies peace. that coercionis often essentialto breaking deadlocks and suggests table.In this context, bringing opposingpartiesto the negotiating can be seennot as partof the problem as part but military companies of the solution-especiallyforstruggling legitimate but governments that lackthe resources fieldeffective to forces. the politiAs fighting cal and economiccostsof peacekeeping continueto escalate,it may makesense for multilateral and increasingly organizations Western to consider someaspects these intervenof governments outsourcing tionsto the private sector. THESE GUNS FOR HIRE

Private forces asold aswarfare are itself.The ancientChinese, military and armies of numbers mercenaries, and Greek, Roman employed large mercenaries abouthalfof William Conqueror's in the comprised army the eleventhcentury. the Italian During fourteenth century, city-states contracted to privatemilitaryforces,known as condottieri, protect themselves-an earlyacknowledgement hiringmercenaries that can oftenprovemorecost-effective maintaining than armies. Pristanding
vate forces have also served states' immediatestrategicinterests.The United Kingdom,for example,hired30,000 Hessiansoldiersto fight in the American War of Independenceto avoid conscriptingits own citizens. In the late eighteenth century,foreignerscomprisedhalf of the
FALL 1998 69

War Outsourcing

armedforcesof Prussia a thirdof the armies France the and of and UnitedKingdom. Mercantile werelicensed the stateto companies by economic In interests. 1815,the East wagewarto servetheircountries' IndiaCompany, whichcolonized Indiaon behalfof the British govboasted army 150,000soldiers. of an ernment, Butwiththe riseof nationalism the nineteenth in the century, idea of fighting one'scountry for rather thanforcommercial interests gained Governments cameto command monopoly a overviolence currency. andbecameincreasingly on limitingthe risksto theirneutrality keen that arosewhentheircitizens wars. foughtotherpeoples' Conscripted armies under control the statebecame norm-apartfrom the of the the of activities a few individuals capitalized the upheavals that on caused the byAfrican independence throughout 1960sand 1970s. In the pastdecade, the of however, increasing inability weakgovernmentsto counter violence created ready has a market private for internal forces. Thisdemand alsobeenfueled a shiftin Western has military by The interests major of in suchas priorities. strategic powers countries and Leonehavedeclined withthe endof Rwanda, Sierra Mozambique, the ColdWar. a result, As countries more are reluctant interto Western vene militarily weakstates,and theirpoliticians disinclined in are to to Westernarmies, Furthermore, explaincasualties their electorates. to international conflicts envisdesigned primarily fightthesophisticated ColdWar areill equipped tackle to civil by aged strategists, low-intensity with ethnicagendas, blurred boundaries between wars, theircomplicated combatants civilians,and loose military and hierarchies. failed The U.S.-led involvement Somalia 1993reinforced in in American resolve neverto entera conflict unless domestic vital interests at stake. were UN efforts have fallenvictimto WestMeanwhile, peacekeeping erngovernments' of sustaining fears in casualties, becoming entangled and incurring costs.The numberof conflicts, expanding escalating in has personnel UN operations fallenfroma peakof 76,000in 1994 to around Multilateral interventions 15,000today. appear increasingto be limitedto situations wherethe UN gainsthe consentof ly likely the warring rather than-as allowed under VII parties Chapter of the UN Charter-to be designed enforce peaceon reluctant to a belligerents. Bilateral, as well as multilateral,commitments have also been trimmed. France'slong-standing deployment of troops in its former African colonies, for example, has declined:Frenchtroopswill be cut by 40 percent to about 5,000 by 2000. Parishas stated that it will no
70
FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

in interventions Africa,effectivelongerengagein unilateral military a vacuum. ly creating strategic Intothisgaphavestepped Most today's private military companies. such enterprises fromSouth Africa,the United Kingdom, hail the UnitedStates, occasionally and France Israel. and allshare essenThey to theirclient's theretiallythe samegoals: improve military capability, that by allowing client to function. betterin warordeterconflictmore effectively. This process might The increasinginabilityof involvemilitary trainassessments, weak governments to or occasionally ing, weaponsprocounterinternalviolence curement.Direct involvementin combatis less common,althoughhas createda ready market two companies,Executive Outcomes (EO) of South Africaand forprivate militaryforces. Sandline International Great of advertise theirskillsin thisarea. hasprovided and Britain, EO training adviceto the armed forcesof Angolaand SierraLeone;its strategic soldiers havefoughtin bothcountries. apartheid-era Othercompanies, as Military such Professional Resources Incorporated a Virginia-based headed retired army firm U.S. has by generals, (MPem), limited services training hashired its to and former military U.S. personnel to developthe military forces Bosnia-Herzegovina Croatia. of and Someorganizations in such activities, asprotecting engage morepassive andpeople. British The Defence for premises Limited, company Systems embassies protectsthe interests corporations and of example, guards in areas.Otheroutfitsprovide businesses with risk working unstable andseveral havedeveloped in resolving the analyses, specialist expertise incidents plague that firms in America. kidnapping operating Latin are Military companies unfettered politicalconstraints. by They view conflictas a business and of opportunity have takenadvantage the pervasive influence economicliberalism the late twentieth of in to of century. Theyhavealsobeenquickto adapt the complex agendas civil wars. Theirabilityto operate beenenhanced an expanded has by madeavailable reductions Western in pool of military expertise by forces. recruits comefromhighlydisciplined Many units,such military as the British SpecialAir Serviceandthe SouthAfricanandAmerican special forces. Likewise,cheap and accessibleSoviet-made has the weaponry helpedstrengthen companies' capabilities.
FALL 1998 71

War Outsourcing

was Sir When help fromotherquarters unavailable, JuliusChan, of primeminister PapuaNew Guinea,claimedin 1997 that he was to Revoluforcedto "goto the privatesector" counterBougainville Afternegotiations with the BRA coltionary Army(BRA) insurgents. lapsed, Chan signed a $36 million contract with Sandline to forces planan offensive and International trainhis national against The was anxiousto reopen the separatists. government particularly Mine,once the sourceof 30 percent Bougainville's Copper Panguna of the country's exportearnings. also Western miningcorporations standto benefitwhen a private restores as order, raising military company thereby questions to whether entitiesshare formal InApril1997,the London ties. thesebusiness any of that a Independent reported AnthonyBuckingham,director Heritage Oil andGasandBranch of introduced to the governments EO Energy, Leone. Buckingham emphatically andSierra But that has stated Angola "thereis no corporate link betweenExecutiveOutcomesand the Branch likewise EO Heritage group." officials strongly denyanyfinancialoroperational/business withmining links Whilecritics companies. even thisnebulous in behavior the as decry relationship neocolonialist of worsttradition CecilRhodes, that observes "Ifthereis Buckingham no stability thereis no investment no one benefits." and and The lureof richresources the risks exploiting of themin unstable areas powerful are incentives companies maintain for to in stability weakstates. Thismotivation alsochimewitha government's can own wishes.A miningcompany on to depends security protectits investa to ments; beleaguered government increased buys security shore its up of can its rule,whilethe prospect miningrevenues supplement coffers. a while strengthening client govits Furthermore,military company, ernment's performance, military protectsa miningcompany's operationsbecause revenues thesesources from itspayment. the In guarantee minerals hardwoods soonemerge thecurand as world, developing may The of is difference between rencyof stability. source payment a crucial the intervention a military of and company that of the UN, whichis funded donors, by the statein question. not multinational by Coupling with an external forcepotentially companies security givesforeigners
powerfulleverageover a governmentand its affairs-a risk that some governmentsappearwilling to take. Another trend, reminiscentof the privateersof earliercenturies,is the willingnessof privatemilitarycompaniesto act as proxiesforWest72 FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

Portrait

of

Private

Army

itself Outcomes Executive In itspromotional (EO)describes as literature, of thanks the efforts its to a company with a "solid of success," history a work force." work This forceis essentiallydemobilized effective "highly in the was in for Africa, company established 1989 army hire.Based South veterans theforfrom Barlow isstaffed and almost Eeben exclusively by by on Defence Force. claims be ableto draw over EO to merSouthAfrican on andforces, of whomareassembled a contract-byall 2,000personnel This has contract andrecruited basis chiefly word-of-mouth. policy not by a preexisting of highly control but quality military hierarchy onlyensured have distinguished themselves from EO troops. personnel experienced into that othercompanies entering combat, by claiming accompanying and the clients' increases effectiveness confidence. their troops was the first contract in Angolain May1993to rescue EO's major UnionfortheTotal the National Soyooil fieldsin the northfrom rebel The of then Independence Angola (UNITA). Angolangovernment 1993to January foran 1996 hiredover500 personnel September from estimated milliona year(including to $40 5,000 nearly weaponry) train soldiers. arrival, with of on EO's coinciding the lifting the arms embargo reverse course the war, UNITA the of and suffered signifAngola, helped icantdefeats. secondcontract, timewiththe Sierra this Leonean EO's in government May 1995, lasted22 monthsand cost $35 millionone-third the country's of defense with about EO, budget. working local civilianmilitias, battered Revolutionary the UnitedFront submisinto sion. In February to 1997,EO wassubcontracted the British military Sandline to trainandplanmilitary International, company, operations the Resistance New Guinea. against Bougainville Armyin Papua effectiveness to in testifies itsexpertise low-intensity conEO's military flict.It hasplanned operations its withgovernment officials and closely usesgovernment it has arranged purchase the of equipment, although hasbeenitshighly Its mobile weaponry. hallmark using operations MI-17 on carriers, occasion helicopter troop by supported MI-24 gunhelicopter and attack aircraft. EO's But has ships Soviet-made ground biggest strength beenitsuseof intelligence the capabilities, particularly through cultivation of localpopulations, with and augmented night-sighting radiointercept devices. have Casualties remained that relatively EOacknowledges light: 11of itspersonnel in Angola, sevenstillmissing, four died with and killed in Sierra Two Leone. others from died accident sickness. and -D.S.

FALL 1998

73

War Outsourcing

em governments. hasspecialized in MPRI services, exclusively military for U.S. of originally the privatization-minded Department Defense. first contracts werewith the Croatian MPRI's two majorinternational in 1994 to updateits Warsaw Pact-oriented government military. Whenthe sophisticated Croatian tookthe offensive, Storm, Operation Serb-held enclavein August1995,therewasinevitable Krajina suspicion that MPRI involved. The operation an important role was played in reversing tide of waragainstthe Serbsand-consistent with the Americanpolicy-in bringingboth sides to the negotiatingtable. from MPRI, although denyingthat it had playeda role,has benefited theserumors. 1995,the company contracted, the aftermath In was in of the Daytonaccord,to strengthen Muslim-Croat the Federation's Serbaggression. Since it is funded armyin orderto deterBosnian by the contracting MPRI a service and government, hasdelivered cheaper done so at lesspoliticalriskthanwouldhave beenpossible U.S. had beenused.The scenario serves an example howthe private as of troops sectorcan allowpolicymakers achievetheirforeign-policy to military goalsfreefromthe need to secure public approvaland safe in the Outrightvictories,rather knowledgethat shouldthe situation deteriorate, officialparticipathan negotiatedpeace tion canbe fudged. settlements,have ended the Other American companies to admingreaterpart of the twentiethhavealsoworked further istrationpolicy. Corporate giants century'sinternalconflicts. suchasScienceApplications International Corporation and BradInc. VinnellCorporation dock,Dunn& McDonald, andits subsidiary areprimarily to marhigh-technology suppliers the military-industrial ket buthavealsodiversified military into arecontracttraining. They ed by the Saudigovernment upgrade trainits armed to and forcesin the use of mainlyU.S. weaponry. Some British have also companies interests: London-based The SaladinSecurity, supported government for example,trains Omani governmentforces workingalongside BritishArmy officerswho are secondedthere. But on the whole, British are and than companies smaller lessdiversified theirU.S. counand commercial interests. terparts have tendedto focuson protecting close contactswith Britain's of Nonetheless, they maintain Ministry Defenceandarean important source intelligence. of
74
FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

THE FUTURE

OF PEACEKEEPING?

Some privatemilitary companies,such as EO, possesssufficientcoercive to forces, capability breaka stalematein a conflict.Unlike multinational do not act impartially arehiredto win a conflict (or deterit) on but they the client'sterms.EO and SandlineInternational have arguedthat militaryforce has an underutilized potential to bring conflicts to a close. However,bludgeoningthe other side into acceptinga peace agreement runsin diametric oppositionto most academicstudiesof conflictresolution. These studiescenter on consent: bringingwarringsides together with the implicitassumption that each wantsto negotiatean end to the war.To a largedegree,the internationalcommunityhas respondedto civil warsin this manner,especiallythose of limited strategicinterest. Ceasefires as holdingpositions;mediationseeksto bringcombatants act to an agreement. Peacekeepers, actingundermandatesto be evenhanded and to use minimalforce,aredeployedto support process. this The flaw in this approachis that accordingto recent empiricalstudies, outrightvictories,ratherthan negotiatedpeace settlements,have ended the greaterpart of the twentieth century'sinternal conflicts. Combatantsin Angola, Bosnia,and SierraLeoneconsistentlyresisteda settlement.Thereappeared be little chance to negotiated,consent-based of a breakthrough until morecoercivemeasures wereapplied.So whyhas the internationalcommunitycontinued to persistwith negotiatedsettlements and even-handednessin cases where one side was clearlyat fault?The reason,for the most part, is self-interest.Such an approach avoidsdirectinterventionand the subsequent politicalrisks. Yetwhen it suitsthem, Westernstateshave also been proponentsof "battlefield to diplomacy" resolveconflicts.This approachwas favored the Cold War when the object was to limit Soviet expanthroughout sionism.Morerecently,the United States tacitly supported aimsof the Laurent Kabila'smilitary campaign to oust President Mobutu Sese Seku in the formerZaire.Franceallegedlybackedformermilitaryruler Denis SassouNguesso'soverthrowof Congolese presidentPascalLissouba in September1997. And by condoning the Croatiancaptureof Serb-heldKrajina, Washingtonwas implicitlyrecognizingthe value of resolutionthroughforce. However,the likelihood that a militarysolution can bring durable as peace to a countrydependson the natureof the peaceagreement, well as on how effectivelyfollow-upmeasures suchas demobilization, cantonFALL 1998 75

War Outsourcing

ment of fighters, and rehabilitation implemented. are DespiteEO's in involvement Angola, example, for secure. Nevpeaceisstillnotfinally its involvement instrumental turning tables was in the ertheless, military of warin favor the government's a development coerced of that the side, National UnionfortheTotal of Angola(UNITA) negoto Independence tiateandeventually the 1994Lusaka in Accords. sign Similarly, Sierra the UnitedFront(RUF) factioninto Leone,EObattered Revolutionary sufficient to in submission, creating stability hold the firstelections 27 Later offensives the to to years. military compelled RUF return thenegotableandsigna peaceaccord November in 1997.Butjustthree tiating monthsafterEO left, the government overthrown disgruntled was by of members thearmed the of forces, highlighting importance implementmeasures. ingpostconflict Theseshortcomings oftenseized are thatthe efforts of uponas proof havefailed. EOhasalways But its military companies acknowledged limitations. UN didnot engage The of members EOin Sierra Leone, possibly it because choseto labelthemas mercenaries therefore untouchand as able. entire The illustrates it isbetter acknowledge existhat to the episode tenceof military and thempolitically to ignore than companies engage themandhopethatsomehow peaceagreement stayintact. a will REGULATING THE MARKET

Sincethedemand military is unlikely endanytime for force to soon,milin theirvarious here Should there itary companies, guises, appear to stay. be someattempt regulate to statesthem,or is it the rightof sovereign as withthe purchase weaponry-toemploy theywishas longas of who ensurethat their employees behavewithin acceptable bounds? they Thereis widespread discomfort a laissez-faire with most approach, of it caused military lackof accountability. mostmilby companies' Although haveonlyworked legitimate for there lititary companies governments, is tle to stopthemfrom for in movements thefuture. working rebel To makematters even morecomplicated, decidingwhich is the side "legitimate" in a civil conflictis not always straightforward. Many were as or modemgovernments onceclassified "insurgents""terrorists" whilein opposition, themSouthAfrica's African National Conamong
gress and Ugandan presidentYoweriMuseveni'sNational Resistance that Army. The govemrnments grew out of these movements are now internationally recognized.
76 FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

are first and Military companies motivated andforemost profit are by to theirshareholders. financial lossresponsible primarily Consequently, or a es,in spiteof anystrategic political considerations, prompt commay to pany to pull out. There are also few checkson their adherence conventions. problem not a lackof human-rights The is human-rights law.During timesof war, employees military the of fall companies under the auspices Common of Article of' 3 the GenevaConventions, whichis Thereis little to stop on allcombatants. are binding They alsobound a state's to by obligations militarycompanies from conventionsas UN human-rights for working rebel of that "agents" the government movements thefuture. in employsthem. What is absentis observationadequateindependent of theiractivities-afeature common allparties a conflict espeto in but of that have no permanent cially characteristic military companies attachments national to governments. Efforts controlling at mercenaries law international in the through 1960sand1970swereledbyAfrican states faceda skeptical that reception fromthe United Statesand majorEuropean The most powers. of definition a mercenary, foundin Article47 of the 1977 accepted Additional Protocols the GenevaConventions, so riddled to is with that scholars believeit couldwithstand loopholes fewinternational-law therigors thecourtroom. of is France and International apathy palpable. the UnitedStateshave not signedthe Additional and Protocols, the UN's 1989 International Conventionagainstthe Recruitment, Use, and of has 12 signatoFinancing, Training Mercenaries attracted only ries.Threeof thesesignatories, and Angola,the former Yugoslavia, the former have gone on to employmercenaries. Moststateshave Zaire, domestic thatbanmercenaries few,if any,haveactedon them. laws but Britain's Enlistment forexample, introduced 1870, was in Act, Foreign andtherehasyet to be a prosecution. The driveto regulate has military companies been mostpassionate whenhomegovernments-not thosewhocontract them-are affected. The British is currently after government investigating regulation Sandline International, it had clearance fromthe Foreign and claiming Commonwealth to Office,appeared violateUN sanctions supplying by arms military and to Leonean expertise the oustedSierra government. Sandlineexecutives, in the mediaas "mercenaries," embarportrayed
FALL 1998 77

War Outsourcing

whichhadentered office rassed Britain's Labour new Party government, of its platform an "ethical" policy. touting foreign South Africa hascomeunder domestic international too both and presto the number companies of based there. parliaIts sure control increasing Assistance in May Bill the of mentpassed Regulation Foreign Military believe that mostcommentatorsSouth in Africa 1998.Privately, however, and a for whilethelegislation provides framework government policy satits its will aremostisfies critics, realimpact belimited. Military companies it offshore caneasily and relocate othercountries, to making ly registered is difficult pinthemdownunder to A trend jurisdictions.growing specific forinternational to with jointventures localcompanies, companies form in the avoiding effectsof the legislation any one country. Angola,for of themin jointownership. has over80 security firms, many example, to can their Companies alsoeasily disguise activities purportingbesecuby whileactually services in ritycompanies performing protection engaging more coercive military operations. The principal to obstacle regulating has companies private military been the tendencyto brandthem as "mercenaries" the kind witof nessedin Africa30 years thanto recognize themas multiago,rather national theirlegitimacy. entrepreneurs to solidify eager Consequently, can constructive This regulation be bestachieved through engagement. wouldlikelyexpose andinternational institutions process governments of to accusations sanctioning useof "soldiers fortune" shore the of to up the international the commuYet, system. thistackoffers international that nity greaterleverageto influencethe activitiesof companies believelegitimacy the keyto theirfuture is andprosperity. an In growth effortto broaden theirappeal, instance, for have military companies offered Sandline maintains it is that International greater transparency. to the of and monitors prepared placeitselfunder scrutiny international framework. pledge a necessary This is acceptan international regulatory audit would establish links the step;a careful corporate thatmightaffect company's operations. couldwell beginwith dialogue betweenkey multilatEngagement eralinstitutions the private and sector. Liaison senior at levels military of the UN, forexample, needed,andthe Department Peacekeepis of
ing is an obvious startingpoint. UN field personnelshouldbe permitted to contact military companies and plan strategies for conflict resolution where appropriate. Had there been a structuredtransition between EO'sdeparture the planneddeploymentof UN observers, and
78 FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

the military Leonemighthavebeenaverted. could EO coupin Sierra havemaintained threat enforcement would a of that havebought time for the UN to fully implement postconflict programs, allowingRUF combatants becomeconfident to abouttheirfuture that they enough Directengagement couldalsoprovide opportuan mightdemobilize. morespecific nity to layout a codeof conductthatmightincorporate issues Obseroperational risingfromthe workof military companies. vationof companies such as EO to ensurethat they adhereto basic of is in principles warfare needed,something whichthe International of Committee the RedCross couldtakea lead. Theprospect private that military companies might gainsomedegree of legitimacy withinthe international as community the question begs to whether thesefirms couldtakeon UN peacekeeping functions and on see improve UN efforts. Military companies thisasan areaof potentialgrowth arequickto pointout the advantages offer. and There they is no denying theyarecheaper UN operations. costSierra that than EO Leone's for it versus a $35 government million the 22 months wasthere, at LikeUN planned operation budgeted $47 millionforeightmonths. cost of wise,its annual in Angolawasa fraction thatof the UN'soperation-for example, 1996-97, UNAVEM III cost $135 million. in and other such firmsprovidemilitary not EO Admittedly, support, but morequickpeacekeeping, thereis no doubtthattheycanmobilize less to a ly andappear sensitive casualties. However, accepting UN mandateorconditions alsounderminecompany's a effectiveness. any As may soldier hasserved a UN operation attest, peacekeeping who in will a missionis onlyaseffective the operation's as mandate. GIVE WAR A CHANCE and have to Policymakers multilateral organizations paidlittleattention involvement wars.Yet low-intensity in conflicts-the private-sector have in typethatmilitary companies specialized upto now-will be the wars prevail the firstpartof the twenty-first that in Theirvirucentury. lence and randomnaturecould undermine viabilityof many the nation-states. Thesewars meansof resolution, crethus defyorthodox
that have contributedto the expansionof milating the circumstances itarycompaniesinto this area. Conflict resolutiontheoryneeds to look more closely at the impact of coercion, not dismissit. Militarycompanies may in fact offer new
FALL 1998 79

War Outsourcing

for in possibilities building peacethat,whilenot universal applicabilicanhastenthe endto a warandlimitlossof life.Moreover, thereis ty, no evidence that private-sector interventionwill erode the state. motives military of theirintervenDespitethe commercial companies, if anything, have strengthened abilityof governments the to tions, controltheirterritory. military are to Yet, companies unlikely resolve conflictsin the long term. Politicalintervention and postconflict efforts stillnecessary. are peacebuilding the UN'sspecial on has Although rapporteur the useof mercenaries the in with acknowledged difficulties equating companies mermilitary the has that the cenaries, debate not movedbeyond point.Admittedly, UN is in a stickyposition.Althoughsomemember stateshave condemned useof military the others haveemployed theirsercompanies, vices or condonedtheiroperations. the of Meanwhile, future private interests looksbright. "Now its has MPRI military entering eleventh year, over400 employees," declares company's site,notingthat in the Web of exceeded million. 1997the volume business Evenwitha merce$48 labelandits associated moral continueto stain,EO andSandline nary tout theirservices beleaguered to Othercompanies are governments. that in of EO's services, likelyto emerge offer particularly terms low-key andadvising governments. mostrapid for The military training expansion is likelyto be linkedto the protection commercial of interests, these can act as a springboard moreaggressive, for although military actions local and brokers. Mainstream comalongside companies power fromthe UnitedStatesin particular, alsolikelyto encroach are panies, into low-intensity conflictareas. Withbacking froma cautious administration wantingto foregostrategic not the to influence, temptation usemilitary irresistible. companies mightprove of will Regulation military companies be problematic, given the of and of niche.Yet,in diversity theirservices the breadth theirmarket the is fromany manyrespects, privatemilitary industry no different othersectorin the global thatis required conform codes to to economy of practice-exceptthatin the former's the riskof political instacase, if actors bility and social mayhemis amplified more unscrupulous becomeinvolved. Thereis goodreason glancebackin history a to to
time when privatemilitaryforcesoperatedmoreor less freely.Historian Anthony Mocklernotes that one hundredyearsafterthe firstcondottieri entered Italy:"The lines had become crossedand tangled:mercenaries had become rulersand rulershad become mercenaries."
80 FOREIGN POLICY

Shearer

WANT

TO

KNOW

MORE?

have for Mercenaries beenaround as longaswarfare itself.Fordetailed of see Mockler's Mercenaries accounts theirhistory, Anthony (London: Thomson's Pirates& SovandJanice MacDonald, Mercenaries, 1969) and in Violence EarlyModem ereigns: State-Building Extraterritorial Princeton Press, 1996). Europe(NewJersey: University Several recent articles studies and scrutinize private military companies andtheiractivities worldwide: David Shearer's Private Armies Miliand for International Institute taryIntervention, Adeiphi 316(NewYork: Paper "In William Shawcross' Praise Sanof Studies, 1998); Strategic February dline"(TheSpectator, "Market Forces: August1, 1998);Al J. Venter's How HiredGunsSucceeded WheretheUnitedNationsFailed" (Jane's March 1998);KenSilverstein's "PrivatizInternational Review, 1, Defense and Soldiers For(The ingWar" Nation, 28,1997); David July of Isenberg's tune Ltd.: A Profileof Today's PrivateSectorCorporate Mercenary Firms(Washington: Center Defense for November Information, 1997). The legalstatus mercenaries addressed Frangoise of is in Hampson's "Mercenaries: Yearbook (Netherlands' DiagnosisBeforePrescription" Kwakwa's Current "The Law, of Intemati6nal No. 3, 1991)andEdward Statusof Mercenaries the Lawof ArmedConflict" in Inter(Hastings and national Comparative Review, 14, 1990). Law vol. Martin Crevald van examines changing the of dynamics conflictin The Transformation War(New York: FreePress,1991).Two The of studiesprovideempirical evidencethat outright ratherthan victory, hasendedthe greater of the twentieth negotiated peace, part century's internalconflicts:StephenJohn Stedman's in Peacemaking Civil Mediation Zimbabwe in Wars:International 1974-1980 (Boulder: "The Consequences of LynneRienner,1991) and Roy Licklider's Settlements CivilWars1954-1993" (American in Political Negotiated Science Review, 1995). September On human see a series reports the UN'sspecial of rights, by rapporteuron mercenaries areavailable that online:Report the Question on as HumanRightsand of the Use ofMercenaries a MeansofViolating the Impeding Exercise the Rightof Peoplesto Self-Determination. of Forlinksto this andotherrelevant Websites,as well as a comprehensiveindexof related access articles, www.foreignpolicy.com.
FALL 1998 81