Private military companies and their effectiveness
(POC) — New wars have become an arena for private military companies. They could perform greatly as an extra business body to provide external security measures, with new warfare objectives, media potential to depict the conflict, its chronicity, efforts to save military personnel in fight, societal control, occupation campaigns, and their specificity, information acquisition and any tasks related to new civilian institutions. In the context of new warfare, the use of private military force allows shifting the economy from civilian to military purposes, albeit without any harm to the former –– thus somewhat raising the production capacity curve for the whole economy. With the engagement of the privatized military industry, there emerges a likelihood to gather extra funds while not reducing the workforce, by calling reservists to the colors. Likewise, the state is capable of boosting its military strength while keeping its economy and citizens’ lifestyle intact.
The use of private military force expresses both expansion and dominance of the defense sector in the world’s highly industrialized states, mostly in the United States, whose advanced high-tech products require experts who would execute, operate and manage them. Private military companies cover business investments and uphold beleaguered local regimes by offering attractive investment conditions and seeking to strengthen their security. They offer access to a cheap labor pool while creating a ready market, thus home for highly industrialized economies to sustain and increase the rate of return on investments. Cost reduction is yet another source of efficiency while PMC have an open door to both raw materials and new markets. When leaving their footprint elsewhere to shield regular armies, such firms as Halliburton or KBR expand infrastructure, including military facilities, transport lanes, airfields, and set up a vast network of subcontractors and other persons within contracting authorities. In the long run, costs will be cut with assets used for civilian purposes, and the expenditure reimbursed through military contracts.
Foreign policy goals are being implemented through an array of classified missions, to prevent anybody from linking states or governments with their outcomes in particular. Yet not always did special services offer such a warranty. Thus private military firms have become an excellent tool in the hands of states that cannot combine their missions with state interests –– whose senior officials can distance themselves from any activities underway, even at the cost of military and managing personnel. The more widespread are private military companies, the more effectively states could engage them in any activities that could damage state interests.
Last but not least, by outsourcing military missions, top officials are able to evade any responsibility. Through tasks that they do not quite believe to reflect the state’s core interests yet that could lack a democratic mandate, ruling elites do have recourse to services offered by the privatized military industry. Do they adequately shirk responsibility? Yes, as was the case of PMC’s missions in Colombia, arms embargo violations in Bosnia, or a breach of an international trade embargo with China. Either somebody else is burdened with whole responsibility, or events remain top secret.