Marketing a Defence Doctrine Dominated by Private Military Companies. An Analysis of United Kingdom and United States Governance.
Maas, T. van der
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The contemporary defence doctrine by the United Kingdom and the United States government is marked by an increasing dependency on private military companies (PMC's), private contractors that provide specialised services of a military nature. These services are provided by former national servicesmen. Their skills for hire vary from training troops or supplying small arms to designing complete battle strategies and engagement in armed battle. Essentially these services are available for whoever is prepared to pay for it. The employees of PMC's are considered civilians, also when engaged in armed battle. Both their individual rights and the companies' rights are extensively protected by commercial law. This paper evaluates the democratic processes leading up to the use of PMC's in military operations by the democratic governments of the United Kingdom and the United States. Key finding of this analysis is that currently there is no effective system of democratic control in place to monitor or regulate the sourcing out of military services. In fact, the contemporary situation is such that PMC's hired by democratic governments operate in supremacy of law. Though this vacuum of lawlessness results in horrendous situations such as the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, the employment of PMC's is predominantly appealing for politicains because of its plausible deniable nature.