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Occupation for Hire: Private Military Companies and their Role in Iraq

RUSI Journal, 10 June 2004
Iraq, Law and Ethics, Military Personnel
Iraq serves as a potent illustration of how deeply embedded today’s private sector is in the business of security and war, and why questions over legislation require urgent attention.

It is often said – not always in jest – that the United States could not go to war without Kellogg Brown and Root, one of its primary contractors. But only now, as the Coalition attempts to rebuild Iraq, has the true extent of Washington’s ‘outsourcing’ been laid bare. The subject of this article is the emergence and vast increase in private military companies (PMCs) and private security companies (PSCs) over the past decade, and in particular how the conflict in Iraq serves as a potent illustration of how deeply embedded the private sector is in the business of security and war, and why questions over legislation require urgent attention.

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