Wouters, Patrick. (2010) The political, legal and military implications of outsourcing to private military companies. Egmont Security Policy Brief No. 15, November 2010. [Policy Paper]
Recurrent and systematic underinvestment (or inadequate management) results in capability shortfalls, that can only be compensated by ‘outsourcing’ to Private Military Companies. While the use of private companies for corporate or logistic functions might be manageable, complementary and legitimate, outsour-cing inherently governmental functions as the use of force to hired guns inevitably leads to legal, military and political issues. Even with an adequate management structure, not all military functions can be privatized, since activities or functions linked with the state’s monopoly on the (authorised) use of force as well as core military missioncritical functions should be banned from privatization. Assuredly, Defence & Security investments deserve a better outcome than keeping the balance sheets of private companies in the green: critical awareness and an independent knowledge base on the good, the bad and the ugly of hiring Private Military Companies can make the difference for our future (austere) defence budgets between proactive investments in the provision of public security or compelled recourse to private capabilities.
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