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Private Military/Security Companies 

Private Military Companies or Private Security Companies are a reality in 21st century conflicts all around the globe.  Often mistaken with their ancient predecessors (the so-called mercenaries), offer their protection/defensive services to both private and public clients, including NGOs, United Nations, aid agencies and goverments.

This site is a portal which offers news and articles on this topic. A controversial topic which gains more and more public attention due to their status as civilians and increasing casualties among this group of operators .

Together with the whole private security community we are crediting their sacrifice. Be it to their country, their client or asset to be protected or their buddies working at their side. 
 
New book on PMCs by renown author David Isenberg Print

Shadow ForceSHADOW FORCE

Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Today, with an emphasis on force restructuring mandated by the Pentagon, the role of private military contractors (PMCs) and their impact on policy-making decisions is at an all time peak.  SHADOW FORCE: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International; December 30, 2008), by David Isenberg, analyzes that impact, focusing specifically on PMCs in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Isenberg dissects their responsibilities, the friction that exists between contractors and military commanders, problems of protocol and accountability, as well as the problems of regulation and control that PMC companies create for domestic politics

 

David Isenberg organizes his work thematically, addressing all facets of PMCs in the current conflict from identifying who the most influential companies are and how they got to that point, to the issues that the government, military, and contractors themselves face when they take the field. He also analyzes the problem of command, control, and accountability. It is no secret that PMCs have been the source of consternation and grief to American military commanders in the field. As they work to establish more routine protocols in the field, however, questions are also being raised about the role of the contractors here at home. The domestic political arena is perhaps the most crucial battleground on which the contractors must have success. After all, they make their corporate living off of taxpayer dollars, and as such, calls for regulation have resonated throughout Washington, D.C., growing louder as the profile of PMCs increases during the current conflict.
 
DAVID ISENBERG has researched and written on U.S. military and international security issues for twenty-five years. He has monitored the private security contracting industry since the early 1990s. He has lectured at US military schools and overseas on the subject and been a frequent commentator on numerous radio and television shows. He is an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute and a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and a US Navy veteran. He currently writes a column on security contractors for United Press International, and lives in Arlington, VA.

Endorsement From Robert Young Pelton,

author of Licensed to Kill:

 David Isenberg has been a tireless chronicler of the birth, growth and rise of the private military phenomena. Shadow Force is a new addition to the "must have" list of books on the privatization of violence.

Endorsement From Doug Brooks,

Founder and Director of the International Peace Operations Association:

 David Isenberg was among the very first serious researchers to recognize a unique industry among the many firms providing services to governments in conflict in post-conflict environments. While others dismissed the phenomenon or soon departed into populist conjecture, David grasped the history and recognized both the long-term value and sober implications of this maturing sector. His research and articles in the mid 1990s helped stimulate a cottage industry of scholastic and journalistic research on the topic-often more absurd than serious. No one else considers this topic with the same breadth of knowledge or rational understanding, and few are as good at discerning genuine areas of concern from great gobs of absurd speculation.

Endorsement From Lawrence J. Korb,

Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress,

Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information:

 They are not mercenaries and they are not soldiers. So what are they? That is the question increasing numbers of people, both government officials and the general public, have been asking since the United States invaded Iraq. In this book David Isenberg, one of the earliest and most perceptive observers of the private security contracting industry explains who is operating in Iraq, their benefits and liabilities, and their impact both nationally and globally. If you have to read just one book on the subject make it this one.

Description:

> From their limited use in China during World War II, for example, to their often clandestine use in Vietnam ferrying supplies before the war escalated in 1964 and 1965 when their role became more prominent-and public-private military contractors (PMCs) have played made essential contributions to the success and failures of the military and United States. Today, with an emphasis on force restructuring mandated by the Pentagon, the role of PMCs, and their impact on policy-making decisions is at an all time peak. This work analyzes that impact, focusing specifically on PMCs in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Isenberg dissects their responsibilities, the friction that exists between contractors and military commanders, problems of protocol and accountability, as well as the problems of regulation and control that PMC companies create for domestic politics.Isenberg organizes his work thematically, addressing all facets of PMCs in the current conflict from identifying who the most influential companies are and how they got to that point, to the issues that the government, military, and contractors themselves face when they take the field.

He also analyzes the problem of command, control, and accountability. It is no secret that PMCs have been the source of consternation and grief to American military commanders in the field. As they work to establish more routine protocols in the field, however, questions are also being raised about the role of the contractors here at home. The domestic political arena is perhaps the most crucial battleground on which the contractors must have success. After all, they make their corporate living off of taxpayer dollars, and as such, calls for regulation have resonated throughout Washington, D.C., growing louder as the profile of PMCs increases during the current conflict.Table of Contents:
Acknowledgments

Preface

Chapter 1: Overview of the military issue

Chapter 2: PMCs in Iraq

Chapter 3: The players
 
Chapter 4: Control and Accountability at Abu Ghraib
 
Chapter 5: Control and Accountability Issues

Chapter 6: Conclusions
 
 
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