Private Military Companies Mere War Profiteers or a Cost-Effective Alternative

3345 WordsMay 3, 201214 Pages
Private Military Companies Mere War Profiteers or a cost-effective alternative? […] “This war has been privatized more than any other war in history… forty cents of every dollar Congress controls goes to private contractors.”1 In Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers Robert Greenwald shows how private companies have made millions of the Iraq War performing duties that used to be done by the government. In that same documentary, private military companies are portrayed as greedy, profit-seeking organisations, who will do anything to maximize their profits. If a company is primarily concerned with profits, might they skim on their mission, might they offer cheaper services when possible? According to director Robert Greenwald the answer…show more content…
Hiring PMCs: the role of public opinion Domestic public opinion often has a significant role in determining the extent of a state’s military actions , some would argue that public opinion can constrain a state leader in their decision to go to war or not (O’Keefe 2009: 5). Yet, some of the pressure of public opinion can be alleviated when a state outsources military functions. The public does not equate the death of contractor with that of a national soldier, as contractors are not directly associated with the state’s military (O’Keefe 2009:5). The use of PMCs in the Iraq War allows the state to avoid what is known as the “body-bag syndrome”, where governments are increasingly pressured by domestic constituents as death tolls mount (Kinsey 2006: 96). In addition to the ability of states to avoid the body-bag syndrome, the way in which media report on the involvement of contracted troops further benefits the state as the public disassociates contractors with soldiers. When the media reports of fallen private soldiers, they are often referred to as contractors, which generates another response of the public than to the death of a national soldier (O’Keefe 2009: 6). The next quotation from Thomas Pogue, a former Navy SEAL, who has worked for Blackwater illustrates this point; “These forces can be employed without a lot of publicity—and that’s a very

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