The Role Of Private Military Contractors ( Pmcs )

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Thesis: The role of private military contractors (PMCs) has expanded tremendously since the end of the Cold War when western governments began the process of trimming their bloated military forces. As privatization commenced, governments began to rely upon a new kind of contractor that sold not only hardware but also manpower and expertise. Even as conventional military forces declined, the need for highly capable, professional soldiers remained pressing, especially in conflict prone areas around the world. PMCs filled these gaps, providing military assistance, advice, and security services to governments, companies, and NGOs. However, the role of these companies, and the legal framework surrounding them remains up for debate, and recent cases of misconduct with deadly consequences only muddy the waters further. The question remains: do PMCs serve to help or hurt human rights in areas where they are deployed? In this paper, I will argue that PMCs do have a critical role in the modern battlefield as providers of logistical, training, and security services, but their use in offensive actions or assistance with so called “black operations” should be circumscribed to the point of nonexistence. I will analyze two cases studies where PMCSs were deployed: Iraq and Sierra Leone to determine the positive and negative ramifications of their deployment. PMCs have upheld human rights in the vast majority of areas where they have been deployed, and it has not been shown that they are
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