An International Relations Examination of Private Miiitaiy Companies : The Post-Cold War Security Vacuum, A Tendency Toward Immorality, and United States Foreign Policy
This essay presents a new framework for prescribing policies regarding the United States' use of private military companies (PMCs). Although this essay culminates in a specific policy prescription, its significance rests in the way in which policymakers should judge the use of PMCs and in the general concepts of the prescribed policy. While this essay is focused on the United States' usage of PMCs, many examples are pulled from other states' (and in some cases non-state conflict groups') usage of PMCs. Any industry analyst would support this, as a fundamental understanding of the collective industry is essential for a critical analysis. The author argues that the United States should adopt a policy loosely resembling a containment strategy, in which the U.S. seeks to counteract: (1) PMCs' encroachment on military jurisdiction; (2) their subversion of democracy; and (3) their propensity to cause unjust wars. To arrive at this judgment, however, we must fully explore the current moral character of the industry. Therefore, through an application of civil-military relations theory's professional foundation, democratic principles and their impact abroad (democratic peace theory), andjus in bello of just war theory regarding the moral impact of employing PMCs, we will examine a slew of issues that transcend the international community's skepticism and uneasiness about private military companies.