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The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC)

The new security industry of private companies moves large quantities of weapons and military equipment. It provides services for military operations recruiting former militaries as civilians to carry out passive or defensive security. However, these individuals cannot be considered as civilians, given that they often carry and use weapons, interrogate prisoners, load bombs, drive military trucks and fulfill other essential military functions. Those who are armed can easily switch from a passive/defensive to an active/offensive role and can commit human rights violations and even destabilize governments. They cannot be considered soldiers or supporting militias under international humanitarian law either, since they are not part of the army or in the chain of command, and often belong to a large number of different nationalities. PMSC personnel cannot usually be considered to be mercenaries for the definition of mercenaries as stipulated in the international conventions dealing with this issue does not generally apply to the personnel of PMSCs which are legally operating in foreign countries under contracts of legally registered companies. Private military and security companies operate in a legal vacuum: they pose a threat to civilians and to international human rights law. [refers to Blackwater, Xe, Unity Resources Group, CACI, L-3 Titan (part of L-3 Communications), Jeppesen (part of Boeing), DynCorp, Meteoric Tactical Solutions, Steele Foundation, Triple Canopy, BAE Systems, United Defence Industries, Lockheed Martin, Lazard Frères, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, BP, Shell, MPRI)

Part of the following stories

DynCorp lawsuits (re Colombia & Ecuador)

Blackwater USA lawsuit (re 16 Sep 2007 Baghdad incident)

Abu Ghraib lawsuits against CACI, Titan (now L-3)