Deploying private security companies could make starting wars easier, warns Manchester Univ. study

Author: Jack Howson, Mancunian Matters (UK), Published on: 3 October 2014

Countries could soon use private security companies to make it easier to go to war and make them last longer, claims new research by the University of Manchester...Since the end of the Cold War, the private military industry has grown rapidly...in recent years, private firms like G4S have been used to reinforce the state troops of Iraq and Afghanistan and through privatisation, it is intended that financial and human losses will be reduced. However, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, Dr James Pattison, claims that despite frequent discussion of the potential benefits and disadvantages of private military and security firms, the full ethical considerations are rarely elaborated on...“If states can employ private security companies to circumvent some of the constraints of international law, then it makes it easier for them to go to war. "This could make wars more likely, and potentially make them last longer in the future." Dr Pattison suggests that private contractors are more likely to be motivated by financial gain than regular soldiers, which can make it harder to win the hearts and minds of the local population; crucial in certain operations.  Also, unlike enlisted soldiers, private contractors are free to select the wars in which they fight, raising issues of democratic control.

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Related companies: G4S