Peter W. Singer
Cornell University Press
A prescient study of the privatisation of warfare, that predates the Iraq War but explores one of the key trends that has shaped that conflict.
Singer uses a number of case studies to highlight the growing range of military services being provided by private companies.
A chapter on South Africa's Executive Outcomes (EO) and its various affiliates illustrates the role of the 'Military Provider Firm', which engages in frontline combat. An intriguing appendix includes a copy of the agreement between EO offshoot Sandline and the government of Papua New Guinea, and a list of the huge array of military equipment involved in the company's abortive plan to suppress the rebellion in Bougainville.
The role of the 'Military Consulting Firm' is illustrated by US company MPRI, which advised the Croatian Army in the run-up to the 1995 'Operation Storm' offensive against the Krajina Serbs. Another US company, Brown and Roots Services, exemplifies the logistical role played by the 'Military Support Firm.'
As well as providing a comprehensive survey of the privatised military industry, Singer shows that the phenomenon represents a fundamental challenge to established assumptions in a huge range of fields.
This book should be the first port of call for anyone looking for a serious theoretical study of the subject. A ground-breaking piece of scholarship.