The evolution of the phenomenon of private military and security companies
In recent months, several revelations of the press, some of which relate to each other Wikileaks have confirmed the use by the United States government in the two main theaters of operations of our contemporary history, ie Iraq and Afghanistan, private military and security activities for which you have always imagined they were used only rates belonging to the apparatus defense officials. Indeed, it was long known to everyone to use rates in private activities close protection of diplomatic personnel or contractors, as well as in training for the armed forces and police of the two martyred countries, and even the use of PM & SC in active protection of facilities of strategic importance such as installations oil, but use of the same in activities purely “combat” such as research, capture or annihilation of units of insurgents inside and outside the borders of the two countries, on the ground or in the acquisition of information useful for intelligence governmental , is was only rumored and rarely there had been evidence of proven participation in these activities by actually found on the free market.
For readers, represented in large part by very well-informed on the issues that we face in this appointment, the awareness of the use of private resources in a dynamic state, the security and intelligence sector, is hardly new, but I will propose a series of arguments about the origins and evolution of the scenario regarding these issues. The conditions that have allowed all this to happen, certainly derive origin, on the one hand from a historical passage or the fall of the Wall and the other by the need, on the part of the steering system, using instruments with increasingly large flexibility and proven, but not directly connected to the official structures of the state, plus cost much more sustainable than those attributable to the use of rates of men in uniform.
As is the first point, failing the system of blocs and having had many of the satellite states, renounce wealth of military aid training and weapons that came from their two sides, many of the rulers of these countries have had to adapt to the new situation by contacting the market. And the market has always been generous with teams that, more or less officially, already proposed some thirty years ago, in the security services and training “on demand”. To know where to look, it was not hard to find even then who could be of great help in an attempt to overthrow a government, eliminating a political enemy or to train local militias, so if they could no longer count on lavish funding and aid by member friends, you would be organized in other ways.
This step appears to be essential to clearly understand what happened in the world of private security and military activities outsourced. If this increase in commercial demand, dictated by geopolitical upheavals, add in time, the violence of an economic crisis on the one hand forced to cut budgets, including those of Defense and the other has made it increasingly important safeguarding the stability of countries and sites where hydrocarbons are extracted and the primary resources in general, will become clearer the reason for which we have witnessed over the past 15 years to an exponential growth in both turnover and capacity of ‘use of Private Military Companies and Private Security Companies.
Now, keeping in mind the huge economic effort that states must shoulder to address the three phases of a modern conflict, namely that of the war itself, that of peace-keeping and then that of the peace-enforcing, as well as understanding the ‘ strategic importance that has for a modern country, to defend the interests of their companies that do business in crisis areas, engaged in the energy sector as in the technology of construction and reconstruction, it is not difficult to understand how, in part because of constraints budget that impose the dogma of no redundancy at all the equipment put in place by governments, has as its primary and indispensable the need to use resources more flexible, less expensive, however, and high performance even in the security sector, defense and intelligence. According to this requirement, related to saving, sustainability of investments and optimize resources, the commercial proposal of PMC and PSC modern, fits with the need to save and put on the ground forces adequately prepared and for which, What is not insignificant, you do not have direct responsibility with respect to their work, when things were unfortunately to get worse.
We are all fully aware of how the intelligence finds its raison d’être in time of war as in time of peace and the reasons are, as mentioned, linked in times of conflict, the defense of its quota on the ground and in time peace to the need “to know.” These two primary needs and indispensable, more and more are answered by Western governments also thanks to the use of private companies. Just think of the use of technology in the art defense built and run by private companies, or the defense of military bases contracted out to private military companies also. In two cases, the benefits for governments are represented by the fact that, in the first instance, speaking with a search on the free market, you will acquire the best equipment at the best price, while the second will be freed from commitments to second or third line.
These forces will be able to be engaged in actual combat, as in the case of the civilian staff of PMC used to access control bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These two examples represent the most classic and well-known of the possible interactions between the public and private sectors in the world of security, defense and intelligence. But there are other ways of cooperation between state and private reality, if we are lesser known, but certainly just as interesting. Back then the example used at the beginning of This closer or drives “commercial” combat who have worked in more recent conflicts.
This step represents the true egg of Columbus to the necessity of saving and the choice to play, sometimes to private research and capture of terrorist units outside the country, seems to be increasingly asserting itself at different latitudes. Why else indeed, a modern country like the USA you would have preferred to use commandos peculiarly private activities carried out so far by their special forces? One reason could be found in the need for the widest possible number of “devices” on the ground. In an asymmetric conflict like those which we mention, territories and sides to control, are vast and hazy outlines. In this case it may then place the principle of “more is better”. A second important reason, is instead linked to the need not to send, in countries not officially involved in the conflict, but whose boundaries are continually crossed by groups of enemy fighters, special forces units, so to speak flag, whose eventual capture could be a problem in many respects. Another good reason could also be that of sustainability. Train a special forces soldier has high costs for the government. Losing an action has implications, as well as humanly dramatic, economically significant.
Ben is the possibility to turn to those who can ensure the highest standards of efficiency, without any loss of resources falls directly on the Armed Forces. The possibility of interaction between public and private resources in the field of intelligence and the military and security, thus offers changing scenarios. Without going too far to the interactions that still represent the extreme interpretation of the concept of privatization of the defense, you can refer to the requirements related to the prevention and mitigation of risks for companies who send technicians in areas outside the war, but the crisis or the support offered by modern PMC and PSC to non-governmental organizations, which operate in territories tortured to support those who suffer.
All activities, these, not the direct responsibility of hosts, but held daily by private companies. There is also another important setting related to possible interactions between the public and private sectors, namely that of finding and collecting information. In my opinion, despite the enormous impetus given in recent years to intelligence activities, carried out by using technological resources, the only result that seems to have been achieved is to establish ever more clear the inalienability of the resource HUMINT or intelligence gathering on the ground by the operators. So I wonder, why a state should not use the information that is collected on the ground every day by hundreds of operators, as for example in the case of the military and security companies American or British? Try to imagine, in this regard, which
is the amount of news and information that they are able to collect operators located on the ground by the PMC and PSC and you will immediately see that a similar amount of data can not, in any way, be underestimated, but should rather be held by a government, into account.
One thing is to have it on the ground “only” devices intelligence proper, and the other is to get news from a variety of sources, consisting in each case of staff whose standard reports on issues related to security and intelligence is at a level of excellence and has direct experience in the specific sector. A government which has been able to develop processes of interaction with private companies operating in this sector, you will find a wealth of data to manage much larger than those that could arrivargli only by operating the security services as such. In light of these possibilities of expansion of the possible synergies between public and private, I would hope that in our country you think you have due regard to the possibility of legally create the conditions so that the PSC can aspire to new employment opportunities and use in international scenarios.
How much longer do we have to otherwise assist for use by governmental structures such as those related to our embassy, who prefer to use suppliers of security services, Anglo-Saxon, instead of using national realities? In conclusion, I would like all of us us to reflect on what may be the consequences in terms of business opportunities, the choice made in recent days by the U.S. in defense matters. How do we think that it will have an effect on the market for private security and services offered by the PSC and PMC, the decision announced last July by President Obama to reduce the cost of defense?