International diplomatic conventions, such as the recently concluded 52nd Munich Security Conference, suggest that national governments are still the prime stakeholders in matters of world security, deciders of war and peace. This however belies the fact that the private sector too is deeply involved in all facets of conflict and security, and looking back in history, always has been.
For some observers, those who have professionalized their involvement in conflict for monetary gain, so-called Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), constitute nothing more than modern day corporate mercenaries. For others they simply are resourceful service providers specialized to operate in areas of conflict, who can step in when governments need additional support.
PMSCs take on security related tasks, not just for state actors but also inter-governmental (such as the UN, NATO and EU) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Support for front-line combat operations isn’t their main source of revenue. The majority of their services consist of logistics support, maintenance and the protection of facilities and employees.
The United States is the world's largest consumer of private military and security services. The degree of reliance on PMSCs by the U.S. government took on new dimensions during the War on Terror. However, it was the U.S.’ involvement in peace enforcement and keeping missions in the Balkans, when for the first time private contractors equaled the numbers of military personnel involved.
“By any measure, the dawn of the U.S. military’s inordinate dependence on contractor-provided services for contingency operations was observed during these nascent years of the 1990s” a report by the Naval Postgraduate School concludes. This had to do with substantial reductions in logistical capabilities and caps on troop sizes after the end of the Cold War.
The recent US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have tightened collaboration between the public and the private sector in military and security affairs. Afghanistan is the first war in which the number of private contractors even overtook the number of military personnel employed.
The Statista "Chart of the Day", made available
under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0, may be used
and displayed without charge by all commercial and
non-commercial websites. Use is, however, only permitted with
proper attribution to Statista. When publishing one of these graphics,
please include a backlink to the respective infographic URL.
The Statista "Chart of the Day" currently focuses
on two sectors: "Media and Technology", updated
daily and featuring the latest statistics from the media,
internet, telecommunications and consumer electronics
industries; and "Economy and Society", which
current data from the United States and around the
world relating to economic and political issues as well as
sports and entertainment.
For individual content and infographics in your Corporate Design,
please visit our agency website
Any more questions?
Get in touch with us quickly and easily. We are happy to help!