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Private Versus Citizen-Soldiers: New Mercenarism In A Just-War Framework

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Chapter Summary

This chapter enquires some consequence-based and principled reasons which may count against such legalization. It concentrates on the standing of a particular kind of mercenary, namely those armed contractors who are employed by security companies that operate in war zones where the state with which the company is on contract is also present with its own army. The author calls these private soldiers, and contrasts them with ordinary soldiers, who are termed as citizen-soldiers. The chapter addresses two questions: is it permissible to be a mercenary; and is it permissible for states to use mercenaries. A just war is to be fought with a legitimate authority and only in response to a wrong received (just cause). The just-war tradition has always ruled out war for private gain as a candidate for a just war.

Keywords: citizen-soldiers; just-war tradition; mercenary; private soldiers; security companies



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