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Private Security And State-Building

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Chapter Summary

Old fashioned state-builders used private security forces, either as personal adjuncts or as hired mercenaries, in their efforts to control resources. Today, private security forces cannot initiate state-building on their own. Some contemporary state rulers hire private security companies, or what people in the business call private security companies (PSCs) that provide expertise usually associated with the militaries of states to defend their regimes. The Iraq and Afghan markets for PSCs reinforce the closer alignment of interests between PSCs and the US and British governments. The close integration of private security and strong state interests, especially since the 911 attacks, show the extent to which states, and especially strong states, continue to dominate the reshaping of international relations. US and British applications of post-911 strategic doctrines to strengthen the capabilities of weak states has opened up new business opportunities for PSCs.

Keywords: Afghan; Iraq; private security companies (PSCs); state-building; weak states



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