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The (ir)resistible temptation of privatizing security: A Dutch perspective

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The use of private contractors in peace support operations may involve a large variety of services. However, there is a conspicuous lack of information and transparency in general regarding the number of PMC personnel employed, the tasks they perform and the sums of money that are at stake. The employment of private military companies can be looked at from three different perspectives, the economic, the military-operational and the legal (as well as ethical) perspective. In the recently published report Employing Private Military Companies two recommendations are made. First, the Dutch government is advised to make the level of its political ambitions with regard to participation in peace support operations dependent on the structural capacity of the armed forces, including basic logistics. Second, the government is urged to provide as much information as possible concerning all relevant aspects of the employment of private companies that render services to the Dutch armed forces in operational areas. Finally, the government is urged to raise the whole issue in the ESDP discussions of the European Union.


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