The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order

Sean McFate. Oxford Univ, $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-19-936010-9
Private military security contractors such as Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) receive plenty of publicity (mostly negative), yet “for nearly a decade, contractors have constituted half the United States forces in war zones.” PMSCs are the wave of the future, argues McFate, a former paratrooper and an associate professor at the National Defense University, in this thoughtful examination of mercenary armed forces. Mercenaries constituted the core of most fighting forces throughout history, until strong, centralized states appeared around 400 years ago and monopolized the use of force; but this exclusivity has dwindled since the 1990s, reviving what McFate calls “neomedievalism.” He gives most credit to the triumph of free-market, small-government capitalism. America now fights wars without conscription, resulting in a critical shortage of soldiers and requiring profit-making contractors to deliver essential services. As the U.S. winds down its wars, PMSCs are finding a burgeoning market among nongovernment organizations, multinational corporations, shipping companies, billionaires, and drug cartels, and failed states, which find it easier to buy soldiers than to train them. McFate’s persuasive, unsettling, and nonpolemical account describes the way PMSCs are changing the face of war. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/23/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.