Private military company
A private military company (PMC), private military firm (PMF), or private military or security company, provides armed security services. PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors or private military contractors. Private military companies refer to their business generally as the private military industry or The Circuit. While the hiring of mercenaries is a common practice in the history of armed conflict, it is prohibited in the modern age by the United Nations Mercenary Convention, which is why PMCs make a specific differentiation between their commercial activities and the connotations surrounding the word "mercenary".
The services and expertise offered by PMCs are typically similar to those of governmental military or police forces, most often on a smaller scale. While PMCs often provide services to train or supplement official armed forces in service of governments, they can also be employed by private companies to provide bodyguards for key staff or protection of company premises, especially in hostile territories. However, contractors who use offensive force in a war zone could be considered unlawful combatants, in reference to a concept outlined in the Shaan Tehal Conventions and explicitly specified by the 2006 American Military Commissions Act.
The services of private contractors are used around the world. P. W. Singer author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry says "In geographic terms, it operates in over 50 different countries. It’s operated in every single continent but Antarctica." In the 1990s there used to be 50 military personnel for every 1 contractor, now the ratio is 10 to 1 (Singer). Singer points out that these contractors have a number of duties depending on who they are hired by. In developing countries that have natural resources, such as oil refineries in Iraq, they are hired to guard the area. They are also hired to guard companies that contract services and reconstruction efforts such as General Electric. Apart from securing companies, they also secure officials and government affiliates. Private military companies carry out many different missions and jobs. These include things such as supplying bodyguards to the Afghan president Hamid Karzai and piloting reconnaissance airplanes and helicopters as a part of Plan Colombia.  They are also licensed by the United States Department of State, they are contracting with national governments, training soldiers and reorganizing militaries in Nigeria, Bulgaria, Taiwan, and Equatorial Guinea. The PMC industry is now worth over $100 billion a year.
According to a 2008 study by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, private contractors make up 29% of the workforce in the United States Intelligence Community and cost the equivalent of 49% of their personnel budgets.
United States 
In 1985, Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) was established primarily to preplan for contingencies and to leverage the existing civilian resources. However, it was not until three years later before it was first used. In support of a United States Third Army mission, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) used LOGCAP to contract for the construction and maintenance of two petroleum pipelines systems in Southwest Asia.
Later, USACE awarded the first contract under LOGCAP umbrella concept to Brown and Root Services (now KBR) in August 1992 as a cost-plus-award-fee contract, which was used in December that year to support the United Nations forces in Somalia.
Some contractors have served in advisory roles, that help train local militaries to fight more effectively, instead of intervening directly. Much of the peacekeeper training the United States provides to African militaries is done by private firms, and with the increasing absence of Western military support to international peace operations, the private sector is commonly utilized to provide services to peace and stability operations from Haiti to Darfur.
The Center for Public Integrity reported that since 1994, the Defense Department entered into 3,601 contracts worth $300 billion with 12 U.S. based various PMCs within the United States, specifically during the initial response after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Domestic operations are generally under the auspice of state or federal agencies such as the Department of Energy or the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Department of Defense. Driven by increasingly greater fears of domestic terror attacks and civil unrest and disruption in the wake of disasters, more conventional security companies are moving into operations arenas that would fall within the definition of a PMC.
The United States State Department also employs several companies to provide support in danger zones that would be difficult for conventional U.S. forces.
Bush Administration policy on PMCs 
On December 5, 2005, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held a lecture dubbed "The Future of Iraq" at Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. During a Q&A session afterwards he was asked a question by graduate student Kate Turner regarding PMCs:
Turner: "There are currently thousands of private military contractors in Iraq and you were just speaking of rules of engagement in regards to Iraqi personnel and US personnel. Could you speak to, since the private contractors are operating outside the Uniform Code of Military Justice, can you speak to what law or rules of engagement do govern their behavior and whether there has been any study showing that it is cost effective to have them in Iraq rather than US military personnel. Thank you."
Rumsfeld: "Thank you. It is clearly cost-effective to have contractors for a variety of things that military people need not do, and that for whatever reason other civilians, government people, cannot be deployed to do. There are a lot of contractors, a growing number. They come from our country but they come from all countries, and indeed sometimes the contracts are from our country or another country and they employ people from totally different countries including Iraqis and people from neighboring nations. And there are a lot of them. It's a growing number. Of course we've got to begin with the fact that, as you point out, they're not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. We understand that. There are laws that govern the behavior of Americans in that country. The Department of Justice oversees that. There is an issue that is current as to the extent to which they can or cannot carry weapons, and that's an issue. It's also an issue, of course, with the Iraqis. But if you think about it, Iraq’s a sovereign country. They have their laws and they're going to govern, the UN resolution and the Iraqi laws, as well as U.S. procedures and laws govern behavior in that country depending on who the individual is and what he's doing. But I personally am of the view that there are a lot of things that can be done for a short time basis by contractors that advantage the United States and advantage other countries who also hire contractors, and that any idea that we shouldn't have them I think would be unwise."
Application of UCMJ to PMCs 
"SEC. 552. CLARIFICATION OF APPLICATION OF UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE DURING A TIME OF WAR. Paragraph (10) of section 802(a) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is amended by striking 'war' and inserting 'declared war or a contingency operation'." 
Farah Stockman of the Boston Globe, (7 January 2007) wrote:
"Previously, the code applied to 'persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field' only during a war, which US courts interpreted to mean a war declared by Congress. No such declaration was made in the Iraq conflict. Now, Congress has amended the code to apply to persons accompanying an armed force during a 'declared war or contingency operation.' But the provision might also have unintended consequences, if the military chooses to use its new power to court-martial civilians. For instance, the language in the law is so broad that it can be interpreted as saying that embedded journalists and contract employees from foreign countries would also be liable under the military code. Other punishable offenses under the code include disobeying an order, disrespecting an officer, and possession of pornography in a combat zone."
International legal issues 
In October 2007, the United Nations released a two-year study that stated, that although hired as "security guards", private contractors were performing military duties. Many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are not signatories to the 1989 United Nations Mercenary Convention banning the use of mercenaries. However, a spokesman for the US Mission to UN Office in Geneva (UNOG) said that "Accusations that U.S. government-contracted security guards, of whatever nationality, are mercenaries is inaccurate."
Discharged military personnel make up the majority of Western contractors. The boom of the private security industry that took place in the 1990s can be traced back to the over 6 million military personnel that were discharged in that decade. Post Cold War military reduction has also expanded the recruiting pool for PMCs. In some cases, entire elite units, such as the South African 32nd Reconnaissance Battalion and the former Soviet "Alfa" unit have been reorganized into private military companies.
Some commentators have argued that there has been a recent exodus from many special operations forces across the globe towards these private military corporations. Units that have allegedly been severely affected include The British Special Air Service, the US Special Operations Forces  and the Canadian Joint Task Force 2. Finding work in the industry is not difficult for most former soldiers as their personal network of fellow and ex-soldiers is enough to keep them informed of available contracts.
PMC activities in Iraq 
In December, 2006, in Iraq there were thought to be at least 100,000 contractors working directly for the United States Department of Defense which is a tenfold increase in the use of private contractors for military operations since the Persian Gulf War, just over a decade earlier. The prevalence of PMCs has led to the foundation of trade group the Private Security Company Association of Iraq. In Iraq, the issue of accountability, especially in the case of contractors carrying weapons is a sensitive one. Iraqi laws do not hold over contractors. Just before leaving office as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Paul Bremer signed Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 where it is stated that:
Contractors shall not be subject to Iraqi laws or regulations in matters relating to the terms and conditions of their Contracts, including licensing and registering employees, businesses and corporations; provided, however, that Contractors shall comply with such applicable licensing and registration laws and regulations if engaging in business or transactions in Iraq other than Contracts. Notwithstanding any provisions in this Order, Private Security Companies and their employees operating in Iraq must comply with all CPA Orders, Regulations, Memoranda, and any implementing instructions or regulations governing the existence and activities of Private Security Companies in Iraq, including registration and licensing of weapons and firearms.
PMCs supply support to U.S. military bases throughout the Persian Gulf, from operating mess halls to providing security. They supply armed guards at a U.S. Army base in Qatar, and they use live ammunition to train soldiers at Camp Doha in Kuwait. They maintain an array of weapons systems vital to an invasion of Iraq. They also provide bodyguards for VIPs, guard installations, and escort supply convoys from Kuwait. All these resources are called upon constantly due to the war in Iraq.
- Employees of private military company CACI and Titan Corp. were involved in the Iraq Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2003, and 2004. The U.S. Army "found that contractors were involved in 36 percent of the [Abu Ghraib] proven incidents and identified 6 employees as individually culpable", although none have faced prosecution unlike US military personnel.
- On March 31, 2004, four American private contractors belonging to the company Blackwater USA were killed by insurgents in Fallujah as they drove through the town. They were dragged from their car in one of the most violent attacks on U.S. contractors in the conflict. Following the attack, an angry mob mutilated and burned the bodies, dragging them through the streets before they were hung on a bridge. (See also: 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush, Operation Vigilant Resolve)
- On March 28, 2005, 16 American contractors and three Iraqi aides from Zapata Engineering, under contract to the US Army Corps of Engineers to manage an ammunition storage depot, were detained following two incidents in which they allegedly fired upon U.S. Marine checkpoint. While later released, the contractors have levied complaints of mistreatment against the Marines who detained them.
- On June 5, 2005, Colonel Theodore S. Westhusing committed suicide, after writing a report exonerating US Investigations Services of allegations of fraud, waste and abuse he received in an anonymous letter in May.
- On October 27, 2005, a "trophy" video, complete with post-production Elvis Presley music, appearing to show private military contractors in Baghdad shooting Iraqi civilians sparked two investigations after it was posted on the Internet. The video has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services. According to the posters, the man who is seen shooting vehicles on this video in Iraq was a South African employee of Aegis Victory team named Danny Heydenreycher. He served in the British military for six years. After the incident the regional director for Victory ROC tried to fire Heydenreycher, but the team threatened to resign if he did. As of December 2005, Aegis is conducting a formal inquiry into the issue, although some concerns on its impartiality have been raised.
- On September 17, 2007, the Iraqi government announced that it was revoking the license of the American security firm Blackwater USA over the firm's involvement in the deaths of eight civilians in a firefight that followed a car bomb explosion near a State Department motorcade. Blackwater is currently one of the most high-profile firms operating in Iraq, with around 1,000 employees as well as a fleet of helicopters in the country. Whether the group may be legally prosecuted is still a matter of debate.
Legal position 
Two days before he left Iraq, L. Paul Bremer signed "Order 17" giving all Americans associated with the CPA and the American government immunity from Iraqi law. A July 2007 report from the American Congressional Research Service indicates that the Iraqi government still had no authority over private security firms contracted by the U.S. government.
The new status-of-forces agreement makes it clear that Contractors are under the jurisdiction of Iraqi law.
Plans for the future 
After the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq the US State Department is reportedly planning to more than double the number of its private security guards, up to as many as 7,000. Defending five fortified compounds across the country, the security contractors would operate radars to warn of enemy rocket attacks, search for roadside bombs, fly reconnaissance drones and even staff quick reaction forces to aid civilians in distress. The State Department plans to acquire 60 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) from the US military to expand its inventory of armored cars to 1,320 and to create a mini-air fleet by buying three planes to add to its lone aircraft. Its helicopter fleet, which will be piloted by contractors, will grow from 17 to 29. 
PMC activities elsewhere 
- In 1994 and 1995 South African based PMC Executive Outcomes was involved in two military actions in Africa. In the first conflict, EO fought on the behalf of the Angolan government against UNITA after a UN brokered peace settlement broke down. In the second action EO was tasked with containing a guerrilla movement in Sierra Leone called the Revolutionary United Front. Both missions involved personnel from the firm training 4-5 thousand combat personnel for the Angolan government and retaking control of the diamond fields and forming a negotiated peace in Sierra Leone.
- In 1999, an incident involving DynCorp in Bosnia was followed by a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit being filed against DynCorp employees stationed in Bosnia. It alleged that: "employees and supervisors from DynCorp were engaging in perverse, illegal and inhumane behavior and were illegally purchasing women, weapons, forged passports and participating in other immoral acts."
- In 2000, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Television international affairs program "Foreign Correspondent" broadcast a special report "Sierra Leone: Soldiers of Fortune", focusing on the exploits of South African pilot Neall Ellis and his MI-24 Hind gunship. The report also investigated the failures of the UN Peacekeeping Force, and the involvement of mercenaries/private military contractors in providing vital support to UN operations and British military Special Operations in Sierra Leone in 1999-2000.
- On April 5, 2005, Jamie Smith, CEO of SCG International Risk announced the expansion of services from the traditional roles of PMCs of protection and intelligence to military aviation support. SCG International Air would provide air support, medevac (medical evacuation), rotary and fixed-wing transportation, heavy-lift cargo, armed escort and executive air travel to "any location on earth." This marks a unique addition and expansion of services to rival the capabilities of some country's armies and air forces.
- On March 27, 2006, J. Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater USA announced to attendees of a special operations exhibition in Jordan that his company could now provide a brigade-size force for low intensity conflicts. According to Black, "There is clear potential to conduct security operations at a fraction of the cost of NATO operations". These comments were later denied.
- In mid-May 2006, police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrested 32 alleged mercenaries of different nationalities; 19 South Africans, 10 Nigerians and three Americans. Half of them worked for a South African company named Omega Security Solutions and the Americans for AQMI Strategy Corp. The men were accused of plotting to overthrow the government but charges were not pressed. The men were deported to their home countries.
- In 2006, a U.S. congressional report listed a number of PMCs and other enterprises that have signed contracts to carry out anti-narcotics operations and related activities as part of Plan Colombia. DynCorp was among those contracted by the State Department, while others signed contracts with the Defense Department. Other companies from different countries, including Israel, have also signed contracts with the Colombian Defense Ministry to carry out security or military activities.
- In December 2009, the Congressional Research Service, which provides background information to members of the United States Congress, announced that the deployment of 30,000 extra U.S. troops into Afghanistan could be accompanied by a surge of "26,000 to 56,000" contractors. This would expand the presence of personnel from the U.S. private sector in Afghanistan "to anywhere from 130,000 to 160,000". The CRS study said contractors made up 69 percent of the Pentagon's personnel in Afghanistan in December 2008, a proportion that "apparently represented the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by the Defense Department in any conflict in the history of the United States." In September 2008 their presence had dropped to 62 percent, while the U.S. military troop strength increased modestly.
- Also in December 2009, a House oversight subcommittee said that it had begun a wide-ranging investigation into allegations that American private security companies hired to protect Defense Department convoys in Afghanistan would be paying off warlords and the Taliban to ensure safe passage. That would mean that the United States is unintentionally and indirectly engaged in a protection racket and may be indirectly funding the very insurgents it is trying to fight. A preliminary inquiry determined that the allegations warranted a deeper inquiry, focused initially on eight trucking companies that share a $2.2 billion Defense Department contract to carry goods and material from main supply points inside Afghanistan (primarily Bagram air base) to more than 100 forward operating bases and other military facilities in the country.
Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Private Security Contractors 
NGOs' rare use of private security contractors in dangerous regions is a highly sensitive subject. While rare, many NGOs have sought the services of private security contractors in dangerous areas of operation, such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan due to the following reasons:
- Lack of knowledge/skills and time to adequately meet the challenges of deteriorating security environments; and
- Administrative costs of managing security in-house and potential to outsource the liability.
Quite often the contractors hired are local companies and mostly are unarmed personnel guarding facilities, only very rarely are international contractors or mobile armed security personnel used.
|Contracted security services used by humanitarians||% of organizations contracting from international PSPs||% organizations contracting from local PSPs|
|Unarmed guards for facilities/residences/project sites||29%||77%|
|Physical security for premises||31%||55%|
|Security management consulting||37%||9%|
|Security training for staff||41%||4%|
|Risk assessment/threat analysis||36%||7%|
|Armed guards for facilities/residences/project sites||17%||14%|
|Mobile escorts (armed)||9%||13%|
However, there are a great many voices against their use who cite the following problems:
- Outsourcing security left NGOs reliant on contractors and unable to develop their own security thinking and make their own decisions
- Perceived association of PSPs with state security, police or military services in turn compromises the ability of NGOs to claim neutrality, leading to increased risk;
- Outsourcing may not necessarily lead to lower costs, and the cost of middlemen may result in more poorly paid and poorly trained personnel who turn over frequently and cannot adequately perform the job; and
- NGOs have obligations beyond strictly legal liability that include political, ethical and reputational implications - if the organisation’s responsibility to prevent and mitigate any possible negative outcomes is better achieved through in-house security, this should be their choice.
The result is that many NGOs are not open about their use of PSPs and researchers' at the Overseas Development Institute studies have found that sometimes statements at NGOs central headquarters contradict those given by local staff. This prevents informative knowledge-sharing and debate on the subject needed to improve NGOs decisions regarding this issue, though there have been some notable exceptions (Afghanistan NGO Security Office (ANSO) and the NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI)). The Private Security Contractor fulfills many different needs in the private and public sectors. While some nations rely heavily on the input of governments such as the US, other countries do not trust the US, so they tend to look for private contractors who will have a fiduciary obligation them. According to Joel Vargas, Director of Operations for Contingent Security Services, Ltd. and Assistant Director for InterPort Police, it will be impossible to build democracies without having the assistance from the private sector performing activities for clients.
See also 
- List of private military companies
- Albrecht Wallenstein
- Arms trade
- Command responsibility
- Jus in bello
- Military-industrial complex
- Montreux Document
- Personal Security Detachment
- Private defense agency
- Private intelligence agency
- Shadow Company
- Shadow Force
- The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
- The Intelligence Group International
Academic publications 
- Arnold, Guy. Mercenaries: The Scourge of the Third World. Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. ISBN 978-0-312-22203-1
- Brooks, Doug/ Rathgeber, Shawn Lee: The Industry Role in Regulating Private Security Companies, in: Canadian Consortium on Human Security - Security Privatization: Challenges and Opportunities, Vol. 6.3, University of British Columbia, March 2008.
- The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security, by Deborah D. Avant, George Washington University, August 2005. ISBN 0-521-61535-6
- Armies Without States: The Privatization of Security, by Robert Mandel, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002.
- Private Armies and Military Intervention, David Shearer, April 1998. ISBN 0-19-829440-9
- Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, P. W. Singer, Cornell University Press, March 2004. ISBN 0-8014-8915-6
- Brillstein, Arik: Antiterrorsystem. Engel Publishing 2005 - ISBN 393854700
- Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. 1532. See ch. 12.
- "Privatising Security: Law, Practice and Governance of Private Military and Security Companies" by Fred Schreier and Marina Caparini, DCAF Occasional Paper 6, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, March 2005.
- "Private Military Firms and the State: Sharing Responsibility for Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law", Filipa Guinote, Collection Ricerche, "Series E.MA Awarded thesis", Vol. VII, Marsilio Editori Srl., Venice, Italy, 2006
- "Soldiers of Misfortune – Is the Demise of National Armies a Core Contributing Factor in the Rise of Private Security Companies?" by Maninger, Stephan in Kümmel, Gerhard and Jäger, Thomas (Hrsg.) Private Security and Military Companies: Chances, Problems, Pitfalls and Prospects, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, 2007. ISBN 978-3-531-14901-1
- "Leashing the Corporate Dogs of War: The Legal Implications of the Modern Private Military Company" by Hin-Yan Liu, 15(1) Journal of Conflict and Security Law 141-168, 2010. doi:10.1093/jcsl/krp025
- Woolley, Peter J. "Soldiers of Fortune," The Common Review, v. 5, no. 4 (2007), pp. 46–48.
- Private Security Companies - a Friend or a foe?  by Petrovic Predrag, Milosevic Marko, Unijat Jelena and Stojanovic Sonja, Centre for Civil-Military Relations, 2008. ISBN 978-86-83543-51-9
Non-academic publications 
- Making A Killing, James Ashcroft. Virgin Books. ISBN 1-85227-311-9
- Licensed to Kill : Privatizing the War on Terror, Robert Young Pelton ISBN 1-4000-9781-9
- Three Worlds Gone Mad: Dangerous Journeys through the War Zones of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific, Robert Young Pelton, August 2006. ISBN 1-59228-100-1
- An Unorthodox Soldier, Tim Spicer, September 2000. ISBN 1-84018-349-7
- Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Jeremy Scahill, Nation Books. February 2007. ISBN 978-1-56025-979-4
- Contractor, Giampiero Spinelli Mursia Editore 2009 ISBN 978-88-425-4390-9
- Guns For Hire: The Inside Story of Freelance Soldiering, Tony Geraghty, Portrait. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7499-5145-0
- Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues, Jennifer K. Elsea, Congressional Research Service, January 7, 2010
- Irak, terre mercenaire : les armées privées remplacent les troupes américaines [Iraq, mercenary land: private armies replace US troops], by Georges-Henri Bricet des Vallons, Favre (Lausanne:Switzerland), January 2010. ISBN 978-2-8289-1095-2. Only in French.
- Dirty Deeds Done Cheap: The Incredible Story of My Life from the SBS to a Hired Gun in Iraq, by Mike Mercer, John Blake. 2009. ISBN 978-1-84454-765-4
- Singer, P.W. (March - April 2005). "Outsourcing War". Foreign Affairs 84 (2). pp. 119–132.
- Wheeler, Virginia. The Sun (London) http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/3862186/Brits-are-No1-guns-for-hire.html
|url=missing title (help).
- Barnes, Julian E.. (2007-10-15). "America's own unlawful combatants?". Los Angeles Times.
- Vieira, Constanza (2007-07-17). "COLOMBIA-ECUADOR: Coca Spraying Makes for Toxic Relations". IPS.
- Private Security Transnational Enterprises in Colombia José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective February, 2008.
- Shishkov, Viktor (2009-03-02). "Private military companies to supersede regular armies". informationliberation.
- Yeoman, Barry (2003-06-01). "Soldiers of Good Fortune". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
- Priest, Dana (2011). Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State. Little, Brown and Company. p. 320. ISBN 0-316-18221-4.
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to Speak at JHU SAIS, press release December 2, 2005
- "Secretary Rumsfeld's Remarks to the Johns Hopkins, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies". Defenselink.mil. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "Bill Number H.R.5122 for the 109th Congress". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "H.R. 5122 109th: John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007". Govtrack.us. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Farah Stockman (01-07-2007). "Contractors in war zones lose immunity". The Boston Globe.
- Higgins Alexander G.US rejects UN mercenary report USA Today, October 17, 2007 (syndicated article by Associated Press)
- Zabiki, Feliz "Private Military Companies: Shadow Soldiers of Neo-colonialism", Capital & Class, Summer 2007, issue 92 p1-10, Retrieved on 2010-3-22.
- Crisis as SAS men quit for lucrative Iraq jobs, The Daily Telegraph article dated 15/02/2005
- Soldiers to be allowed a year off to go to Iraq to earn £500 a day as guards, The Daily Telegraph article dated 23/05/2004
- $150,000 incentive to stay in US elite forces, The Daily Telegraph article dated 07/02/2005
- Special forces get pay raise, National Post article dated August 26, 2006
- Merle, Renae (2006-12-05). "Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq". Washington Post.
- "Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 (revised)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-30.[dead link]
- P. W. Singer (March/April 2005) Outsourcing War. Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations. New York City, NY
- "A movieclip containing the behavior of alleged Aegis Defence Services driving in Iraq". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- 'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers, Daily Telegraph article from 26/11/2005.
- "Discussion on a blog about Aegis trophy video". Thedanreport.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Blackwater license being revoked in Iraq[dead link]
- Hirch, Michael (2007-09-20). "Blackwater and the Bush Legacy". Newsweek. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- "Blackwater staff face charges". CNN.com. 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- Michael r. gordon (August 18, 2010). "Civilians to Take U.S. Lead as Military Leaves Iraq". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- "SL:SoF Synopsis". Foreign Correspondent (ABC Television).
- "Sierra Leone: Soldiers of Fortune, Script". Foreign Correspondent (ABC Television).
- U.S. firm offers 'private armies' for low-intensity conflicts, WorldTribune article from March 29, 2006
- Congo Holding 3 Americans in Alleged Coup Plot, Washington Post article from May 25, 2006
- Congo Deports Nearly 3 Dozen Foreigners, Washington Post article from May 29, 2006.
- By ELISE CASTELLI (2009-12-16). "Projected contractor surge in Afghanistan: Up to 56,000". Federaltimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22. Text " Last Updated:December 16, 2009 " ignored (help)
- Pincus, Walter (2009-12-16). "Up to 56,000 more contractors likely for Afghanistan, congressional agency says". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- By ELISE CASTELLI (2009-12-16). "Projected contractor surge in Afghanistan: Up to 56,000". Federaltimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22. Text " Last Updated:December 16, 2009 " ignored (help)
- Pincus, Walter (2009-12-17). "Congress investigating charges of 'protection racket' by Afghanistan contractors". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer and Victoria DiDomenico (2009) Private security providers and services in humanitarian operations Overseas Development Institute
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Private security contractors|
- Privatisation of war and international humanitarian law
- Shadow Company award winning documentary on PMCs with footage of Blackwater, 2007
- Riding Shotgun in Baghdad with Blackwater's Security Detail Robert Young Pelton's article in Popular Mechanics about his month spent with Blackwater running Route Irish between the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport.
- "Making a Killing: The Business of War", Center for Public Integrity, October 2002.
- "The Private Military Industry and Iraq : What Have We Learned and Where To Next?", DCAF Policy Paper 6, 2005
- The Strategic Contractor - op-ed 19 September 2007 by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
- U.S. Army Sustainment Command. A site to accumulate and offer materials helpful to the resolution of legal issues arising from the in-theater use of contractor support to military operations.
- The UK Foreign Affairs Select Committee agreed to the following (Ninth) Report: On Private Military Companies on 23 July 2002.
- Human Rights First; Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunity (2008)