Outsourcing War and Peace

Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs

Laura A. Dickinson
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vktv0
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  • Book Info
    Outsourcing War and Peace
    Book Description:

    Over the past decade, states and international organizations have shifted a surprising range of foreign policy functions to private contractors. But who is accountable when the employees of foreign private firms do violence or create harm? This timely book describes the services that are now delivered by private contractors and the threat this trend poses to core public values of human rights, democratic accountability, and transparency. The author offers a series of concrete reforms that are necessary to expand traditional legal accountability, construct better mechanisms of public participation, and alter the organizational structure and institutional culture of contractor firms. The result is a pragmatic, nuanced, and comprehensive set of responses to the problem of foreign affairs privatization.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16852-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-22)

    Together these various incidents reveal one of the most remarkable facts about the U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: alongside the men and women in uniform who are risking their lives each day to protect the United States and bring peace, security, and the rule of law to Iraq and Afghanistan, there is another fighting force. The members of this second force also are putting their lives in jeopardy. They too are attempting to bring peace and security to the region. Yet they are not wearing uniforms, and they are not subject to military discipline or the chain of command....

  5. 2 KEY MOMENTS IN U.S. MILITARY AND SECURITY OUTSOURCING, FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ
    (pp. 23-39)

    While it is certainly true that private contractors—or mercenary soldiers—have been a fixture of warfare throughout history, the turn to military contractors in the United States over the past few decades (and particularly the past few years) represents a dramatic shift from our practice at least in the first part of the twentieth century. Indeed, as we shall see, as recently as the Vietnam War contractors were a relatively small part of the U.S. force. So, one logical starting point in any discussion of contracting is: How did we get here? What were the steps in the progression...

  6. 3 TOO MANY GAPS? CATCHING PRIVATE CONTRACTORS IN THE WEB OF LITIGATION
    (pp. 40-68)

    If, as we have seen so far in this book, the use of private military contractors is on the rise and unlikely to be eliminated in the near future, the obvious question is: How can these contractors be regulated and restrained? Even if the kinds of abuses described above are not typical, what mechanisms of accountability might be available when such incidents do occur, and how effective are these mechanisms likely to be? Each of the next four chapters examines a different possible mechanism of accountability and constraint and assesses its efficacy. Let us begin with the most obvious such...

  7. 4 THE UNEXPLORED PROMISE OF CONTRACT
    (pp. 69-101)

    As with many debates about legal reform, most discussions about holding private military and security contractors accountable for abuse typically begin and end with the legal frameworks of criminal and tort law described in Chapter 3. There are, however, a variety of other potential mechanisms of accountability and constraint that deserve consideration. Indeed, in light of the difficulties government officials and private actors have faced as they have tried to invoke and enforce criminal and tort rules, these alternative mechanisms may sometimes provide more effective pathways to reform than their more frequently mentioned counterparts. The next three chapters, therefore, consider...

  8. 5 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION / PRIVATE CONTRACT
    (pp. 102-143)

    As this example illustrates, foreign affairs contracting raises serious concerns about public participation and transparency (which for simplicity’s sake I will often refer to collectively as public participation). Significantly, public participation is simultaneously a value in and of itself—reflecting the view that people affected by an activity should have some input into how that activity is carried out—and a mechanism for either accountability or constraint.¹⁰ For example, if various populations are able to participate in the formulation and critique of future plans of action, such participation may well impact the actions ultimately undertaken. Just as contractual arrangements may...

  9. 6 UNIFORMED MILITARY LAWYERS, ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE, AND THE IMPACT OF PRIVATIZATION
    (pp. 144-188)

    So far, we have looked at whether legal and regulatory changes—either to criminal law, contract regimes, or democratic accountability mechanisms—might help protect core public values in an era of military privatization. This chapter explores a different approach, one grounded in the idea that organizational structure and culture have a real impact on compliance with public law values. Indeed, scholars of organizational theory have argued that organizations, through their structure, can have even more impact on members than external controls do. Thus, we consider the potential impact of privatization on the structure and culture of the U.S. military and...

  10. 7 CONCLUSION
    (pp. 189-196)

    The past two decades have seen a quiet revolution in the way the United States and other countries act abroad. Privatization, long a fixture of the domestic American scene, has gone global. Moreover, simply resisting privatization in the foreign affairs context is probably no longer an option. Indeed, if anything the scope and pace of privatization in the international arena are increasing. To give one example, in late 2009 President Obama announced that he would send additional troops to Afghanistan, bringing the number of U.S. troops there to approximately ninety thousand.¹ Not mentioned in the president’s speech was the fact...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 197-260)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 261-271)