Friday, April 09, 2004

Peter W. Singer on private military companies

Peter W. Singer, National Security Fellow at the Brookings Institute has a great article on private military companies ... he leads in with an outline of what happened in the Zimbabwe/Equatorial Guinea case and Logo Logistics, the company that is alleged to have sent the mercenaries.

Singer points that this is a $100 billion a year industry ... a completely unregulated, lucrative, industry.
Some firms have worked for democracies, the UN and even environmental groups, while others have prospered at the other end of the marketplace, working for dictators, drug cartels and terrorist-linked groups. Indeed, Logo illustrates the very problem of firms determining reputable clients for themselves. Who was the legitimate player to choose, the dodgy coup plotters or the dictator who took power by killing his uncle? Legitimacy is hard enough to determine in international politics, and even more difficult when millions in potential profits comes into play.