Sunday, Jan 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST
Secrets of modern mercenaries: Inside the rise of private armies
We don’t know all the details about the opaque world of military contractors. An expert lays out the real story
Secrets of modern mercenaries: Inside the rise of private armies (Credit: Vartanov Anatoly via Shutterstock/Salon)
Excerpted from “The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean For World Order”
The market economy as such does not respect political frontiers. Its field is the world.
—Ludwig Edler von Mises
The private military industry has surged since the end of the Cold War and is now a multibillion-dollar business. Today’s military firms are sophisticated multinational corporations with subsidiaries around the world and quarterly profit reports for investors. These companies are bought and sold on Wall Street, and their stocks are listed on the London and New York exchanges. Their boards consist of Wall Street magnates and former generals, their corporate managers are seasoned Fortune 500 executives, and their ranks filled with ex-military and law-enforcement personnel recruited from around the world. They work for governments, the private sector, and humanitarian organizations. The industry even has its own trade associations: the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) in Washington, D.C., the British Association of Private Security Companies in London, and the Private Security Company Association of Iraq. Continue reading