Resilience for Hire? NATO Contractor Support in Afghanistan Examined

Eugenio Cusumano

1.University of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands


Contractor support has become crucial for advanced military organisations, which increasingly rely on private providers of logistics, training, intelligence, and armed security. The different types of societal destabilisation tools falling under the rubric of hybrid threats all require expertise that military organisations alone neither possess nor can create. As a source of manpower, know–how, and cultural awareness that military organisations are not able to keep within their ranks, contractor support is crucial to respond to hybrid threats, providing an important force-multiplier for NATO forces conducting stability operations and strengthening the resilience of host societies by sustaining the local economy. The use of contractors in military operations, however, has often proved problematic. This chapter examines contractor support to NATO operation ISAF in Afghanistan as a source of insights into the presence and future of the privatization of military support.


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