Use of Private Military Companies (PMCs) in Africa

Good Essays
PMCs emerge in a history course as an inevitable result of the changing in world structure and technology development. This critical review examines Anna Leander’s article on the paradox of implementing private military companies (PMCs) in Africa. The central issue is how security can be influenced by the using of PMCs. Building on Leander’s argument, this review argues that PMC is a double-edged sword that can be used to provide security as well as to stir insecurity. The blurred public and private lines and ambiguous regulations of PMCs cannot be neglect thus the use of PMC forces need stronger regulation and a better system of cooperation with other national or international actors. The review will first analyze the reasons for using PMCs as a way to support security in Africa mainly based on Leander’s views and partly on Singer’s points. Then the review will analyze factors contributing to the negative side of PMCs, especially in Darfur’s case and in Iraq’s case.

Leander recognizes the paradoxical situation faces by employing private military companies’ forces to solve the security problems in Africa. As a matter of fact, the line between public and private security orders in weak African states has already been blurred (Leander, 2005, p.606). Private forces are inevitable actors in those African states, thus on the one hand, it is argued that encouraging PMCs in Africa is able to restore the order. In the special case of weak African states, the poor conditions and frequent conflicts call for such a “force multiplier” as the PMCs.

Leader concludes four reasons that PMCs should be considered to organize the chaos in Africa. First, PMCs are external forces to break the cycles of violence in Africa (Leander, 2005, p.607). T...

... middle of paper ... PMCs played important role in many major combat, while PMCs fill the gap between U.S army and locals and maintain the reconstruction projects after war, democracy issues also need to be considered. The hiring of PMCs is mostly directly through government and military forces, which means citizens can be easily excluded from the decision process when their money are spent on buying military services, possibly, to invade another country.

Therefore, to conclude, the emergence of PMCs as crucial roles in Africa is an inevitable course. The wars do not find PMCs, but PMCs find wars and sell themselves. They will be frequent actors in the combat which can maintain and improve the local security. While on the contrary, to build a mature and secure system for PMCs, a lot more unstable factors need to be taken into consideration by international and national actors.