The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order

Paperback | May 10, 2017

bySean McFate

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It was 2004, and Sean McFate had a mission in Burundi: to keep the president alive and prevent the country from spiraling into genocide, without anyone knowing that the United States was involved. The United States was, of course, involved, but only through McFate's employer, the militarycontractor DynCorp International. Throughout the world, similar scenarios are playing out daily. The United States can no longer go to war without contractors. Yet we don't know much about the industry's structure, its operations, or where it's heading. Typically led by ex-military men, contractorfirms are by their very nature secretive. Even the U.S. government-the entity that actually pays them-knows relatively little.In The Modern Mercenary, Sean McFate lays bare this opaque world, explaining the economic structure of the industry and showing in detail how firms operate on the ground. A former U.S. Army paratrooper and private military contractor, McFate provides an unparalleled perspective into the nuts andbolts of the industry, as well as a sobering prognosis for the future of war. While at present, the U.S. government and U.S. firms dominate the market, private military companies are emerging from other countries, and warlords and militias have restyled themselves as private security companies inplaces like Afghanistan and Somalia. To understand how the proliferation of private forces may influence international relations, McFate looks back to the European Middle Ages, when mercenaries were common and contract warfare the norm. He concludes that international relations in the twenty-firstcentury may have more in common with the twelfth century than the twentieth. This "back to the future" situation, which he calls "neomedievalism," is not necessarily a negative condition, but it will produce a global system that contains rather than solves problems. The Modern Mercenary is the first work that combines a broad-ranging theory of the phenomenon with an insider's understanding of what the world of the private military industry is actually like.

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It was 2004, and Sean McFate had a mission in Burundi: to keep the president alive and prevent the country from spiraling into genocide, without anyone knowing that the United States was involved. The United States was, of course, involved, but only through McFate's employer, the militarycontractor DynCorp International. Throughout the...

Sean McFate is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, an Associate Professor at the National Defense University, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. Previously, he lived and worked in Africa for DynCorp International, a company that provides international security services...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pagesPublished:May 10, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190621087

ISBN - 13:9780190621087

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"The Modern Mercenary is filled with fascinating stuff, and its bottom line is that there is no stopping the continuing development of the market for force." --Strategy and Business