Private military-security companies as illegitimate actors in the international security environment
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This research paper is focusing on the private military-security companies (PMSC-s); these are entities that profit from the offering of military and security related expertise that until recently were considered the prerogative of the state and were provided only by state military, police and intelligence agencies. The services private military-security companies offer are wide ranging and cover tasks in the areas of combat, training, support, security, intelligence and reconstruction. Because of the increasing debate about the legitimacy of the private military-security companies this study was constructed. Main focus of this paper is to understand the international legal status afforded to the private military-security companies that provide front-line support services to their clients. Therefore, the companies this paper is focusing on are those that have provided front-line support services; most known are Executive Outcomes, Sandline International and Balckwater Worldwide (now Academi). It is important to understand that only current international legislations and conventions that deal with private violence are discussed, nevertheless, some national laws will be discussed as well, so we could understand little bit more about the difficulties of regulating and controlling private military-security industry. This study concludes that operations of private military-security companies that provide front-line support services are not legitimate because there is no international law that gives them legitimacy to carry out those kinds of operations, it does not matter that military-security industry has constructed their own view of legitimacy. Besides, all the operations of PMSC-s are carried out in a vacuum of effective regulation and accountability at the international and national levels. This is a big problem for all the actors in the international stage and must be solved quickly.