Coin and Carnage: Are Private Security Contractors the Most Efficient and Ethical Military Means for State Security?

This thesis discusses the implications of hiring Private Security Contractors to promote state security. This is done by discussing the history of mercenaries through the Thirty Years War, and the rise of private contractors after the Second World War. In addition, there are important distinctions to be made regarding the legality of PSCs and their relationship to violent non-state actors. Different criteria are also viewed in order to find in what situations contractors are truly needed. The examination of certain case studies, helps to determine both the combat efficiency of contractors, and ethically dubious situations in which they may find themselves. The positive and negative facets of alternative state security solutions such as United Nations Peacekeeper deployment and foreign army deployments are considered as well. Along with these, PSCs are scrutinized as a possible state security solution and face criticism throughout the text. In the end, a conclusion is drawn on which solution best fits a state’s security needs along with why the other two solutions are less viable.

GMA 400L - Senior Seminar Research Lab