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Private Armies and Military Intervention

David Shearer



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Oxford University Press Inc
01 February 1998
Peace studies & conflict resolution; Warfare & defence; Special & elite forces; Peacekeeping operations; Mercenaries
Series: Adelphi series
This paper seeks to step back from the moral arguments surrounding private military intervention in civil conflicts, arguing that the view that military companies are merely modern-day mercenaries obscures the strategic implications of their activities for current conflict-resolution thinking. This book is intended for policy-makers, especially those involved in conflict resolution and journalists.
By:   David Shearer
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Volume:   No. 316
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 6mm
Weight:   499g
ISBN:   9780198294405
ISBN 10:   0198294409
Series:   Adelphi series
Pages:   90
Publication Date:   01 February 1998
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction, Mercenary or Military Company? The Expansion of the Private Military Sector, Case-Studies, Assessing Capabilities and Limitations, Conclusion.

David Shearer (Author)

Reviews for Private Armies and Military Intervention

Or, buy an iPod, kill an Iraqi.Freelance journalist Turse hits on a fact well-known to anyone in the film and television business: The military spends lavishly in the civilian sphere, and the private sector rushes to milk whatever it can from the defense budget. In the instance of Apple, he writes, the military equipped flyers and on-the-ground tacticians with PowerBooks. Did Steve Jobs make a push to get his products, and not Bill Gates's, into the hands of the troopers? That would be a different story, but that's not the one Turse tells, which doesn't hold many surprises for anyone who's been paying attention. The military has funded basic research at universities for a century; a newish development, as Turse properly points out, is that the R&D budget has mushroomed in the last few years, a byproduct of the growth of military spending in general. Not surprisingly, Turse writes, with this kind of clout, the Pentagon can often dictate the sort of research that gets undertaken (and the sort that doesn't). True enough, but the same is true when Big Pharma buys drug-discovery research in chemistry departments, or when ADM funds ethanol research, and so on. Another sort-of-new development is the Defense Department's interest in video games as training devices, which has brought many a graphic-art and game-design graduate a paycheck. Throughout, Turse employs a tone of alarm and indignation. Whereas the military has paid enlistment bonuses since the days of Caesar, in his eyes such an inducement to serve constitutes a potentially life-changing bribe. And whereas war has been a constant of human history, Turse professes surprise that innocents should be caught in the crossfire. A typical note: Of course, many would have no need for high-tech prosthetics if, for so many years, the U.S. military hadn't pumped so much money into weaponry development, especially land mine research and production. But did the U.S. military plant ten million-plus mines in Afghanistan, that vast marketplace of prosthetic devices?For those who like their journalism fevered and their politics pat. (Kirkus Reviews)

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