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The Morality of Private WarThe Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies$
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James Pattison

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639700

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639700.001.0001

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The Challenge of PMSCs

The Challenge of PMSCs

1 (p.1) The Challenge of PMSCs
The Morality of Private War

James Pattison

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the need for a detailed normative analysis of private military force, in light of the general acquiescence to the privatization of military force. In doing so, it suggests that the moral arguments surrounding PMSCs can be split into three levels: the first level concerns problems to do with being employed in private military force, the second level concerns problems to do with employing private military force, and the third level concerns problems at the international level. The chapter goes on to discuss four central themes running throughout the book: (1) private military force raises both contingent and deep moral problems; (2) the use of PMSCs can sometimes be morally permissible, all-things-considered; (3) a global public monopoly on the authorization and provision of military force is ultimately necessary; and (4) the existing ethical frameworks for thinking about war (e.g. Just War Theory) need to be reconceived. It also presents an overview of the industry, including an account of the reasons for the privatization of military force and a survey of the roles performed by PMSCs.

Keywords:   ethics of war, Just War Theory, mercenaries, privatization, private contractors, private military and security companies, private military industry, public, regulation, security

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