Are private military contractors

Private security and military companies

The areas of responsibility of private security and military companies revolve mainly around military operations. Other companies or even states are usually the clients. Military tasks such as combat operations, personal, convoy or property protection, transport services in war zones, targeted killings, air surveillance and also advising and training soldiers are just a few examples from their field of activity. In English, these companies are briefly referred to as PMCs (Private Military Companies or Private Military Contractors). This industry has experienced a particular boom since the Iraq war and this development has many critics for various economic, political, but also moral reasons.

The emergence of PMCs

The mercenary trade, which was practically extinct, flourished again during the Cold War. Even after this, when the armies were greatly reduced on both sides, it continued to grow. The greatest growth was observed in the USA, Great Britain, South Africa, Israel and Russia in particular. As already mentioned, such private companies had good earning potential in the 1990s during the Iraq war and also from 2001, when the Americans declared the war on terror. But sEven the UN relies on the services of military companies back, but these are mostly dangerous aid transports to geographical focal points.

The legal basis

Generally move Private military companies in a gray area. According to the Geneva Convention, the “soldiers” are considered civilians and are not allowed to take part in a dispute without being commissioned. If there is a combat mission, the opposite side must be officially informed and the employees are considered combatants. Without an order and without information, they are considered mercenaries. But in unsafe areas it is usually difficult to differentiate between security missions or transport missions and combat events.