Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 2010
States have recently agreed that there is a responsibility to protect populations threatened by genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. The international community, however, often lacks the resources and willingness to carry out a key part of this responsibility, that is, to undertake humanitarian intervention effectively when required. One potential solution to this problem is to outsource intervention to private military and security companies. In this article, I consider this option. In particular, I present a largely consequentialist argument which asserts that, when two conditions are met, using these companies to bolster the capacity to undertake humanitarian intervention might be morally justifiable overall.