When the U.S. deploys its forces around the world, an increasingly important part of its operations is no longer managed by the U.S. military, per se, but rather by what some call contractors, others call private military and security companies, and still others call mercenaries. In this essay, I will briefly describe the private security industry and the larger global market for force that it is a part of and how the U.S. military's increasing reliance on private forces brings both benefit and risk.
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