Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Striking a Balance The Evolution of Today's Private Military and Security Industry in the United States
by Hagengruber, Dana, M.A., The George Washington University, 2009, 119; 1531253
Abstract (Summary)

The US Private Military and Security industry currently in an intense media spotlight became how it is today thanks to its evolution since and its creation in the waning years of the Cold War. The increased interconnectedness of the world, and the related increase in ideologically-inspired violence outside of the formal state structure, both created and maintained the requisite conditions for the birth and continuance of the industry’s purpose and means of existence. However, while the events throughout this uncertain period in the international security environment certainly played a not-inconsiderable part in the industry’s evolution, the lion’s share of this influence came from the reactions to events and usages of the industry by the US government itself.

The US government has directly shaped the private military and security industry’s evolution, both for the industry’s expansion as well as its contraction. The US Executive Branch, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State have generally overseen the developments leading to the industry’s expansion, and Congress, the media, and, to a lesser extent, the international community of states have generally overseen developments toward its contraction. Between these two opposing forces in the US government and the external factor of the international security environment, the industry has passed through three distinct phases: security-oriented and contained in the 1980s, military-oriented and explosive in the 1990s, and both military- and security-oriented and a target for increased regulation in the present decade.

The paper following will analyze these relationships and this influence, both in the abstract and through concrete examples pulled from across the range of dates the industry has been in existence. It will also discuss how the industry was shaping in the context of events occurring in the international security environment, again, both in the abstract, as well as throughout its three decades of evolution. In the end, this paper will demonstrate that it remains to be seen if a new president in the White House, with a new orientation for the US Executive Branch and the agencies it leads, will mean the start of a fourth new and different phase of evolution for the industry, toward a more uniformly regulated era.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Post, Jerrold, Livingston, Steven L.
School: The George Washington University
Department: International Affairs
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations, Political science, Military history
Keywords: Blackwater, Contractor, Executive outcomes, Globalization, Mercenary, Neo-Medievalism
Publication Number: 1531253
ISBN: 978-1-267-83027-2
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