andrewlb notes

Corporate Warriors

Corporate Warriors

Metadata

  • Author: P. W. Singer
  • Full Title: Corporate Warriors
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • The areas being outsourced are not just minor ones such as military food services (although 1,100 Marine Corps cook positions were privatized in 2001), but include a variety of areas critical to the U.S. military’s core missions.66 (Location 416)
  • THE SWISS AND THE LANDSKNECHTS: BEYOND MERE BUSINESS RIVALS The next phase of private economic actors in warfare began ironically enough as a battle for political freedom. The Swiss forest cantons united to resist foreign rule in 1291, forming the Swiss Confederation. Fiercely independent, each town supplied what were essentially citizen-militia, organized into units of pikemen. The Swiss pike square, which was in many ways the reinvention of the ancient Greek phalanx, ended the dominance of the mounted knight on the European battlefield. Armed with 18-foot pikes and massed in a square formation, the units could stop a cavalry charge cold and then steamroll any other infantry opposition when they got up momentum. The pike square’s effectiveness depended on discipline, coordination, and a powerful self-confidence, each of which the tough Swiss mountaineers had in ready supply. (Location 668)
  • The ultimate outcome is that government is no longer the preferred or even the default solution for public concerns. Although some argue that the trend toward privatization is part of a more general societal fragmentation, resulting from the deterioration of communal connections, the move is better described as a normative shift in worldview.141 (Location 1676)
  • risks. A number, such as Worldvision in Sierra Leone and UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) on the Afghanistan border, have hired PMFs for protection and security advisory.36 (Location 1917)
  • The final problem is that the active/passive, private security/military monikers are really normative determinations within an economically motivated setting. (Location 2077)
  • The privatized military industry is thus organized into three broad sectors: Military Provider Firms, Military Consultant Firms, and Military Support Firms. (Location 2111)
  • The experience in building and operating the refugee camps in Kosovo illustrates that humanitarian groups may yet be another client base to tap. There is also a further possibility of logistical contracting for multilateral peacekeeping operations. Its competitor Dyncorp has already provided such support services to a number of UN missions. (Location 3353)
  • Many PMF executives honestly feel that they are free from such influence of profit concerns and that even in their private capacity they are acting in national interest. But as one analyst writes, “the danger in this lies in the increasingly complex nature of defining what is a country’s national interest.”19 (Location 3450)
  • A central concern is cheating or intentional overcharging. Any type of organizational slack leads to random inefficiency, but the privatization of services leads to direct incentives to distort actual costs.21 That these services lie in the realm of national security is no protection. Private businesses have cheated public agents during war extending back to the Philadelphia merchants who swindled the Revolutionary Army while it starved at Valley Forge. The privatized military industry simply represents a new manifestation. Now, the cheating is also an opportunity on the services side, instead of overcharging for goods. The difference with privatized services is that client losses recur over the life of a contract, as opposed to one-time losses that occur in the purchase of an overpriced good—you pay for a $500 hammer once, you pay for superfluous employees every salary period. (Location 3466)
  • The contrasting examples of the experiences in Sierra Leone of EO and the multilateral operations is the most often cited case for this proposal. The private EO operation was about 4 percent of the UN’s operation in size and cost. More important, it is also generally considered to have been far more successful. It defeated the rebel force in a matter of weeks and restored enough stability for the country to hold elections, something that the UN required years to accomplish.84 (Location 4155)
  • In particular, autocratic rulers have long surrounded themselves with palace guards made up of foreigners, including such notable historic examples as Byzantine Varangian guard made up of Vikings, the French kings’ Scottish and Swiss palace guards, the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s Moors, and Congolese ruler Mobutu’s Moroccans. (Location 4546)
  • PMFs, however are only subject to the laws of the market. Current international law only speaks to the role of individual mercenaries of the traditional sort and has been found inapplicable to the actions of the industry.21 Consequently, the possibility of legal recourse against these firms is very slim.22 There is also no agency or legislative oversight in the way there might be on traditional militaries. Other than its shareholders, there are no real checks and balances on a PMF. (Location 4968)
  • Ultimately the fear of an American PMF losing a contract to a foreign firm overcame the relevant policy desks’ concerns over aiding a repressive dictatorship allied with foes of the United States. Another way a firm might escape such controls is by setting up subsidiaries in the client state; this technically isolates the process from the home government. (Location 5033)
  • To begin, there is no standard metric for deciding what is a “legitimate” government. The contestation over the government’s legitimacy is often the reason for the PMF’s hire in the first place.39 The main criterion for determining state legitimacy is often simply whichever regime happened to be in power at the time. (Location 5064)

public: true

title: Corporate Warriors longtitle: Corporate Warriors author: P. W. Singer url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2021-01-01 type: books tags:

Corporate Warriors

rw-book-cover

Metadata

  • Author: P. W. Singer
  • Full Title: Corporate Warriors
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • The areas being outsourced are not just minor ones such as military food services (although 1,100 Marine Corps cook positions were privatized in 2001), but include a variety of areas critical to the U.S. military’s core missions.66 (Location 416)
  • THE SWISS AND THE LANDSKNECHTS: BEYOND MERE BUSINESS RIVALS The next phase of private economic actors in warfare began ironically enough as a battle for political freedom. The Swiss forest cantons united to resist foreign rule in 1291, forming the Swiss Confederation. Fiercely independent, each town supplied what were essentially citizen-militia, organized into units of pikemen. The Swiss pike square, which was in many ways the reinvention of the ancient Greek phalanx, ended the dominance of the mounted knight on the European battlefield. Armed with 18-foot pikes and massed in a square formation, the units could stop a cavalry charge cold and then steamroll any other infantry opposition when they got up momentum. The pike square’s effectiveness depended on discipline, coordination, and a powerful self-confidence, each of which the tough Swiss mountaineers had in ready supply. (Location 668)
  • The ultimate outcome is that government is no longer the preferred or even the default solution for public concerns. Although some argue that the trend toward privatization is part of a more general societal fragmentation, resulting from the deterioration of communal connections, the move is better described as a normative shift in worldview.141 (Location 1676)
  • risks. A number, such as Worldvision in Sierra Leone and UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) on the Afghanistan border, have hired PMFs for protection and security advisory.36 (Location 1917)
  • The final problem is that the active/passive, private security/military monikers are really normative determinations within an economically motivated setting. (Location 2077)
  • The privatized military industry is thus organized into three broad sectors: Military Provider Firms, Military Consultant Firms, and Military Support Firms. (Location 2111)
  • The experience in building and operating the refugee camps in Kosovo illustrates that humanitarian groups may yet be another client base to tap. There is also a further possibility of logistical contracting for multilateral peacekeeping operations. Its competitor Dyncorp has already provided such support services to a number of UN missions. (Location 3353)
  • Many PMF executives honestly feel that they are free from such influence of profit concerns and that even in their private capacity they are acting in national interest. But as one analyst writes, “the danger in this lies in the increasingly complex nature of defining what is a country’s national interest.”19 (Location 3450)
  • A central concern is cheating or intentional overcharging. Any type of organizational slack leads to random inefficiency, but the privatization of services leads to direct incentives to distort actual costs.21 That these services lie in the realm of national security is no protection. Private businesses have cheated public agents during war extending back to the Philadelphia merchants who swindled the Revolutionary Army while it starved at Valley Forge. The privatized military industry simply represents a new manifestation. Now, the cheating is also an opportunity on the services side, instead of overcharging for goods. The difference with privatized services is that client losses recur over the life of a contract, as opposed to one-time losses that occur in the purchase of an overpriced good—you pay for a $500 hammer once, you pay for superfluous employees every salary period. (Location 3466)
  • The contrasting examples of the experiences in Sierra Leone of EO and the multilateral operations is the most often cited case for this proposal. The private EO operation was about 4 percent of the UN’s operation in size and cost. More important, it is also generally considered to have been far more successful. It defeated the rebel force in a matter of weeks and restored enough stability for the country to hold elections, something that the UN required years to accomplish.84 (Location 4155)
  • In particular, autocratic rulers have long surrounded themselves with palace guards made up of foreigners, including such notable historic examples as Byzantine Varangian guard made up of Vikings, the French kings’ Scottish and Swiss palace guards, the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s Moors, and Congolese ruler Mobutu’s Moroccans. (Location 4546)
  • PMFs, however are only subject to the laws of the market. Current international law only speaks to the role of individual mercenaries of the traditional sort and has been found inapplicable to the actions of the industry.21 Consequently, the possibility of legal recourse against these firms is very slim.22 There is also no agency or legislative oversight in the way there might be on traditional militaries. Other than its shareholders, there are no real checks and balances on a PMF. (Location 4968)
  • Ultimately the fear of an American PMF losing a contract to a foreign firm overcame the relevant policy desks’ concerns over aiding a repressive dictatorship allied with foes of the United States. Another way a firm might escape such controls is by setting up subsidiaries in the client state; this technically isolates the process from the home government. (Location 5033)
  • To begin, there is no standard metric for deciding what is a “legitimate” government. The contestation over the government’s legitimacy is often the reason for the PMF’s hire in the first place.39 The main criterion for determining state legitimacy is often simply whichever regime happened to be in power at the time. (Location 5064)