A new global and corporate army: private military companies are a mortal enemy of nation states

The role of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) in Western states is discussed by Ann Hagedorn in The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security (Simon & Schuster, 2014):

“There would be three steps: first, the Montreux Document, which would show how existing international laws could be used by nations to oversee PMSCs; then, the International Code of Conduct to be endorsed by PMSCs; and the third step, a new global enforcement body to certify companies and rule on allegations of human rights abuses and other transgressions. Such a system of oversight would have to include a database of PMSCs globally approved for contracts, with each company’s track record for bad or good behavior and for financial responsibility. At the same time, there would have to be a roster of rulers for whom no company could work without jeopardizing its potential for future contracts. Other plans included a directive that nations, corporations, and any entity contracting with PMSCs would require each contracted firm to post a bond to be forfeited in the event of misconduct, malfeasance, or noncompliance.” (…)

“As Anne-Marie Buzatu, an attorney who participated in drafting the document, said later, “[Montreux] was about recognizing the impact of these companies. They are everywhere; they are part of our lives today. And we can’t just hide from this and say, ‘not in my own backyard.’ What we are looking at is an industry that is emblematic of how private actors [PMSCs] have an influence on the world; it’s about privatization. And this type of privatization simply cannot be ignored because these are people with guns. I think everyone attending well understood that.”” (…)

“From her perspective, what was happening in Switzerland was a groundbreaking response to the largest shift in world order in almost four hundred years, changing from a time when only nations made the laws. More recently, international bodies began to regulate activities among nations. Now, in the twentyfirst century, another transition had begun: the fading power of the nationstate. And by some accounts the growth of the PMSCs was a sign of this development. The era of globalization was forcing the need for legal adjustments, and the PMSCs were at the core of the change. Said Buzatu: “It all worked well when it was hard to travel and people stayed and worked in their own nations. Now we have [PMSCs] working two or three borders a day. The laws of states [nations] are being challenged by the new international era.””

From the viewpoint of moderate nationalism only a nation state has monopoly on the use of legitimate violence (physical force). PMSCs violate this basic principle of the nation state. PMSCs are mercenaries. They are bandits. Any corporation that uses PMSCs are therefore outlaws from a patriotic perspective. If you accept the principles of a nation state it follows logically that it is your duty to participate in an insurgency against these outlaw corporations, as a last resort if nonviolent protests don’t work. It’s time to stop the new hybrid authoritarian regimes in the West:

Why democracies in the West have become enlightened hybrid authoritarian regimes. Why insurgency is justified.

I’m a 70% political realist however. Study PMSCs and their relation to common people the way a zoologist observes lions and zebras on the savannah. It’s National Geographic Channel IRL. Cerebral recreation for hobby-biologists like myself. I’m not shocked anymore by any of this, and therefore almost take it for granted that there will be no patriotic resistance to PMSCs as long as times are fairly good in the West.

Feel slight Schadenfreude instead when thinking about the almost predestined demise of PMSCs as we know them today. If the fourth industrial revolution leads to WW3 or a heavy global (manmade) pandemic pops up, then PMSCs will fall apart into gangs of looters. But if no worldwide cataclysm occurs it means that AI robotic developments will continue until (almost) all human private contractors are replaced with combat robots.

If shortsighted private contractors don’t fight AI, then Elon Musk and his Dojo iterations will slowly turn myopic and greedy PMSCs into a museum piece found next to Neanderthals, though it may take 2-3 decades, maybe 5, depending on what is hype. But 50 to 100 years are nothing. It’s beyond the mental horizons of private contractors however. Their breed will just gradually sleepwalk into oblivion, where they belong.

Absolutely intriguing that Aspergers and nerds have become the new predators on planet Earth. This is the golden age for (post-)biology. The era of discovery and extinction.

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