Private Security Companies during the Iraq War: Military Performance and the Use of Deadly Force, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Private Security Companies during the Iraq War

Military Performance and the Use of Deadly Force, 1st Edition

By Scott Fitzsimmons

Routledge

252 pages

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Description

This book explores the use of deadly force by private security companies during the Iraq War.

The work focuses on and compares the activities of the US companies Blackwater and Dyncorp. Despite sharing several important characteristics, such as working for the same client (the US State Department) during the same time period, the employees of Blackwater fired their weapons far more often, and killed and seriously injured far more people in Iraq than their counterparts in DynCorp. In order to explain this disparity, the book undertakes the most comprehensive analysis ever attempted on the use of violence by the employees of these firms. Based on extensive empirical research, it offers a credible explanation for this difference: Blackwater maintained a relatively bellicose military culture that placed strong emphasis on norms encouraging its personnel to exercise personal initiative, proactive use of force, and an exclusive approach to security, which, together, motivated its personnel to use violence quite freely against anyone they suspected of posing a threat. Specifically, Blackwater’s military culture motivated its personnel to fire upon suspected threats more quickly, at greater distances, and with a greater quantity of bullets, and to more readily abandon the people they shot at when compared to DynCorp’s personnel, who maintained a military culture that encouraged far less violent behaviour. Utilizing the Private Security Company Violent Incident Dataset (PSCVID), created by the author in 2012, the book draws upon data on hundreds of violent incidents involving private security personnel in Iraq to identify trends in the behaviour exhibited by the employees of different firms. Based on this rich and original empirical data, the book provides the definitive study of contemporary private security personnel in the Iraq War.

This book will be of much interest to students of the Iraq War, Private Security Companies, Military Studies, War and Conflict Studies and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Nature of Blackwater and Dyncorp's Security Operations During the Iraq War 2. The Ideational Theory of Tactical Violence 3. The Military Cultures of Blackwater and DynCorp 4. The Relationship Between Military Culture, Tactical Behaviour, and Casualties Inflicted on Suspected Threats 5. The Relationship Between Military Culture, Tactical Behaviour, and Friendly Casualties 6. The Implications of Blackwater and Dyncorp's Tactical Behavious in Iraw 7. Conclusion

About the Author

Scott Fitzsimmons is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and author of Mercenaries in Asymmetric Conflicts (2012).

About the Series

Cass Military Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS027000
HISTORY / Military / General
HIS027170
HISTORY / Military / Iraq War (2003-)
POL012000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POL035000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General