The Evolution of Private Force

Authored by: Sean McFate

The Routledge Research Companion to Security Outsourcing in the Twenty-first Century

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472426833
eBook ISBN: 9781315613376
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042228


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Nisour Square connotes villainy, war crimes and mercenarism. At this Bagdad traffic circle, Blackwater contractors killed 17 innocent people in 2007. Iraqis cursed the private security company (PSC), and a firestorm of anti-US sentiment swept through the region, undermining the United States’ counterinsurgency strategy of ‘winning hearts and minds’. Back home, the US Secretary of State publicly denounced the shooting, and the government launched multiple concurrent investigations, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Congress. In 2014, a US Federal Court convicted four Blackwater contractors of first degree murder and manslaughter.

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