Outsourcing Security

Outsourcing Security

Private Military Contractors and U.S. Foreign Policy

Bruce E. Stanley

238 pages


July 2015


$25.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Faced with a decreasing supply of national troops, dwindling defense budgets, and the ever-rising demand for boots on the ground in global conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, decision makers are left with little choice but to legalize and legitimize the use of private military contractors (PMCs). Outsourcing Security examines the impact that bureaucratic controls and the increasing permissiveness of security environments have had on the U.S. military’s growing use of PMCs during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Bruce E. Stanley examines the relationship between the rise of the private security industry and five potential explanatory variables tied to supply-and-demand theory in six historical cases, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the U.S. intervention in Bosnia in 1995, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Outsourcing Security is the only work that moves beyond a descriptive account of the rise of PMCs to lay out a precise theory explaining the phenomenon and providing a framework for those considering PMCs in future global interaction.

Author Bio

Bruce E. Stanley is an associate professor at the School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 2006 as an officer and was selected as the 2012 Command and General Staff College Civilian Instructor of the Year. 


“Bruce Stanley’s scholarly work gets to the heart of America’s inexorable drift toward contracted military services. . . . This book is a must-read for strategic-level military practitioners and their civilian overseers, providing valuable insights into the contemporary dynamics of raising armies for war.”—Stephen L. Melton, author of The Clausewitz Delusion


“Stanley’s hypotheses set down some rational benchmarks that policymakers should consider when deciding on whether and how much to use the PMC industry in future conflicts.”—David Isenberg, senior analyst at Wikistrat and the author of Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq

“Stanley is the first to offer a coherent theory explaining why the United States is increasingly relying on private military contractors, and he tests this theory exhaustively.”—Dan G. Cox, professor at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies and author of Terrorism, Instability, and Democracy in Asia and Africa

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables



1. A Theoretical Framework of the Private Security Industry

2. A Qualitative Examination of the Private Security Industry

3. Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

4. Operation Joint Endeavor

5. Operation Enduring Freedom

6. Operation Iraqi Freedom

7. Cross-Case Analysis and Findings

8. Quantitative Analysis of the Private Security Industry





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