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Private Military Companies and Military Operations

Private military companies (PMC) form an increasingly prominent element of military operations. PMC provide a range of services including catering, logistics, administration, training, intelligence, aviation, close personal protection, keypoint security and convoy security. Some PMC also possess the capability to undertake offensive combat operations.

Like other Coalition forces engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, the Australian Defence Force is increasingly reliant on PMC for support during operations. Yet the employment of PMC raises important questions relating to the status of national armed forces; the reputation and reliability of PMC; applicability of the laws of armed conflict; national laws and accountability; and command, control and interoperability. The management of these and other challenges contingent on the use of PMC forms the central focus of this working paper.

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