Rapidly increasing alongside the number of PMFs is the usage of PMFs by countries. According to the Berkeley Political Review, the United States is the largest customer of PMFs. Compared to World War II, where 10% of America's armed forces were privately contracted, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the proportion grew to 50%. This trend appears to continue, with a yearly increasing amount of contracts awarded to PMFs across the world. In 2015 alone, the Pentagon had spent $274 billion to federal contractors.
Just like all purchases, the billions of dollars worth of taxpayer money spent on PMFs also comes with its benefits and challenges. By hiring PMFs, governments are able to reduce the number of its official military casualties, expand its area of reach through the aid of PMFs, and tap into a source of highly trained and equipped personnel for military operations without long periods of training. While from a business perspective, PMFs are a genius moneymaking machine - they hire military personnel to work military roles on taxpayer money. However, from the government's perspective, they are losing their trained human capital to PMFs and then made to hire them at a higher rate. Furthermore, PMFs have also been notoriously known for their secrecy and lack of transparency; leading to miscommunications and oversight issues.
In today's capitalist society, as long as governments fail to address the downsides of PMF-Government relationships, the challenges of hiring PMFs may eventually outweigh the benefits. Governments should be able and ready to address the self-defeating cycle that feeds into more PMFs and hold PMFs accountable by being smarter customers.