Traditional military intervention comes with a price. Typically undertaken by a state on its own behalf or on the behalf of an ally various actions must be taken to approve use of military force. When used, military force is often seen as an extension of a state's will, national goals and determination to pursue an ideology. But what if a state cannot afford to keep a significant standing military? What if they can't risk their values to publicly protect their interests? What if the military of a state is too weak to deal with an overwhelming threat?
PMC's or Private Military Companies, also called Private Military Contractors provide an excellent solution to these problems. PMC's fill a niche which has been present since ancient times. In the modern day they help combat piracy, terrorism, protect controversial assets and handle a lot of troop training efforts. Without PMC's small scale support would become bogged down in political red tape. PMC's allow for small, strategic force application and training without the commitment or bad press of direct state engagement. Most recently PMC's were hired to help combat ISIS in Mozambique. Due to their involvement they were able to mount a significant counteroffensive mostly comprising of specialized urban, room clearing combat. Their involvement helped the government of Mozambique push back against ISIS in a conflict that has already killed over 2,500 and displaced over 600,000. This situation showcases just how specialized, fast acting and impactful PMC's can be in the modern world.
On the flip side however, PMC's have been heavily criticized for their lack of oversight and the moral grey area they inhabit. PMC's have be riddled with war crime accusations throughout the 2000's and 2010's and for good reason. With state military involvement comes bureaucratic red tape, but it also comes with the mechanisms that allow that state to function in an increasingly connected world. Oversight, moral obligation and legal ramifications are just a few of the things we take for granted when our military force is applied elsewhere. If the U.S. military is involved any deviation from the international rules of engagement and moral standards is met with consequences. With PMC's however, the accountability is questionable. Allowing a private company such freedom in a military capacity is a point of contention for some. Additionally, there is the issue of money. Bringing back the Mozambique example, PMC's there have come under fire for withdrawing without providing adequate training for helicopter pilots in Mozambique's Army. But when the cash stops flowing the bags get packed.
Overall, I believe that the case for PMC's is stronger for the one against. The fill a unique and important niche that has been around for a long time and in the modern day has even been expanded. Their flexibility and response time are unmatched which produces some stunning results. They operate without the restriction of bureaucratic approval, they carry much of the burden of training and overall provide support to nations that the U.S. simply refuses or cannot become involved in.