Colombia as Laboratory and Iraq as Large-Scale Application

The Privatization of War

The Privatization of War

The privatization of military services is a worldwide business worth $200 billion a year. PMCs are an enormous part of this economy, offering "products" from logistics (such as building and managing military camps and prisons) to strategic support (radar and surveillance) to open combat and special sabotage missions. PMC corporations are based globally, and recruit heavily in the global south.

It is advantageous for governments to hire PMCs. As private corporations, they are less accountable to the public, or to military law. Many contracts do not need approval by (US) Congress, and protect PMCs from civil prosecution. Also, the death of PMC employees does not have as great an impact on public opinon as does the death of soldiers. In Iraq, there have been as many as 2,000 PMC employees killed to date.
The relationship between enlisted soldiers and private contractors has changed dramatically over the last decade. During Gulf War 1, 1 in 100 miltary actors was a PMC employee. Currently in Iraq, it is likely that 1 in 6 are PMCs. The "coalition of the willing" had become the "coalition of the billing."

In countries such as Colombia, conditions for "good business" are ensured by PMCs- in cooperation with the Colombian military and US armies, police, cattle producers, narco-traffickers, paramilitaries, the CIA, and the DEA. These ever-shifting coalitions are enacted to undermine campesino organizations, unions and unionizing efforts, and social movements; as well as the armed insurgency. For example, transnational corporations work with paramilitary groups to crush union organizing efforts and kill union activists; or PMCs conducting militarized crop-dusting operations against coca plantations also deliberately destroy the food crops of small farmers. These and other actions have displaced more than 2.5 million people.

A version of this project will be shown in the exhibition „Mapquest“, at PS122, New York City
September 16-October 9, 2006
Opening reception September 16, 5-7pm


The Privatization of War
The Privatization of War
The Privatization of War
The Privatization of War

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