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Blackwater vs. bin Laden: The Private Sector's Role in American Counterterrorism

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This article examines the United States government's use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in support of its post–9/11 counterterrorism efforts. To date, existing studies on defense privatization have concentrated largely on the American military's use of contractors in Iraq. Here, the focus is broadened to examine PMSC support for military operations in Afghanistan, covert operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, homeland security, and the intelligence community. Existing understandings of both strategic studies and American counterterrorism are partial, as they ignore the vital, and increasing, role played by private contractors. Overall, the current conduct of American counterterrorism relies heavily on the private sector and this reliance is problematic.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science,Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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