Dogs of Peace: A Potential Role for Private Military Companies in Peace Implementation


  • Scott Fitzsimmons Department of Political Science, University of Calgary


Scholars and practitioners generally agree that one of the keys to effective implementation of peace settlements is the provision of strong third party security guarantees. The United Nations (UN) has been largely ineffective at this task and great powers who could be effective are often reluctant to act when national interests are not at stake. This paper argues that Private Military Companies (PMCs) may be able to do the job more effectively than the traditional blue helmets. This paper addresses two important questions about the potential role of Private Military Companies in peace implementation. First, how can third parties more effectively deliver security guarantees in order to enforce peace settlements in the aftermath of violent conflict? And second, are United Nations military forces the optimum source for strong security guarantees in peace enforcement operations or could PMCs do a better job? I argue that third parties can more effectively deliver security guarantees to enforce peace settlements in the aftermath of violent conflict if they possess the structure and interests to provide three military capabilities necessary to deliver strong guarantees: the ability to project force against belligerents, the ability to rapidly transport elements of an intervention force into and within conflict zones, and a commitment to the success of a military operation.

Author Biography

Scott Fitzsimmons, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

Scott Fitzsimmons is a doctoral candidate in the Political Science Department at the University of Calgary. He received a BPAPM in Public Affairs and Policy Management and a MA in International Affairs at Carleton University. His research interests include mercenaries, humanitarian intervention, and international norms. Scott's dissertation seeks to explain the military effectiveness of small mercenary forces relative to numerically superior state-based military forces.




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