RESEARCH PAPER
Engagement of Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone – utility assessment
 
 
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Faculty of National Security, War Studies University, Warsaw, Poland
Online publish date: 2019-09-03
 
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ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: The article explores combat related Private Military Companies (PMCs) that are authorised to engage in the forefront of the battlefield as dedicated force multipliers. Furthermore, the article participates both in academic and political debate as to whether the utility of Private Military Companies advocates for PMC participation in armed conflict management.

METHODS: To supplement empirical data with qualitative observation, the methodology applies the case study synthesis and observation method. Considering assistance in conflict termination as a dependent variable, the methodology evaluates the case study of Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone and, to impose a streamlined framework for observation, deconstructs that case with seven independent variables: competence, effectiveness, flexibility, field cooperation with conventional forces, cost efficiency, impact on military and the state-to-PMC balance.

RESULTS: The applied methodology indicates what factors were prevalent in effective conflict management and what indicators entailed further challenges. The results advocate for the competence, flexibility, effectiveness and cooperation with armed forces to be deemed conclusive in positive PMC engagement in conflict termination, whereas the cost efficiency, impact on conventional military and the state-to-PMC balance require improvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Since governments, as well as governmental international organisations, have continued to be hesitant (justified either by financial, geopolitical or social incentives) towards overseas military operations in those places and where asymmetric warfare is taking place, PMCs stepped in to fill the increasing security void. Therefore, this paper argues that PMCs are here to stay; however, the literature hasn’t rigorously (and methodologically) explored the subject matter to determine whether indicators of success and failure exist to evaluate the PMC outcome. This paper also precipitates natural outgrowth in the scholarship by composing the benchmark that compares cases and synthesises relevant data.
 
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