Silent partners : private forces, mercenaries, and international humanitarian law in the 21st century
Steven R. Kochheiser
Host item entries:
The University of Miami national security and armed conflict law review, Vol. 2, summer 2012, p. 86-109
In response to gritty accounts of firefights involving private forces like Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan, many legal scholars have addressed the rising use of private forces - or mercenaries - in the 21st century under international law. Remarkably, only a few have attempted to understand why these forces are so ob-jectionable. This is not a new problem. Historically, attempts to control private forces by bringing them under international law have been utterly ineffective, such as Article 47 of Additional Protocol II to the Ge-neva Conventions. In Silent Partners, the author pro-poses utilizing the norm against mercenary use as a theoretical framework to understand at what point private forces become objectionable and then draft a provision of international humanitarian law to effec-tively control their use. Such a provision will encour-age greater compliance with international law by these forces and reduce their negative externalities by ensuring legitimate control and attachment to a legit-imate cause.