Private security industry masks the true cost of war, according to Leicester researchers

Posted by de57 at Feb 19, 2013 05:35 PM |
More effective regulation is required, argue University of Leicester management experts

The true cost of war is being masked by the secretive and largely unaccountable activities of a private security industry, according to a new study conducted by the University of Leicester.

Private security firms are increasingly taking on the role of the military services but are not subject to the same scrutiny as the rest of the military according to the recent paper, published in the journal Organization. This means that the true human and financial costs of war go unreported and are difficult to find.

Private contractors are widely used by states such as Britain and the United States in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. This creates opportunities for investment in the private security industry, as well as reducing the financial burdens that military interventions traditionally bring to the occupying state.

The paper from Richard Godfrey, Jo Brewis, Jo Grady and Chris Grocott, all academics at the University of Leicester School of Management, argues that the failure to establish appropriate regulation has resulted in a lack of transparency and accountability. It also argues that the private security firms and governments that employ them should be more open about the way the industry is organised and managed.

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