Critically examine how NGOs’ role in development has changed since the 1940s and assess the historical, political, economic and ideological shifts that have underpinned these changes. Use a case study of one or more NGOs to explore these changes.
training by the state, PMCs have as a rule their own cache of weapons that the state would not provide. Such a state of affairs have lead to legitimate concerns that they might fall into the wrong hands when companies are made bankrupt or when the PMCs themselves, having firmly established themselves as multi-national corporations with a global reach and ample resources, should chose to eat the hand that fed them. From a more operational point of view, the security dangers would be manifest on the ground. Employees of PMCs are not strictly-speaking soldiers who are organised hierarchically but are civilians who are only accountable for their actions through the contracts they have made with their clients. Communication problems between two culturally different entities on the field of combat could, it is feared, end up compromising security. Such worrying tendencies, described memorably by Kofi Annan as the “privatization of security”, if true, go to the heart of what the state is all about: its control over security (Holmqvist, 2005, 8). 2. Literature review 2.1. Popular representations of PMCs Private military companies today are keen to highlight the supportive and positive impact they have on international security. That they should do so is no surprise as corporations want to impress potential clients. To state that they help undermine security would be tantamount to business suicide. Such a reason explains why they are often vigorous in their denial of any criticism that they are in any way “mercenaries”. Even though firms such as the London-based Armor Group, have names to suggest otherwise, they do stress nonetheless they are in the business of delivering aid rather than unleashing threats to international security. Like most PMCs, the Armor Group is a listed company, headquartered in London, and trade shares in the city’s Stock Exchange as a bona fide business venture. More concretely, as one correspondent reported, it distributed between 2003 and 2007 a staggering “31,100 vehicles, 451,000 weapons and 410 million rounds of ammunition to the new Iraqi security forces, and items as varied as computers, baby incubators, school desks and mattresses for every Iraqi government ministry” (The Washington Post, 2007). As a publicly traded company, fully licensed by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, Armor Group even took casualties, partly because it decided to refrain from using particularly powerful weaponry for fear of collateral damage. Why? “[It] did not want to be perceived as a mercenary force” (The Washington Post, 2007). Such pains to present themselves as supporters of states in their bid to maintain security are often dismissed by commentators, fascinated in the phenomenon of PMCs, in favour of a narrative that spins secret plots and conspiracy theories that do little to contribute to the understanding of these companies as new and influential agents of international peace and security. In a recently published book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, journalist Jeremy Scahill, for example, entirely commits his analysis to doing just this. Pointing to PMCs as mere mercenaries, he goes as far as to state they would be the tool of choice for an adventurous American President’s covert power schemes. Drawing from otherwise correct premises about the end of the Cold War and the increased need for military know-how, Scahill however slowly strays from this promising start by underestimating the historical developments and the complicated changes which have occurred in the field of military services contracting. Ultimately, he ends up even ignoring the basic normative definition of “mercenary person” provided by Article 47 of the 1997 First Additional Protocol (FAP) to the Geneva Conventions. He also washes over numerous lawsuits initiated against Blackwater and other PMCs with reference to alleged safety violations leading to the death of several contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enlisting the agenda-ridden and highly selective accounts of unnamed US soldiers who were “envious”, he pours scorn on the attitude of overpaid “private soldiers [who] whiz by in better vehicles, with better armor, better weapons, wearing the corporate logo>GET ANSWER