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Center for Public Integrity Releases Report: 'Making a Killing: The Business of War'

  • Monday, October 28, 2002 3:00PM IST (9:30AM GMT)
Washington, United States:  With the conflict in Afghanistan and possible war in Iraq, the issue of military privatization has taken on new relevance. How the military has been outsourcing its traditional roles and who are the private actors in this new war commerce are among the findings of a nearly two-year investigation being released by the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, starting on Monday, Oct. 28.

This 11-part report - which provides an unprecedented look at private military companies, arms dealers and multinational corporations that profit in war zones - will be published in the
Center's online publication, "The Public i" at http://www.public-i.org.

Amid the global military downsizing and increasing number of small conflicts that followed the end of the Cold War, governments have turned increasingly to private military companies -- a recently coined euphemism for mercenaries -- to intervene on their behalf around the globe. These companies provide services traditionally carried out by a national military force -- such as military training, logistics and combat -- but often under the radar of public oversight.

The ICIJ investigative team has identified at least 90 such companies that have operated in 110 countries worldwide and has constructed a unique database, accessible via the Internet, that
chronicles these companies' global operations. Most of the private military companies, or PMCs as they are known, are based in the United States, Britain and South Africa, but the vast bulk of their services are performed in conflict-ridden areas of Africa, South America and Asia.

The investigation also uncovered a small group of individuals and companies with connections to governments, multinational corporations and, sometimes, criminal syndicates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East that have profited from this business of war. Drawing on classified intelligence files, government reports and ICIJ's own unique network of investigative journalists, this report explains who are the non-state actors in this growth industry and how they often influence the turn of world events.

For more information, please contact ICIJ director Maud Beelman or Business of War project manager Phillip van Niekerk at 202-466-1300 or [email protected]

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