AbstractsPolitical Science

Chilean professionals, reliable Fijians and affordable Ugandans: Transnational Recruitment for the Private Security Sector in Iraq, 2003-2011

by Katharina Döring

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Third Country National; Iraq; transnational recruitment; Chile; Fiji; Uganda
Record ID: 1120147
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/16211


On March 20th, 2003 the USA lead a “Coalition of the Willing” to invade Iraq. While the initial phase of the war lasted only until the 1st of May, the following occupation continued until the withdrawal of the US military in December 2011. During the occupation the US and coalition forces relied heavily on private militarised security companies (PMSC), which drew from a large pool of Third Country Nationals (TCN) for their operations in the non-combat area. The TCN came from low income countries, mainly from the so called “Global South”. Most of them were employed in catering or facility maintenance, yet others worked in the security area, guarding military bases, checkpoints or sensitive infrastructure. The thesis' focus are these ‘armed TCN’ and the national distribution within this heterogenous group. Thus, the research question is: How can the national distribution among armed TCN in the US-lead private security sector in Iraq be explained? The possible answers are condensed to four hypotheses that each emphasise influential aspects focusing on: economic considerations, political conditions, the historical-structural setting, and military reputation and qualifications. These four are tested to their explanatory value by means of a comparative examination of three national groups: Chileans, Fijians and Ugandans. From this examination emerges that even though a complex entanglement of various factors influenced all of these recruitments, there are some case specific characteristics. The Chilean presence among TCN in Iraq can be attributed largely to the countries history with the USA and its military reputation. In the Fijian case all four aspects played an important role and with regard to Uganda, mainly economic and political reasons were identified as decisive.