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Let's be honest about this. The fact that we are dealing with an industry which has really only been in the public eye for a bit over a decade, depending on who and where you count, makes drawing conclusions difficult. Quite simply it is, despite notable consolidations in recent years, an industry in flux. Ten years ago most public commentary focused on just three companies, Executive Outcomes, Sandline (both of which no longer exist) and MPRI (which is now a subsidiary of L-3). Now, just in Iraq alone one has had probably hundreds of private military and security firms, of all shapes and sizes (and most of them NOT employing armed personnel) which have operated in Iraq since the start of the 2003 U.S. invasion.
The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: PMCs in Iraq