The History of International Security
The history of war is the history of humanity itself, with almost all major turning points punctuated by armed and organized conflict. From the very first tribal battle to the rise of the modern nation-state, warfare has been the great pastime of humanity. Yet there is a portion of warfare that is often overlooked by both scholars and popular historians: the role of international security companies, or as they are sometimes known… mercenaries.
Medieval battlefields were often dominated by mercenary companies. The German Landsknechts provided soldiers to groups across Western Europe, while the Scottish Gallowglass militarily dominated the British Isles during the 13th – 16th centuries.
Casual observers might think that modern nation-states like America, with its professional standing army, would have no need of private security forces. They would be wrong.
The Modern Legacy
Perhaps the most famous of the modern international security companies is Blackwater (now called ACADEMII), who fielded over 100,000 sailors during the Iraq War. Other significant groups include the Northbridge Services Group, based out of the Dominican Republic, and the British firm, Aegis Defense Services. The defining feature of these forces is that they accept security work in violent and dangerous places like Iraq and Somalia, and represent the interests of nations, oil and gas companies, and NGOs. While the three companies listed here are internationally renowned and make efforts to adhere to international laws, there are many smaller international security companies that rake in enormous profits working in war-torn and economically depressed regions. International security companies take on dirty tasks like capturing international fugitives, policing war torn regions, and even defending national holdings, such as embassies.
How They Operate
International security companies operate much like any group that works with governments or large business, offering bids for major contracts and attempting to provide the best services at the lowest prices. Because of the nature of their work, they often seek out ex-special forces and high ranking military personnel to make up their chain of command. Due to the complex nature of modern warfare, international security companies are often private militaries, polices forces, and construction teams all rolled into one, and while their involvement in recent war efforts is controversial, the services they provide have existed since the dawn of warfare, and the work they do has been instrumental in war, security, and reconstruction efforts across the globe.
For information about more locally oriented security professionals, call APS at 1-866-770-0004 or find us online at www.accesspatrolservice.com