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Governments outsourcing fighters: severe side effects [ PVGlance ]

September 5, 2015


In the days of yore, theory had it that the most basic requirement of government was to establish a monopoly on violence. By necessity, this meant periodically fighting off challengers — rival power centers who encroach on the realms of activity that government reserves for itself.

However, there are situations when governments realize a short-term benefit from outsourcing this core competency. Often, this is when, to avoid losing, or simply to cut costs, the government wishes to carry out the task of fighting off challengers using means that are considered shameful or even illegal.

Recent academic research on volunteer test subjects in the middle east is yielding valuable results. It seems there can be severe side effects which that outweigh the benefits of outsourcing the task of fighting off challengers.

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