Outsourced Empire: How Militias, Mercenaries, and Contractors Support US Statecraft

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Andrew Thomson rethinks the history of US imperialism, from the Cold War to today, to reveal how paramilitaries, militias, merce¬naries, private armies, and contractors have always been central to US-sponsored insurgencies and US counterinsurgent statecraft.

Examining a broad range of events from the Bay of Pigs to the oc¬cupation of Iraq, and from the Soviet-Afghan war to the ongoing conflict in Syria, Thomson offers an analysis of the evolution of US support for various para-institutional actors or non-state armed forces. He demonstrates how and why militias, mercenaries, and private military companies have increasingly formed a central part of US imperial strategies designed to influence political and eco¬nomic conditions abroad.

Drawing on declassified documents including military training manuals, CIA communiqués, and national security documents, Outsourced Empire reveals new evidence that helps us understand these institutions and their collective role in maintaining global order.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPluto Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9780745337036
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018

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