Patriots for Profit? America’s Experience with Private Military Contractors
Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
Naval Postgraduate School
For decades now, the centrality of contracting in American warfare – both on the battlefield (sometimes called mercenaries) and in support of those on the battlefield – has been growing. Today’s private military industry is a multi-billion dollar business. In Fiscal Year 2017 in the U.S. Department of Defense alone contracting out totaled $320 billion, more than 50% of the DOD budget. Erik Prince, former owner of Blackwater and possibly the world’s best known military contractor, has recently proposed contracting out the war in Afghanistan. As the U.S increasingly relies on the private sector to wage war, some see this as a strategic liability. Others consider the trend more efficient and cost effective.
Professor Thomas Bruneau, author of Patriots for Profit: Contractors and the Military in U.S. National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011), will discuss the pros and cons of contracting security support. Highlighting the American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, he will explore the many dimensions of using private contractors, including effectiveness, cost, accountability, and ethics. The impact of private contractors on regular U.S. troops and relations with host governments are among the issues he will examine.
Thomas Bruneau is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). During his career at NPS, he served as Chairman of the Department of National Security Affairs (1989-1995) and Director of the Center for Civil Military Relations (2000-2004). Prior to joining the faculty of NPS Dr. Bruneau taught in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. In addition to his long academic career, and ten years of administrative responsibilities at the Naval Postgraduate School, Bruneau is also Vice President of Global Academic Professionals, LLC, a contracting firm.
On this occasion annual World Affairs Council awards will be presented to Peninsula area college students pursuing careers in international relations.
Friday, October 19, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:45 pm: Program
- House Salad of Mixed Greens with Ranch Dressing
- Panko-Crusted Chicken with Sherry Cream Sauce
- Roasted Potatoes
- Steamed Vegetables
- Freshly Baked Rolls and Butter
- Chef’s Choice Dessert
- Coffee and Tea
- Vegetarian Option: Pasta with Marinara Sauce
- $29 for members
- $35 for guests
- Lecture is open to the public at no charge, beginning at 12:50pm
To register by mail, fax, or phone, click here to view or download the Luncheon Reservation form in PDF file format and follow the instructions.
To register and pay online with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, click here.
Palo Corona Regional Park Headquarters
(formerly Rancho Canada Golf Club)
4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923