Scott Horton’s Six Questions for Laura Dickinson
Over at the Harper’s Magazine site Scott Horton interviews Laura Dickinson about her new book Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs. Horton begins:
Waging war and engaging in diplomacy would generally be reckoned among the most important powers of any sovereign. Yet as Laura Dickinson argues in her new book, Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs, America has been delegating these responsibilities to private companies over the past decade, and offering them lucrative contracts in exchange. Dickinson argues that this practice poses a threat to core public values of human rights, democratic accountability, and transparency.
The discussion ranges over topics including the relationship of neoconservative ideology to private military contractor (PMC) impunity, the immunity claims of PMC’s, why JAGs should be given more authority over PMC’s, and Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s new venture raising a mercenary army for the United Arab Emirates, and other important and timely issues.The relationship of international law to PMC’s has been one of Laura’s areas of expertise for a number of years (see, for example, this relatively recent article and, given Erik Prince’s latest shenanigans, it is good to see not only her new book but a wide-ranging interview at Harper’s.