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The underlying causes of military outsourcing in the USA and UK: bridging the persistent gap between ends, ways and means since the beginning of the Cold War

Erbel, M. (2017). The underlying causes of military outsourcing in the USA and UK: bridging the persistent gap between ends, ways and means since the beginning of the Cold War. Defence Studies, doi: 10.1080/14702436.2017.1294970

Abstract

This article reappraises the two most-studied country cases of military outsourcing: the USA and the UK. It argues that the contemporary wave of military contracting stretches back to the beginning of the cold war and not only to the demobilisation of armies in the 1990s or the neoliberal reforms introduced since the 1980s. It traces the political, technological and ideational developments that laid the groundwork for these reforms and practices since the early cold war and account for its endurance today. Importantly, it argues that a persistent gap between strategic objectives and resources, i.e. the challenge to reconcile ends and means, is an underlying driver of military contracting in both countries. Contemporary contracting is thus most closely tied to military support functions in support of wider foreign and defence political objectives. Security services in either state may not have been outsourced so swiftly, if at all, without decades of experience in outsourcing military logistics functions and the resultant vehicles, processes and familiarities with public-private partnerships. The article thus provides a wider and deeper understanding of the drivers of contractualisation, thereby improving our understanding of both its historical trajectory and the determinants of its present and potential futures.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published online by Taylor & Francis in Defence Studies on 28/02/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14702436.2017.1294970.
Publisher Keywords: Foreign policy, defence policy, grand strategy, private military and security companies, USA, UK, defence acquisition
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > International Politics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/16937
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