Skip to main content


Back to Resources

A new wave? Addressing the contemporary use of private military and security companies in armed conflict and complex environments

5 August, 2022



Is there a new wave of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)? Are international and national regulatory efforts sufficient to ensure appropriate regulation? What are the most promising opportunities to address existing governance gaps?  

In the 2000s, the increased visibility of PMSCs in situations of armed conflict sparked public interest in the industry. Nowadays, more PSMCs are operating than fifteen years ago, and they are active in more States and with a wider variety of clients. A decline in the use of PMSCs by western governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and geographical diversification of PMSC contracting in armed conflicts altered the geographic zones where the industry operates. This also translated into a notable shift in offered services by PMSCs in armed conflict.  

In October 2021, DCAF launched a series of webinars that aim to illustrate these main shifts in recent years in the private military and security industry, discuss the current regulatory landscape, and show potential solutions to address existing regulatory challenges regarding PMSCs. This document summarizes the interventions and conclusions.

Watch the recording