In the last two decades, private commercial actors offering military and security services have moved from being considered a curious and exotic anomaly—an exception unworthy of forming the basis of systematic regulation—to being regarded as a central contemporary concern for the international law of armed conflict. That shift in perception is in part due to a shift in reality. The dominance of national military power over the last century has left little space on the battlefield for independent entrepreneurs, except as adjuncts to state forces or in theatres...
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