73. The Green Paper notes that the "debate on
PMCs is sometimes conducted as though PMCs are ipso facto
bad and national armies good." It rightly points out that
the professional standards of many national armed forces fall
far below those of our own, and some have committed grave human
74. We do not share the view that national armed
forces personnel are necessarily better qualified or behaved than
the employees of PMCs. However, it is the case that the ability
to track armed forces personnel and to hold them to account for
their actions is a powerful deterrent against illegal behaviour.
Many of the employees of British based PMCs are former British
military personnel who are well qualified to help impart the excellent
standards of the British armed forces to those of other countries,
thus helping to raise the standards of their armed forces and
other security personnel. Improving the security sector of weak
states is an important aspect of the international campaign against
75. The Government already re-employs former British
service personnel to assist with security sector reform.
PMCs can facilitate the transfer of British military training,
even when the British Government is not available to pay for it.
Regulation which granted licences to companies with such well
qualified staff would reward such reputable companies, and help
to eliminate those staffed with less suitable personnel.