As global powers contemplate the risks and rewards of privatizing military operations, a shift from Private Military Companies (PMCs) to State-Owned Military Companies (SOMCs) is emerging. PMCs, while often trained and equipped by states, remain private due to their ownership structures. However, the potential benefits of SOMCs, including direct state control and clearer legal implications, are drawing attention, especially in light of events like the Wagner Group mutiny.
- PMCs heavily depend on government support and often recruit from a pool of state-trained veterans, making their operations closely tied to states even if they are technically private entities.
- Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom’s subsidiary, Gazpromneft, formed its own security entities, hinting at the rise of SOMCs.
- The use of SOMCs can provide states with greater control over their operations, reducing the risk of revolts like that seen with the Wagner Group.
- SOMCs offer clearer legal implications for the state, potentially providing better protections but also exposing states to more direct liabilities.
- A transition to SOMCs could challenge the internal cohesion of security services, with potential rivalries emerging similar to historical precedents like Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht and SS.