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Conceptualizing the Stability Operations Industry



There are many academic descriptions of the stability operaitons industry (or whatever the nom du jour) however I eventually settled on the version below.



·        Logistics and Support organizations, that essentially provide services that might be mundane in other environments, including aviation, logistics and construction. This sector makes up 70-80% of the industry in personnel numbers and value;


·        Private Security Companies (PSC) that protect ‘nouns’ – people, places and things -  and carry out site and convoy protection, provide body guard servicers, threat assessments and advice. These firms peaked at about 20% of the industry during peak Iraq/Afghanistan operations, but typically make only about 5% of the industry.


·        Security Sector Reform and Development organizations that are vital for with the long term solutions for state-building, including legal and law enforcement training, reforming educational systems, military and peacekeeper training, development projects, capacity building, governmental mentoring and other similar services, this may be the fastest growing sector;


·        Industry Support Companies includes legal services, accounting, public relations, recruitment and vetting of personnel, and insurance firms.  These organizations do not typically operate in the field, but support other organizations that do.




A note on industry value:


My best estimate of the industry value at peak (around 2006 with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq both well underway) was $20B - with PSCs at about $2B of that total, that number has fallen significantly with the withdrawal from Iraq and the reductions in Afghanistan - especially with the wobbly Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) taking over much of the PSC work. The $100B-$200B numbers are absurd, and the only way one can arrive at those astonishing levels is by including manufacturers (Boeing and Airbus, BAE etc.) and all domestic private sedcurity globally. Unfortunatley, academics and journalists rarely breakdown their estimates, they simply cite folks who have used these sensationalistic numbers in the past. 



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