Private Military Companies in the Foreign and Security Policy of the Russian Federation in 2014–2019
Volume 18, Issue 1 (2020): Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review 2020, pp. 123–162
Pub. online: 1 December 2020 Type: Article Open Access
1 December 2020
1 December 2020
Countries are changing their military measures and strategies, thus they increasingly recruit private military and security companies or private military companies to pursue their interests instead of their regular forces. The aim of the research article is to reveal the motives and features of the use of private military companies in Russia’s foreign and security policy of 2014–2019. The novelty and relevance of the research object have prompted the use of the microtheory, i.e., the principal-agent theory, the application of which in political sciences has started just recently. It provides the basis for the assessment of the motives and features which led to recruitment of private military companies for the purposes of Russia’s foreign and security policy. The qualitative research method was selected in order to achieve this aim: the case analysis method was applied for the purpose of selection of the cases, i.e., regions: Syria, North-East and Central Africa, Ukraine, and Venezuela, focussing on the analysis of the factors which led to Russia’s decision to recruit private military companies instead of the regular forces.
Based on the analysis of the motives for using private military companies and conventional forces, we may claim that they are similar, because the use of both military structures enables achieving somewhat the same interests. Nevertheless, it was noted that, based on the specifics of the forces and the chart encompassing the variety of social deviations, private military and security companies are more similar to the regular forces. Nevertheless, both types of private companies help Russia avoid direct liability for various violations of the law.
The factors explained in the microtheory are adjusted, expanded, and correlated by taking into account the case of Russia analysed within the course of the research. The analysis of the case of Russia also has shown that the Kremlin faced only one problem explained by the principal-agent theory, i.e., agency slack. The analysis has shown that not all regions located further away from Russia were useful in terms of finances, but all of them gave Russia advantage over the USA in respect of strategy.