Outsourced Empire

Outsourced Empire : How Militias, Mercenaries and Contractors Support US Statecraft

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There has been a shift in the way that we understand the forces behind imperialism. In this book, Andrew Thomson re-evaluates the history of US imperialism, from the Cold War to today, by looking at the influence of paramilitary actors.Thomson reveals how these agents are central to US imperialism - from the Guatemalan coup to the Bay of Pigs, from Syrian rebel factions to the Soviet-Afghan War, bringing these narratives together to reveal the evolution of paramilitary insurgencies across the globe. Militias, mercenaries, and private companies (PMCs) have formed a central part of the strategies designed to influence political and economic conditions abroad, oriented towards the US's Empire. Drawing on declassified documents including US training manuals, CIA communiques and National Security archives, Outsourced Empire reveals new evidence that helps us understand these institutions and their collective role in maintaining global order.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745337058
  • 9780745337050

About Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson is a Lecturer at Queen's University Belfast and Research Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. He researches in the areas of militias and paramiltiaries, dynamics of violence in civil wars, US foreign policy, the Colombian conflict and peace process, counterinsurgency and "irregular" warfare and terrorism.
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Table of contents


1. US Empire: Statecraft in the Global South and Para-State Networks

2. Cold War Statecraft and the Covert Principle: ''Power Moves Involved in the Overthrow of an Unfriendly Government?"

3. US Counterinsurgency: The Growing Paramilitary Movement

4. The Institutionalization of Para-State Networks: Nicaraguan Contras and Beyond

5. Continuity After the Cold War: the Evolution of Para-State Networks

6. The Irregular Warfare and the War on Terror: Consolidation into the Future

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