Private military and security companies increasingly perform services for the UN. The article describes how these companies are used by the UN organization and become part of UN operations. Their participation influences the planning and implementation of UN peacekeeping. By performing tasks such as protective security, security training, peacekeeper training, counselling and intelligence, private companies influence both the epistemological and operational dynamics of peacekeeping. This not only diffuses authority over peacekeeping into the commercial market, it often happens with a very low degree of transparency.


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