Outsourced Empire

How Militias, Mercenaries, and Contractors Support US Statecraft

Andrew Thomson

Release date: 2018-06-20

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 communiqués and the National Security Archive, Outsourced Empire reveals new evidence that helps us understand these institutions and their collective role in maintaining global order.