Private military companies (PMCs) have become rather popular nowadays in terms of providing specialized expertise or services of a military nature. These units can compete with special services and regular armies. There are such companies in Russia, although they are not so widely spread in the country in comparison with their prototypes in the West. As experience shows, the PMCs will prevail in the future.
The history of private military companies started on June 24, 1997, when experts of the US Intelligence Department proclaimed the PMCs as a major tool in the implementation of the military security policy of the United States and its allies in other countries.
The professional level of a private military company is its major advantage. Inexperienced military men are not welcome there. A PMC member is usually a man between 35-40 years of age. A human being of this age is resistant to stresses and emergency situations. In addition, a man of this age can also do routine work very well, which can not be said about younger men.
Potential fighters of the private military companies possess the required level of experience and have an adequate insight, which allows such units to achieve better results in their activities in comparison with regular armies.
A private military company can be very efficient in local conflicts, where the use of regular armies can be complicated for legal reasons. For example, Russia can not send its troops to Nigeria if Nigerian gunmen attack employees of Russian companies – it would be a gross violation of international laws.
Russian PMCs – Tiger Top Rent Security and Orel Antiterror - do not lag behind their US or British colleagues. The only difference is that Russian PMC fighters are paid a lot less.
Russian PMCs took part in the military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.
Russia’s largest companies such as Russian Aluminium (Rusal), Lukoil, Rosneft and Gazprom received a carte blanche to form military structures to protect their interests both inside and outside Russia.
Private military companies supply bodyguards for the Afghan president and pilot armed reconnaissance planes and helicopter gunships to destroy Coca crops in Colombia. They are licensed by the State Department; they are contracting with foreign governments, training soldiers and reorganizing militaries in Nigeria, Bulgaria, Taiwan, and Equatorial Guinea. The PMC industry is now worth over $100 billion a year.