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This paper analyses how the growing role of Private Military Companies PMCs has flownlargely under the radar of the international community, even as dangerous legal loopholes andambiguities come to light. From a strategic point of view, PMCs in general offer both benefitsand new forms of risk for individual actors and international organizations. This paper focuseson two main aspects related to Private Military Companies: how they are the newest and mostversatile tool in the “hybrid war” and shadow-war arsenal and how they are the byproduct ofdecades of misguided and ill-fated proxy warfare. We also discuss one of the most controversialPMCs: the Wagner Group, the technically inexistent but actually Russian state-backed militaryorganization. Hybrid warfare, as employed in modern grand-strategy, is an ever-evolvingconcept with borders as shadowy and grey as the actors used to deploy this type ofstrategy.Through the prism of the private military world, we will see how the new shape of ourconflicts has solidified the waging of war as a business, a lesser-known but equally significantprecedent. Furthermore, as we see warfare taken out of the public spotlight and away fromcongressional oversight, the need for clear and strict legal frameworks to the world of warfarebecomes even more apparent.
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