In this video, START Associate Research Scientist Dr. Elizabeth Radziszewski provides a virtual talk on her book, “Private Militaries and the Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability.” Whether they train police forces in Afghanistan or provide military assistance to governments in Africa that are battling rebel groups, private military and security companies (PMSCs), or corporations that provide security and military services for profit, have been present in numerous conflicts around the globe. In 1984 only one international PMSC intervened in a civil war; in 1989 there were 15 international PMSCs present in conflict zones, while from 2003 to 2019 over 120 of such companies provided services during the Iraq war. Why do international PMSCs sometimes help with conflict termination while in other cases their intervention is associated with prolonged wars? And in what ways does market competition affect PMSCs’ military effectiveness? Disclaimer: The views expressed in this video are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of START, the University of Maryland or the United States government.