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Over the past decade, global trends toward privatization have reached thenational security arena, which had generally been considered a monopolized realmof the state. After reviewing this trend and controversies surrounding militaryoutsourcing around the world, especially in the United States, where it is no longerpossible for any large-scale military intervention without a major involvement ofPrivate Military Companies (PMCs), this paper assesses the trend of militaryprivatization in South Korea, a country marked by intense Cold War tension formore than 50 years. The South Korean military is in transition from a manpower-oriented, quantitative force structure to an intelligence and knowledge-oriented,technology-intensive force structure. Given the constraints in financial resources,outsourcing is suggested as key to transform the South Korean military in the 21stcentury security environment. Following lessons and controversies of the activities ofAmerican PMCs, this paper focuses on the relationship between military privatizationand cost-effectiveness, reliability, monitoring and oversight, and the future of theSouth Korean military.The paper concludes by providing some perspectives on South Korea’s militaryprivatization and its policy implications. outsourcing efforts are gaining irreversiblemomentum in South Korea. Most participants share a consensus that militaryprivatization is an inevitable and inescapable phenomenon. There are, however, somereservations and concerns regarding the prospect of cost-effectiveness, the reliabilityof private firms during wartime, monitoring and oversight, and career uncertaintyfor military officers. However, military privatization in South Korea is still in itsinfancy. Strictly speaking, the outsourcing of military tasks has not yet taken place.The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis , Vol. XIX, No. 4, Winter 2007, pp. 93115.