The following interview with David Isenberg  was carried out in Washington D.C., on January 15, 2014 by Patrick Renz and Frauke Heidemann. The main focus of the interview was on the definition of Private Military Companies (PMC), governmental oversight, the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of small arms in unstable states and the impacts of private contractors. All footnotes are remarks by Patrick Renz and Frauke Heidemann, aimed at giving some additional background knowledge and especially giving the links to the cited documents so that the reader can follow up on these issues easily.
What type of PMC would you see as most important right now and in the future?
When you talk about the PMC operating in those situations, where do you see the challenges for governmental oversight? Will governments continue to employ PMC?
In Afghanistan, with the discussion about a ban of PMC, many local implementers or mining companies said they would leave Afghanistan if they felt no longer protected. Do you think one could argue that PMC are enabling investment and aid projects in unstable states or is that a false assumption?
From your experience with SIGIR, how did the protection of the oil pipelines and facilities in Iraq work in the post-conflict situation?
How do you see the link between PMC and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, especially when looking at local PMCs?
What are the prime reasons for unstable states to allow for PMC to operate?
If PMCs hire locals, do you see a risk of taking away qualified people from the local police force or military?
What do you see as the biggest risk from having PMC operate in unstable areas?