There are many theoretical and legal issues related to the operation of private military companies (PMCs) and their presence (location of their registered offices) in democratic states under the rule of law that remain unsolved in legal doctrine and practice. There are no clear rules at an international level that define the status of these agencies and the way in which they carry out their duties. There is also the problem of distinguishing between contractors and mercenaries. PMCs, like private security companies (PSCs), are used by states in exchange for large government contracts in so-called „unwanted wars”, where it is cheaper to conduct operations without parliamentary oversight, media publicity, or social objections to sending military contingents abroad. Sometimes it is a question of providing discrete military aid to „friend countries”. PMCs are politically safer in such a situation. Not only states but also non-governmental organizations, private companies,
rebel groups and declining dictators hire these private armies. The problem requires urgent multifaceted reflection leading to changes in legal doctrine and legislative action, both at the international level and in individual countries.