Overcoming the Challenges of Privatizing Medical Peacekeeping Support: Analytical Lessons Learned from Kosovo and Ukraine

Ray Mitchell, Fordham University


Privatization of military support functions continues to grow at an exponential rate and significant research has been devoted to the topic. Exploration and empirical analysis of how specialized medical support actors augment Peace Support Operations (PSOs) has been studied far less. Operational challenges span a wide range of factors, including strategic relationships, medical planning, interoperability, and increasing military manpower constraints. My thesis uncovers and analyzes many of the operational constraints and discusses the implications of augmenting peace engagement missions with private sector medical contractors. Case study analyses will provide evidence and insight in two operations utilizing private sector, specialized medical support: remote medical operations in the Ukraine, supported by the Organization Security for Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ceasefire monitoring teams; and the current North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Kosovo peacekeeping mission. I evaluate the operational challenges experienced in each of these missions by drawing on both rationalist and functionalist frameworks, including field-level interviews and personal experience narrative (PEN). The discussion and results from this comparative analysis offer insights on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential areas of concern that provide valuable inference for scholars and practitioners. Analyzing the private medical sector challenges within a PSO also contributes to a better understanding of current medical support operations while offering direction for future scholarship in this area.

Subject Area

Public health|International Relations|Social studies education

Recommended Citation

Mitchell, Ray, "Overcoming the Challenges of Privatizing Medical Peacekeeping Support: Analytical Lessons Learned from Kosovo and Ukraine" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28262328.