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voluntarily or not. Despite the strong tendencies for states to privatise military operations, there are core areas inappropri ate for privatisation. The use of force by states is one of these areas. Using PMCs for support or protection in conflicts is one thing, but using them on the front line goes too far. The rules of international humanitarian law applicable to employees of PMCs show that there is a limit to their involvement in combat operations. It is imperative that these rules anddoi:10.5771/0175-274x-2008-4-196 fatcat:bdui6opy6zbmhenlr3yzxxx7ui