Privateersprivate ships licensed to carry out warfarehelped win the American Revolution and the War of 1812 but fell into disuse after the federal government made it hard to monitor their performance. Like the governments use of private military companies in todays hotspots, privateering was an instance of the contracting out of security services, not the full privatization of security, and thus operated in the context of incentives and constraints established by the government.
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