Revision with unchanged content. The use of private military and security companies has become a regular feature of military activity in the 21st century. In today's military engagements, private companies are taking over an increasingly large array of tasks for forces on deployment. From personnel management to logistics and from catering to base security, private service providers have become a military reality both at home and on the frontlines. In line with the adjustments of the German Armed Forces after the Cold War, the use of private service providers is a reality in Germany as well. What effect does this increasing recourse to private service providers have on the capability of the German Army to independently fulfil its mission? What does this reliance mean for the control of the armed forces and military action? Comparing the experiences of the USA and the UK with the efforts underway in Germany, the author highlights some of the potential pitfalls inherent in the use of private service providers. Developing a new conceptual framework for the analysis of these developments, this work is geared towards those who want to gain an understanding of German military reform and some of its implications.