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Military Contractors, the New Peacekeepers of the 21st Century?
International Policy Digest | 31 December 2014
> Over the last 20+ years, military and security functions, previously considered inherently state functions, have been contracted to private sectors. Increased involvement of these actors in conflicts signals a privatization of violence that has exponentially grown, becoming a distinct and increasingly relevant phenomenon in defense and security policy. Typically these contractors are ex-military who are lured by sizeable paychecks.
The Privatization of War: Private Mercenaries and the “War on Terror” in American Foreign Policy
Global Research | 31 December 2014
> His bulging left bicep featuring a tattoo of a Panther and his right one of the Grim Reaper, Wolf Weiss was a heavy metal guitarist from Los Angeles with fifteen years’ military experience who embodied the new type of warrior for the 21st century. Styled “the Heavy Metal Mercenary” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Weiss was hired by a private contractor, Crescent Security, to drive truck convoys in Iraq and admitted to killing several Iraqis in four separate firefights.
Could private armies fight the next major conflict?
New York Post | 28 December 2014
> In 2004, Sean McFate was sent to the African nation of Burundi to protect the country’s president from assassination, after word came down that a rebel group was advancing on his palace. Had the assassination occurred, the country would have likely descended into genocidal war.
Malta’s all-but-forgotten role in the US rendition and torture programme
Malta Independent | 25 December 2014
> A report in 2007 by the European Parliament's 'Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners' found that Malta's airspace and soil had been used by Blackwater USA subsidiary company Blackwater Aviation for such purposes - allegations that Blackwater, in correspondence with this newspaper at the time, vehemently refuted.
Miss Blackwater Yet? U.S. Private Mercenaries Back in Iraq
Sputnik News | 24 December 2014
> An army of U.S. private contractors is back in Iraq, and their number will only increase in the coming months, a senior Obama administration official confirmed to Reuters. Following in the footsteps of military servicemen deployed to the Middle East to assist local security forces in fighting ISIL, private security firms are back in the country that expelled them just a few years ago.
As U.S. troops return to Iraq, more private contractors follow
Daily Mail | 24 December 2014
> The U.S. government is preparing to boost the number of private contractors in Iraq as part of President Barack Obama's growing effort to beat back Islamic State militants threatening the Baghdad government, a senior U.S. official said. How many contractors will deploy to Iraq - beyond the roughly 1,800 now working there for the U.S. State Department - will depend in part, the official said, on how widely dispersed U.S. troops advising Iraqi security forces are, and how far they are from U.S. diplomatic facilities.
Diplomatic Enclave’s private guards undergo scrutiny
Pakistan Today | 23 December 2014
> Scrutiny of private security guards deployed at Diplomatic Enclave, adjacent to the Red Zone, has started on the directions of Interior Ministry. According to sources, this step has been taken in view of serious security threats after the Peshawar school massacre and the hanging of two hard core terrorists in Faisalabad jail.
Floating arsenals designed to protect shipping from pirates deemed unsafe
Hellenic Shipping News | 23 December 2014
> Floating armouries – ships packed to the gunnels with machine-guns, ammunition and other military equipment – are operating in international waters with a “worrying lack” of regulation. A new report has warned that the vessels could pose a threat to “regional peace and stability”.
Fewer private security firms fail police audit this year
Mail & Asia One Singapore | 22 December 2014
> Fewer private security firms failed an annual police audit this year.About 9 percent of 242 security agencies audited received the lowest D grade, down from 21 percent of 251 firms last year. There was relatively little change in the number of firms at the top end of the league - 41 firms got the highest A grade this year, from 40 last year.
Government pays record amount to private guards
Mail & Hurriyet Daily News | 22 December 2014
> Public institutions have paid a record 706.5 million Turkish Liras to private security firms so far this year, a jump by four-fold in the spending items over the last five years, according to the Treasury’s budget data.
First China, SA security services
Mail & Guardian | 21 December 2014
> On December 20 2014, HW Raid Security Pty.Ltd, a joint venture by Shandong Huawei Security Group from China and Raid Private Security from South Africa, announced its official founding in Johannesburg.
The gunship archipelago
Open Democracy | 18 December 2014
> The MV Sinbad is a vessel of 250 gross tonnage, originally built as a fisheries patrol-boat in Sweden in 1981. With a crew of ten it is usually to be found in international waters, most recently in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Fujairah, one of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There, MV Sinbad is not protecting local fisheries but acting as a floating armoury supporting anti-piracy operations by the Sri-Lankan-based Avant Guard Maritime Services.
DynCorp Subpoenaed by Watchdog in Global Probe of Worker Abuses
Businessweek | 17 December 2014
> DynCorp International Inc., the State Department’s top contractor, has been subpoenaed for records outlining steps to ensure foreign workers on its Afghanistan projects aren’t abused or forced to pay banned recruiting fees. As part of a sweeping probe into possible exploitation of foreign workers by recruiters, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s office of special projects has requested documents from DynCorp, Fluor Corp. (FLR:US) and subcontractor Ecolog International FZE, based in Dubai.
Floating arsenals: The boats full of guns for hire against pirates
BBC | 17 December 2014
> The MNG Resolution may not immediately catch the eye but it is one of many floating arsenals, moored in the Gulf of Oman. The shipping container it is carrying is full of weapons, to be used by private security firms protecting ships from pirates. But as BBC Africa editor Mary Harper reports, these maritime armouries could be a security risk.
Maritime Security: The Concept of Innocent Passage
The Maritime Executive | 17 December 2014
> This article will examine the challenges related to evaluating whether embarking privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) aboard a merchant ship is contrary to the regime of innocent passage and whether vessels with embarked security teams are required to give prior notice of passage to coastal states.
Private military and security companies: Implementation of Montreux document
ICRC | 16 December 2014
> The Montreux Document reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law relating to private military and security companies (PMSCs) operating in armed conflict, and lists good practices designed to help states take national measures to implement these obligations. Six years after its adoption, Montreux Document participants have now established the "Montreux Document Forum" to continue working on the implementation of the Montreux Document and to share good practices and discuss challenges regarding the regulation of PMSCs.
571 private security agencies granted licence in Delhi
dna India | 13 December 2014
> The Delhi government has granted licences to 571 private security agencies this year while 58 applications were rejected and 321 applications are pending due to non-submission of no-objection certificates from the authorities concerned.
Video shows vicious beating of diamond miners in Angola
France 24 | 12 December 2014
> On September 8, according to our Observer, an employee of the private security firm K & P Mineira secretly filmed his colleagues brutalising two Congolese men caught illegally mining diamonds in a concession owned by the company Luminas. The security guards beat the men with the flat side of machetes.
Private Sadism Companies & The Torture Report
MintPress News | 10 December 2014
> Given the newly released summary of the long-awaited (5 years in the making) Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program we will, for the next few days, at least until the next crisis comes along, be inundated with coverage of the revelations and implications of a U.S-sponsored program of torture.
Shootings by security guards rarely reported, let alone investigated
The Center for Investigative Reporting | 9 December 2014
> Security guard Teng Xiong unholstered his gun and hesitated. It was dark, past business hours on July 5, 2008, in the Little Saigon neighborhood of Sacramento, California, and a fight was unfolding quickly under blurry yellow streetlights. Xiong and Golden Dragon Patrol supervisor Moua Vang had begun fighting with two young men who refused to leave a shopping center parking lot. Xiong, who was 25 at the time, pulled himself away from the fight and watched as Vang wrestled one man to the ground. Amid the chaos, another guard called 911, and Sacramento police sped to the scene.
Maritime Security: State Jurisdiction Over PCASP
RT | 9 December 2014
> Various types of state jurisdiction can be enforced under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and international law broadly. UNCLOS itself is often regarded as a framework convention: It sets up institutions and balances the rights and interests of states with the interests of the international community. UNCLOS provides specific regimes, which are fundamental to maritime security, namely the regime of consecutive maritime zones and the jurisdictional trinity of flag, coastal and port state control. In fact, UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces.
More British ‘mercenaries’ join fight against ISIS
RT | 5 December 2014
> Former British soldiers are among a growing number of Britons traveling to Syria and Iraq to join the fight against Islamic State militants. Ex-soldier Jamie Read said the murder of aid worker Alan Henning by Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) convinced him travel to Syria to resist the terror group. Former soldiers are believed to have joined a group aiding the Kurdish Peshmerga.
Fearing violence, U.S. Jewish groups create security infrastructure
The Washington Post | 5 December 2014
> More visible European anti-Semitism, increased anger towards Israel and a rise in Islamist extremism have led to the expansion of the security infrastructure around U.S. Jewish institutions, with thousands of synagogues, student centers and other places seeking equipment and training to defend themselves against potential attacks.
Chaos, Complexity, and PSCs
Human Analytics | 3 December 2014
> This month will see four important events in realizing the goal of effective and responsible provision of private security services. The first of these, coming on December 4th, is the first Annual General Assembly meeting of the International Code of Conduct Association. A few days after that, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will release the Draft International Standard (DIS) for the management of private security services.
A Former Mercenary Proposes a Pentagon Makeover
Newsweek | 2 December 2014
> It’s a tough time for the Pentagon. The Defense Department is playing whack-a-mole across the world, juggling the Afghanistan War, fending off China’s rising aggression over Asian sea lanes, strengthening Ukraine against Russian incursions, fighting Ebola in West Africa and fielding a new air war in Syria and Iraq. And now Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who was trying to sort the mess out, has resigned. Generals are making the rounds of the Capitol, begging Congress and anyone who will listen not to hollow out the military by cutting billions out of their budget. No one is sure what to do or who can help.
Law of the Sea Mechanisms: Examining UNCLOS Maritime Zones
The Maritime Executive | 1 December 2014
> Law of the sea mechanisms, specifically the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), provide an engaging starting point for regulatory analysis of private maritime security. Although it is not the only relevant legal instrument in existence, the Convention is the most pertinent, setting the backdrop for oceans management and providing the broadest foundation for uniform governance.
British Embassy bodyguard and former 5 Scots soldier Ronnie Jessiman, from Canterbury, killed in suicide bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan
Kent Online | 1 December 2014
> A former British soldier killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan while working as a bodyguard was from Canterbury, it has emerged.Ronnie Jessiman, from Waters Edge, is thought to have died instantly when a Taliban bomber slammed a car laden with explosives into his vehicle. Mr Jessiman, who had served with 5 Scots, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was travelling in a convoy between Jalalabad and the capital Kabul when it was ambushed.
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