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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

An expert from ArmorGroup (left) trains local members of the Nepal and Maoist Armies on the safe removal of unexploded devices.
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Killings expose the murky realm of private security 
The Hearld Scotland  |  31 October 2014
>  Ask anyone what the two biggest foreign stories are right now and they will almost certainly say the fight against Ebola and tackling Islamic State (IS) jihadists. Both stories have also been playing heavily on the mind of a man who himself is no stranger to making headlines. I'm talking here about Erik Prince. Never heard of him? Well most likely you will at least know of the company he founded, the private security contractors known as Blackwater.

'Afghan' in Syria: Iranians pay us to fight for Assad 
CNN  |  31 October 2014
>  It is like many of the images of aftermath in Syria's chaotic war -- a man being pulled from the rubble of the building. But this one is different. The panic is muted, the men dig not slowly, but leisurely. This is because they know he is a regime fighter. "Where are your friends?" they ask, perhaps taunting him. "Are you from Yemen?" But no, this is something different.

The Private Security Industry and Human Rights: An update on the ICoCA 
IRHB  |  30 October 2014
>  Much of the press coverage concerning the recent criminal conviction of four former Blackwater security guards in a United States District Court has focused on the difficulty and length of time it took for the case to finally work its way through the judicial system.

UN rights experts urge greater regulation of private security companies 
Jurist  |  29 October 2014
>  The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries on Tuesday urged stronger global and regulation of private security companies. The group also called on governments to hold private military and security companies (PMSCs) accountable for all of their international human rights violations. The call comes on the heels of a federal jury returning a guilty verdict against four ex-Blackwater security guards who were charged with Iraqi civilian deaths in 2007.

2 Jailed in Russia's First-Ever Mercenary Conviction 
The Moscow Times  |  28 October 2014
>  A court in Moscow convicted two Russians of setting up an illegal mercenary squad, the first sentence in the country's history to be handed down on those charges, Life News reported Tuesday.

Blackwater convictions spotlight need for treaty on private security – UN experts 
UN News Centre  |  27 October 2014
>  The United Nations working group on the use of mercenaries today appealed for stronger global regulations of private security, saying last week’s conviction of Blackwater contractors shows the need for all private security personnel to be held accountable for international human rights and humanitarian law violations.

What Can Russia Bring to War Against Islamic State?  |  27 October 2014
>  Moscow will not join the U.S. effort to thwart the Islamic State terrorist group until Russian-American relations improve, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this weekend. The big question, however, is whether Russia is in fact in a position to offer any substantial aid to the anti-jihad campaign — and military analysts believe the answer is "yes."

Who's Going to Get Rich Fighting the Islamic State? 
Foreign Policy  |  27 October 2014
>  Erik Prince has an idea. The founder of Blackwater thinks the Obama administration can beat the Islamic State (IS) using private contractors as its boots on the ground. "If the old Blackwater team were still together, I have high confidence that a multi-brigade-size unit of veteran American contractors or a multi-national force could be rapidly assembled and deployed to the that necessary ground combat team" to beat IS, Prince wrote recently on the website of his new company.

Is The U.S. Military Too Reliant On Contractors? 
National Public Radio  |  26 October 2014
>  In war zones, private contractors can outnumber U.S. troops, but who controls them? NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Stanford's Joseph Felter and journalist Pratap Chatterjee about current safeguards.

Blackwater guards: Jury finds guards guilty  |  26 October 2014
>  IN THE murky world of war, weapons and private security, one name keeps popping up: Blackwater. This week, four guards have been found guilty of a 2007 ‘massacre’ where they used sniper rifles and grenades to open fire on a crowd while escorting a diplomatic convoy in Iraq.

The Hazards of Going to War for Profit 
ISN  |  24 October 2014
>  For every US soldier in Iraq, there was roughly one private contractor. In Afghanistan, the ratio was even higher, peaking at 1.6 US-employed contractors per soldier. The total number of Department of Defense contractors reached approximately 163,000 in Iraq and 117,000 in Afghanistan.

The Blackwater Verdict Signals America's Growing Dependence on Wall Street to Wage War 
New Republic  |  24 October 2014
>  Earlier this week, a federal jury convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards in the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007. For many, these guilty verdicts bring closure to an ignominious chapter in the Iraq War, but in reality this is only the beginning. Eisenhower’s old “military industrial complex” created products; today’s military industry provides services, including lethal services like Blackwater.

Why four Blackwater contractors were just now convicted of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007 
Vox  |  23 October 2014
>  On October 22, a jury convicted four former employees of the private security firm Blackwater for the deaths of 17 people in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad. The massacre marked a low point for American contractors in Iraq and raised important questions about how much the government was really in control of Blackwater and other security contractors — questions that have only grown more urgent as more details have come out about how those firms operated.

Why the Blackwater convictions won’t slow America’s ‘shadow armies’ 
The Washington Post  |  23 October 2014
>  Absent on Wednesday in a Washington courtroom, where a federal jury entered guilty verdicts of murder and manslaughter against four Blackwater Worldwide guards in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians, was a man synonymous with the United States’s infatuation with contractors. He is Erik Prince — billionaire, former Navy Seal, ex-CIA spy — the founder of Blackwater.

Antiterrorism Center: Over 1,500 CIS Citizens Fighting in Syria as Mercenaries 
FARS  |  23 October 2014
>  More than 1,500 citizens from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are fighting in Syria as mercenaries, the press service of the CIS Antiterrorism Center said. The number of recruits — people coming from countries of the Central Asian region and Russian Federation that are involved in the Syrian conflict — is still gradually increasing, the center quotes a report its head Andrey Novikov delivered at the Second Meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center. /em>

Four Blackwater guards found guilty in 2007 Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians 
The Washington Post  |  22 October 2014
>  Seven years after American security contractors killed 14 unarmed Iraqis by firing machine guns and grenades into a Baghdad traffic circle, a jury in Washington on Wednesday convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards of murder and manslaughter charges in the incident, one of the most ignominious chapters of the Iraq war.

Russian Lawmakers Propose Creation of Russian Mercenary Firms 
The Moscow Times  |  22 October 2014
>  In a move inspired by the example of U.S. private military firms like Blackwater, a Russian political party has proposed legalizing heavily armed security companies for use abroad, RIA Novosti reported, citing the deputy chairman of the A Just Russia party, Mikhail Yemelyanov.

A mercenary army needed to win a very long war  
The Oakland Press  |  16 October 2014
>  Leon Panetta is worried. Defeating radical Islam will take years. President Obama however, is silent about a long-term strategy for winning, much less what winning comprises. He might even treat it as a legal question, can war against religious ideology be won? Did the Romans “win” against the Christians by throwing them to the Lions? Could laws stop snake handling in mountain churches?

The hazards of going to war for profit 
Our Kingdom  |  13 October 2014
>  For every US soldier in Iraq, there was roughly one private contractor. In Afghanistan, the ratio was even higher, peaking at 1.6 US-employed contractors per soldier. The total number of Department of Defense contractors reached approximately 163,000 in Iraq and 117,000 in Afghanistan.

New Day for Private Security in Afghanistan 
Intercepts  |  9 October 2014
>  The US Central Command and US Forces Afghanistan are on the lookout for a private security contractor that might be able to field up to 600 security guards to keep watch over the walls and gates of Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan at some point in the near future.

Let contractors fight the Islamic State, Blackwater founder Erik Prince says 
The Washington Post  |  9 October 2014
>  As the fight against the Islamic State unfolds, the take of Erik Prince, the founder of the former private security firm Blackwater, is straightforward: If the United States is unwilling to send in ground troops, “let the private sector finish the job.”

Liberia: 'United Nations Begins Mercenaries Involvement in Cote d'Ivoire Civil Conflict' 
The New Republic Liberia  |  7 October 2014
>  The Working Group of the United Nations (UN) on the use of mercenaries began in Abidjan a four-day visit to review and assess the impact of mercenary on human rights in Côte d'Ivoire. "Cote d'Ivoire is beleived to have faced many huge challenges at the turn of the century and experienced civil conflict that would involve mercenary-related activities," said the human rights expert, Patricia Arias, who currently heads the group experts, in a statement recently issued on Monday.

Managing a global military/security profession...some of it private 
Foreign Policy  |  6 October 2014
>  With the American military drawn down in Iraq and Afghanistan we've seen less attention to the controversies surrounding private military and security companies (PMSCs). The latest issue of Parameters is bound to provoke a bit more -- particularly the pieces by Colonel Scott Efflandt, arguing that contractors are challenging the U.S. military's jurisdiction over the military profession, and Christopher Spearin, claiming that PMSCs could be part of the Special Operations network.

Belarusians Fighting In Ukraine To Be Jailed 
Radio Free Europe  |  3 October 2014
>  Belarusian citizens fighting in Ukraine's east on either side of the conflict will be jailed. Belarusian KGB chief Valery Vakulchyk told journalists in Minsk on October 2 that any Belarusians found to have fought in Ukraine will be defined as "mercenaries," which are banned under Belarusian law.

A Perilous Dependence on Contractors 
The New York Times  |  2 October 2014
>  THE director of the Secret Service has resigned after, among other problems, the revelation that, in a visit to Atlanta on Sept. 16, President Obama rode in an elevator with a private security contractor who was carrying a gun and had an arrest record. The episode raises a crucial question: How thoroughly does the government vet the private security contractors that an increasing number of agencies employ?

Deploying private security companies could make starting wars easier, warns Manchester Uni study 
Mancunian Matters  |  2 October 2014
>  Countries could soon use private security companies to make it easier to go to war and make them last longer, claims new research by the University of Manchester.

Employing private security companies in war cuts costs but causes problems 
Phys Org  |  1 October 2014
>  New research from The University of Manchester is examining whether employing private security companies in war cuts costs but causes problems. In recent years, private military and security companies have been used to bolster state troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though supposed to cut the costs of war, both financially and personally, new research has revealed a number of moral problems that arise from their use, and that regulating the industry may miss the point entirely.

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