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Private companies doing more coastal surveillance as military aircraft ages
Ottawa Citizen | 29 April 2015
> A surveillance satellite as well as aircraft from private companies are being increasingly used to keep an eye on Canada’s coasts because the military’s aging Aurora patrol aircraft aren’t available as often, a Department of National Defence report has found.
Cops for Hire
Al Jazeera America | 27 April 2015
> It’s a typical day in downtown Salt Lake City for Chief Deputy Fred Ross. He’s patrolling one of the most dangerous parts of the city. It’s a neighborhood in transition as new construction and businesses clash with the homeless population. As a result, many local businesses hire off-duty police officers, complete with squad car, gun and uniform.
How will U.S. employ military contractors in future conflicts?
MPR News | 23 April 2015
> (Audio) The recent Blackwater trial ended in the sentencing of four U.S. military contractors in the death of dozens of Iraqi civilians. That decision has once again brought contractors and the future of the military back into focus. Many experts say the U.S. military simply does not have enough bodies for all the missions it wants to be carrying out, yet military recruiting is down and the use of contractors has risen.
Does the return of the mercenary mean a world with more war?
ABC | 22 April 2015
> Increasingly, America, Britain and even Australia are relying on ‘private security contractors’ to fight their wars. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, but it’s also largely unregulated. Are we heading towards a world where armies and navies are available to the highest bidder? Antony Funnell investigates.
Bring Back the Privateers
The National Interest | 22 April 2015
> Rebel authorities in East Ukraine claimed Tuesday that 70 mercenaries from Academi – formerly IF STRATEGY is the art of rethinking the possible, then the time for strategic innovation against what the U.S. military terms violent extremist organizations (VEOs) is now. The American-led air war in Iraq and Syria may have shown some progress against the Islamic State and other VEOs, but the VEOs and their sympathizers have hit back with attacks in France and brutal beheadings of journalists and aid workers.
Blackwater Mercenaries Spotted in East Ukraine
TeleSUR | 21 April 2015
> Rebel authorities in East Ukraine claimed Tuesday that 70 mercenaries from Academi – formerly known as Blackwater – were spotted in the village of Volnovakha. The private military company was brought into further disrepute earlier this month when four ex-Blackwater guards were sentenced for the massacre of unarmed civilians killed in Baghdad.
Canadian miners grapple with security risks in Mexico
Winnipeg Free Press | 19 April 2015
> Last year, Great Panther Silver had to contend with locals sneaking into its mine and making off with high-grade rocks. A tense standoff ensued, leaving one illegal miner dead. The company has responded by investing more heavily in security."We have beefed up our security quite a lot in the past year," says Bob Archer, chief executive of the Vancouver-based Great Panther.When the company took over the mine in 2005, he adds, the security budget was "practically non-existent." But it now spends roughly $1.5 million a year on armed guards, cameras, fencing and dogs trained to work underground.
No signs U.S. backing off private military contractors in wake of Blackwater
abc Action News | 17 April 2015
> U.S. use of private security contractors has grown sharply in the past 15 years and despite well-documented controversies, such as the most recent Blackwater trial, the Pentagon and State Department show no signs of backing off.
Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high
RAWA News | 17 April 2015
> In a war full of failures, the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.Yet one clear winner in the anti-drug effort is not the Afghan people, but the infamous mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater. Statistics released on Tuesday reveal that the rebranded private security firm, known since 2011 as Academi, reaped over a quarter billion dollars from the futile Defense Department push to eradicate Afghan narcotics, some 21% of the $1.5 bn in contracting money the Pentagon has devoted to the job since 2002.
Reining in Soldiers of Fortune
The New York Times | 17 April 2015
> Ten years ago, I found myself in Burundi, sipping a Coke with the country’s president, the American ambassador and the president’s eight-year-old daughter. The president’s life was in danger, and the American government sent me in to keep him alive. The Rwandan genocide had begun in 1994 after the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda were assassinated. In 2004, an extremist Hutu group planned on assassinating the new president of Burundi to reignite it. My job was to prevent this from happening.
Military contractors: Mercenary or necessary?
Al Jazeera | 16 April 2015
> From opportunistic guns for hire on the fringe of domestic conflicts to a global force operating within a multi-billion dollar industry. The world of the military mercenary has become big business. Private companies have taken on an increasing range of responsibilities as war is outsourced, from security and intelligence analysis, to training and combat roles.
US Court Closes a Chapter of America's War in Iraq
Voice of America | 15 April 2015
> It was a powerful message sent by a U.S. court: Contractors working for the U.S. government will be held accountable for any misconduct, even in the violent chaos of war. On Monday one former Blackwater security guard was sentenced to life in prison and three others to 30 years in jail for their roles in the 2007 shooting at Nisour Square in Baghdad that left 14 unarmed civilians dead and numerous others wounded.
Beyond Blackwater Massacre, Renewed Concern Over Rise of Mercenary Armies
Global Research | 15 April 2015
> Following the sentencing of four private security guards convicted in the notorious 2007 massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians, attention has shifted to the growing role such private mercenaries are having on battlefields throughout the world. On Monday, three former employees of Blackwater Worldwide were given thirty-year prison sentences while one guard, Nicholas Slatten, who fired the first shot, was sentenced to life in prison for a shooting spree which resulted in the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians in Nissour Square. The accused say they will appeal.
Blackwater 'soldiers of fortune' jailing over Iraq massacre sheds light on risks of private military contracts
International Business Times | 15 April 2015
> On 16 September 2007, a convoy of four trucks approached Nisour Square in downtown Baghdad. The traffic had been stopped in both directions, as was typical for military convoys, but when the soldiers noticed that a car was still moving towards them they opened fire. Ahmed Haithem Ahmed and his mother, Mohassin, were driving a white Kia sedan and were, their family later told prosecutors, running a family errand when they happened across the Blackwater convoy.
Blackwater sentencing – UN experts on mercenaries call for international regulation of private security
UN News Centre | 14 April 2015
> “Justice is served in this case but must be assured globally,” the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries has said today, reiterating its call for global regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs). “The outsourcing of security to these firms by States creates risks for human rights, hence the need to regulate their activities,” they said. The expert body’s call comes after a federal judge in Washington sentenced a former Blackwater Worldwide security guard to life in prison, and three others to 30 years terms for the killing of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007, in Baghdad’s crowded Nissour Square. A further 17 Iraqi civilians were injured as the private security contractors opened fire.
UN rights experts welcome Blackwater sentencing, urge greater accountability for private security
UN News Centre | 14 April 2015
> The outsourcing of national security to private firms creates risks for human rights and accountability, the United Nations working group on the use of mercenaries confirmed today as it welcomed the sentencing of four former Blackwater Worldwide personnel for the 2007 killing of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians. The four security personnel were convicted for the shooting deaths of 14 unarmed Iraqis in Baghdad’s crowded Nissour Square in 2007.
South Africa's ageing white mercenaries who helped turn tide on Boko Haram
The Guardian | 14 April 2015
> Leon Lotz was once a member of the Koevoet – “crowbar” in Afrikaans – a paramilitary police unit created by South Africa’s apartheid regime to root out guerrillas in what is now Namibia. Thirty years later, something persuaded him to take up arms again in a foreign country. He was killed in March, apparently by friendly fire from a tank in northern Nigeria. Among the most striking facts about Lotz was his age: 59.
What you need to know about modern mercenaries
War on the Rocks | 13 April 2015
> Watch Sean McFate discuss his new book, The Modern Mercenary, at the National Defense University. Sean offers an insider’s understanding of the opaque private military world, how its presence can change the future of war and world order as we know it.
Ex-Blackwater Guards Sentenced to Prison for 2007 Shooting in Iraq
TIME | 13 April 2015
> A federal judge sentenced former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten to life in prison and three others to 30-year terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others.
Former Blackwater security guards to be sentenced for killing Iraqi civilians
news.com | 13 April 2015
> FOUR former Blackwater security guards face decades in prison when they are sentenced for their roles in a 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians.
Crushing Boko Haram: How The Nigerian Government Used South African Mercenaries To Beat The Terrorists
Inquisitor | 12 April 2015
> One year after the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls, the terrorist organization Boko Haram finally met its match. Former president Goodluck Johnathan, in an desperate attempt to defeat Boko Haram prior to the elections earlier this year, combined forces with troops from Chad and Niger and private South African security firms.
Ex-Blackwater guards seek sentencing delay, cite new info
Stars and Stripes | 10 April 2015
> Lawyers for four former Blackwater guards asked a judge Friday to postpone their sentencing, citing in an emergency motion newly discovered evidence that they said is favorable to their defense.
Death Squads and Private Armies
94.1 KPFA | 10 April 2015
> (Audio) Former hired soldier Sean McFate lays bare the opaque world of private military contractors, explaining the economic structure of the industry and showing in detail how firms operate on the ground. Carlos Mauricio was a professor of Agricultural Sciences at the University of El Salvador until his extrajudicial kidnapping by Salvadoran death squads in June 1983
SGO Becomes 1st US Firm to Obtain PSC.1-2012 Mgmt. Systems Certification
International Stability Operations Association | 9 April 2015
> Sterling Global Operations is a stability operations company that offers global services to the public and private sector in munitions response; logistics; communications; life support services; risk management; and security.SGO has announced it is the first American company to receive the worldwide certification ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012, an international standard for quality management systems at private security companies.
Guatemala: How a Pseudo-Military Project Was Created to Protect the Escobal Mine
Upside Down World | 9 April 2015
> The affidavit was given by the vice president of the mining company to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in response to a lawsuit filed against Tahoe Resources on June 18, 2014 by community members of San Rafael Las Flores. The lawsuit stems from an attack carried out by private security acting on orders from the head of mine security, Alberto Rotondo Dall'Orso, in which the seven plaintiffs were injured.
Militants highlight need for security initiative
BusinessDay | 7 April 2015
> HAD President Goodluck Jonathan defeated retired Gen Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria’s presidential election, one consequence in SA might have been a public and foreign policy debate on the role and regulation of private military companies. During the final weeks of the hotly contested campaign, the Nigerian government hired foreign mercenaries, whom they referred to as advisers and independent media described as comprising hundreds of mostly ex-SA military.
Paramilitary groups join Ukrainian army
UPI | 6 April 2015
> The leader of a pro-Ukrainian extremist militia was appointed an adviser to the Ukrainian military's Chief of General Staff. Dimitro Yarosh, wanted by the international police organization Interpol for incitement of terrorism and extremist activities, was made part of the military hierarchy after negotiations to incorporate armed gangs, fighting pro-Russian rebels on behalf of Ukraine, were welcomed into the Ukrainian regular army.
Desperate To Defeat Boko Haram, Nigeria Deploys Chadian, Niger Troops And South African Private Security Firms
Inquisitr | 5 April 2015
> As the March 28 elections approached, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan devised a new strategy to defeat terrorist group Boko Haram. His strategy included allowing foreign troops from Niger and Chad to get involved in the fight. He also recruited South African private security firms to take over the training of his own troops. The South African security firms included men who had previously served in the South African Koevoet, a pre-1994 police force trained in counter insurgency tactics.
Ukraine to Set Up Private Military Companies to Deal With 'War Syndrome'
Sputnik | 5 April 2015
> Leader of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist Right Sector and Ukrainian parliamentarian Dmytro Yarosh is working on a bill aimed at creating private military companies within the country to help servicemen cope with 'war syndrome.' Leader of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist Right Sector and Ukrainian parliamentarian Dmytro Yarosh is going to submit a bill to the country’s parliament on the creation of private military companies. Yarosh suggested this could be a way out for servicemen who have developed a condition called 'war syndrome.'
Fill-in guards for U.S. Marshals don’t have same training requirements
WTOP | 1 April 2015
> The private guards, like those guarding a prisoner who escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital Tuesday, don’t require the same amount of training as the U.S. Marshals whose shoes they were filling. Wossen Assaye escaped after overpowering a guard and hijacking a car. After a nine-hour manhunt he was taken into custody in Southeast D.C.
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