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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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Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling 
The Washington Post  |  28 February 2015
> Michael Youlen stopped a driver in a Manassas apartment complex on a recent night and wrote the man a ticket for driving on a suspended license. With a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, Youlen gave the driver a stern warning to stay off the road.The stop was routine police work, except for one fact: Youlen is not a Manassas officer. The citation came courtesy of the private force he created that, until recently, he called the “Manassas Junction Police Department.”

Are private military contractors treated fairly when they come home? 
MPR News  |  27 February 2015
> (Audio) On MPR News with Tom Weber, we look at the treatment of private military contractors who served and continue to serve abroad. In December, we looked at the nation's all-volunteer military and the long-term effect of abolishing the draft. Near the end of that show, we got a call from a woman in Wisconsin who pointed out an aspect we hadn't yet discussed: that for all the talk about services and benefits out there for veterans, private contractors also worked, experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and died without the same benefits. What services are available to contractors when they return and how do these compare to care available to military veterans?

Australian mercenary killed while fighting for Islamic State in Syria 
First Post  |  26 February 2015
> A 28-year-old Australian man, who was one of dozens of foreigners to have travelled to Syria to join Kurds battling IS militants, has been killed in the strife-torn country, becoming the first Westerners to die fighting the dreaded terror group.

Firing squads, blast walls and dangerous diplomacy in Somalia 
Yahoo News  |  25 February 2015
> A navy flak jacket over his sky-blue shirt, Neil Wigan peered through the bulletproof glass window at six uneven wooden poles in front of a sand dune. "There are more of them now," the British ambassador to Somalia said, driving past the execution posts that convicts are tied to before being shot by firing squad. "It isn't a particularly reassuring sign of progress."

Tough men for hire: Ex-special forces in demand for war on terror 
Fox News  |  25 February 2015
> The 21 Afghan soldiers had been kidnapped in the remote Badakhshan Province by the Taliban, which, days later, returned their bullet-riddled bodies through tribal leaders. Within hours, Tony Schiena, a real-life Rambo who has been called “one of the most highly trained covert operatives in the world,” was on a plane from Los Angeles to Kabul at the request of U.S. officials to put on clinics in defense tactics and teach the local conscripts the techniques he has taught to NATO Special Forces from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Croatia.

Maritime Security in Africa: Potential for the Private Sector? 
ISN ETH Zurich  |  24 February 2015
> Maritime matters have long been neglected in most African countries. While almost all coastal states on the continent claim an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that stretches out to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from the coastline, little effort has been made to realise the ocean’s economic potential. In recent years, however, the picture has started to change.

Americans Joining Peshmerga Fight Against ISIS 
Newsmax  |  23 February 2015
> American fighters, including former soldiers, are joining forces behind the scenes with the Kurdish peshmerga in the battle against the Islamic State, saying they want to destroy ISIS and its caliphate before the militants' threat spreads further. Three such fighters, who asked that their identities be kept private over worries that their families back home could become targeted, told The Daily Beast in an interview at a peshmerga base near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk that fighting ISIS is tough, but they wanted to join in the battle.

I thwarted an assassination attempt on President - ex-mercenary 
RT  |  23 February 2015
> (Video) Mercenaries have always been there, where’s the bloodshed going on. The times when whole armies of mercenary troops, or even personal regiments were bought and sold seemed to be long gone. But now, they are called Private Military Companies, and their popularity among the governments rises, with the US leading the trend of shopping at the market of force. Are we witnessing the end of the age of national armies? And why mercenaries are in such high demand these days? We put these questions to Professor Sean McFate, who once was a private military contractor himself.

America’s Freelance ISIS Killers 
The Daily Beast  |  23 February 2015
> The so-called Islamic State has recruited copious cannon fodder from around the world, along with quite a few ferocious fighters. But its toughest opponents on the ground, the Kurds of Iraq and Syria, are attracting Western ex-soldiers for their ranks who are determined to see the self-proclaimed “caliphate” not only “degraded,” as Washington puts it, but destroyed.

DFAT spends quarter of a billion guarding foreign embassies 
The Sydney Morning Herald  |  23 February 2015
> Mercenaries don't come cheap. The Australian government has spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars on private military contractors to protect high risk diplomatic posts, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade plans to spend much more, according to official documents.

Abu Ghraib Goes to Court 
The American Conservative  |  19 February 2015
> The world was so scandalized by the images of American soldiers forcing naked Iraqi detainees to pile into pyramids, leashing them and cornering them with dogs—not to mention the dead bodies flanked by men and women in camouflage giving the “thumbs up” sign—that the words “Abu Ghraib” will be forever associated with a sense of depravity and shame. But nowhere to be seen in those photographs were the civilian contractors accused of setting the horror at the infamous Iraqi prison into motion, long before the scandal broke in 2004.

Soft-Law Guidelines for Maritime Security Compliance 
The Maritime Executive  |  15 February 2015
> Despite global regulation grounded in the international Law of the Sea (specifically, UNCLOS) and a myriad of coastal, port and flag state policies, major institutional gaps remain in the regulation of private maritime security. From a governance perspective, many argue that there is a dire need for new approaches and instruments to enhance regulation, increase harmonization of rules, set standards and ensure compliance. Experts cite that the best way to catalyze such change is by developing a soft-law framework.

South Africa’s secret role in Nigeria’s Boko Haram battle 
Weekly Trust  |  14 February 2015
> For two weeks now, stories about the regional alliance between Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin through a Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) aimed at taming Boko Haram have been prominent. The crisis, formerly seen as Nigeria’s domestic affair, has assumed regional importance as other countries have in recent times fallen victim to the terrorists, with attendant threat to their territorial integrity. Then there are fresh reports saying the South African operatives, said to be mercenaries, will lead the way and clear Boko Haram with gunships before the army moves in.

The importance of space in maritime security  
Center for International Maritime Security  |  12 February 2015
> As long as man has walked the Earth and gazed into the stars, he’s asked “what’s out there what’s waiting for me?” Today, our country asks that very same question, although not for what we can find, but how we can use Space and its resources to advance our scientific and military might into, and hopefully beyond the 21st century.

Do not use security guards in SE Asian waters: Skuld  
SeaShip News  |  12 February 2015
> Singapore: With piracy and armed robbery on the increase in Southeast Asia, P&I Club Skuld has warned shipowners to be wary of taking on the services of private maritime security companies (PMSCs). While PMSC arrangements may be common for the Gulf of Aden and surrounding areas, owners were warned in an advisory to be very cautious about such arrangements in this region.

PMCs look to AFRICAP  
Intelligence Online  |  11 February 2015
> (Subscription) US private military companies are lining up to compete for State Department contracts to train and equip African armies.

Private Military Contractors  
Center for International Maritime Security  |  10 February 2015
> Military contractors are assisting militaries and civilian government agencies throughout the world and across the mission spectrum, including planning, training, logistics, and security. Their use in support of a range of security-related activities is growing. Employing private military contractors (PMCs) for any security purpose, has both distinct advantages and disadvantages. PMCs are seen as having inherent advantages over militaries with regard to cost, flexibility, and responsiveness.

Foreign ownership changes in the security industry a can of worms  
Times Live  |  8 February 2015
> Trade experts warn that the draft legislation requiring foreign-owned security companies to have a local shareholding of at least 51% will also violate some of South Africa's most important trade agreements.Carol O'Brien, executive director of the US Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, said on Thursday that US businessmen and legislators were alarmed at the prospect of the local ownership clause in Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Act.

Europe looks to Israel for private security after surge in terror attacks  
The Jerusalem Post  |  8 February 2015
> The recent surge of terror-related incidents in Europe is pushing demand for security. Europe's schools, companies and religious institutions looking for trained, experienced high-end security personnel are turning to Israel to meet demands.

Yemen Private Companies Double Security Expenses  
National Yemen  |  8 February 2015
> Yemeni investors and economists say that violence and lawlessness in the country have increased spending for security protection. Sana’a and some Yemeni governorates fell into the hands of the Houthis in September 2014, while several parts of Yemen have seen a security breakdown, including robberies and attacks on businesses. Most recently there was the killing of the Chairman of the Commerce Chamber of Lahj, Abu Bakr Khamis, in South Yemen. Abdualmajeed al-Batali, an economic expert, stressed that that security tensions have led to increased security spending, particularly from the private sector.

Alfonso: Comfort Patrols can arrest  
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday  |  7 February 2015
> OFFICERS of the Ministry of National Security’s Community Comfort Patrols (CCP) programme have the right to arrest citizens, as well as the right to use “reasonable force” in the prevention of crime, Minister of National Security Brigadier Carl Alfonso said yesterday, as Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley queried whether the programme was a “private security force” with no lawful basis.

No Impunity for Corporate Torturers at Abu Ghraib, Attorneys Argue  
eNews Park Forest  |  6 February 2015
>  Today, four Iraqi victims tortured at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison urged a federal district court to reject attempts by private military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. (CACI) to have their lawsuit for the contractor’s role in their torture dismissed. Attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) argued the case on behalf of their clients.

Has Somali Piracy ended?  
defenseWeb  |  6 February 2015
>  The sharp drop in piracy in the Somali Basin is puzzling security experts, who have been surprised by recent developments. While they are not heralding “mission accomplished,” they are asking what factors have led to the recent sharp demise in piracy off the Somali coast. The High Risk Area off the Somali coast has seen over 700 attacks by pirates since 2009, but last year there were only 11 pirate incidents and no ship hijackings.

A Blackwater World Order  
The American Conservative  |  6 February 2015
>  After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s most profound legacy could be that it set the world order back to the Middle Ages. While this is a slight exaggeration, a recent examination by Sean McFate, a former Army paratrooper who later served in Africa working for Dyncorp International and is now an associate professor at the National Defense University, suggests that the Pentagon’s dependence on contractors to help wage its wars has unleashed a new era of warfare in which a multitude of freshly founded private military companies are meeting the demand of an exploding global market for conflict.

MRQ launches new streamlined portal  
Hellenic Shipping News  |  4 February 2015
>  To keep pace with client demand, MRQ has launched OCTOPUS, proving that quality services can be delivered at a competitive price point.OCTOPUS is an innovative new product that offers ship managers the opportunity to book vetted, top tier security services for their transits easily online. The portal provides a streamlined service where ship managers can select and contract certified PMSCs of their choice via a private and secure bidding process.

Abia Govt, Otti Row Over Alleged Private Security in Military Uniform  
Codewit World News  |  4 February 2015
>  Abia State government on Tuesday raised the alarm over the existence of security men dressed in military uniform allegedly working for the campaign organisation of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti.

Summerville man killed in Afghanistan ‘died doing what he loved’ 
The Post and Courier  |  3 February 2015
>  Vickie Elaine Fineran leaned into a police officer’s embrace Tuesday as she stood on the Charleston International Airport tarmac waiting for her husband’s casket to be unloaded from a Southwest jet.Fineran was one of three Americans fatally wounded Thursday in a shooting at Kabul airport. He hadn’t been back overseas for more than a couple days when the attack occurred, according to Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet.

How Floating Armories Help Guard Cargo Ships From Pirates on High Seas  
The Wall Street Journal  |  3 February 2015
>  Before dawn one morning in November, four men on the deck of the MNG Resolution lifted cases of guns and body armor out of shipping containers and heaved them into a waiting speedboat. The team zipped across the water to a tanker, where the crew pulled aside razor wire and hoisted the weapons aboard. The four men clambered up a rope ladder, and the speedboat raced back.

Inside Africa's Private Armies  
Rand Daily Mail  |  3 February 2015
>  It is not the sort of image you expect to find in a UN report: a man in a blue uniform lies hogtied on the ground, his hands and feet secured behind his back, his face covered in ash and bruises. The 2013 report, on the breaking of an arms embargo in Somalia, detailed the activities of private military companies in that lawless country. The photograph in question was taken at a training camp run by one such firm. The report tells of another trainee bound and beaten to death with rocks.

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