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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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Global piracy focus shifts to Gulf of Guinea, spike in crew abductions 
S&P Global Platts |  29 August 2016
> The focal point of global piracy is shifting to the Gulf of Guinea with a spurt of attacks in West African countries such as Nigeria even as the menace has ebbed in Asia and around the Gulf of Aden, shipping industry executives and insurance brokers said. Restrictions on the use of private armed guards on board ships passing through the Gulf of Guinea strategically limits the ability to tackle the menace but new initiatives are being taken which can help turn around the situation, they said.

Price of war: Putin spent USD 150 mln on mercenaries in Syria 
Ukraine Today |  25 August 2016
> Kremlin spent from 5.1 billion to 10.3 billion rubles to send Russian mercenaries from "Wagner group" private military company to fight in Syria. This number is the result of investigation, conducted by Russian information agency RBC.

‘Mere Mayhem’ Predicted as Contractor Rule Finalized 
Bloomberg BNA |  24 August 2016
> Guidance announced Aug. 23 on the president’s controversial executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose certain labor law violations contains a new requirement: Subcontractors must send the information directly to the Labor Department. The subcontractor reporting change to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order “is a huge development,” James Murphy, who represents defense contractors at management firm Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC in Washington, told Bloomberg BNA. “However, it probably moves the needle from utter chaos to mere mayhem,” said Murphy, who was previously the labor and employment counsel for defense contractors Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp.

First overseas ban for Swiss-based private security firm 
SWI |  23 August 2016
> A Swiss-based private security contractor has been banned from operating abroad. This is the first time the Swiss authorities have used a law passed in 2013 that strictly controls the activities of mercenary firms abroad. According to Swiss public radio, SRF, the firm affected by the ban intended to train foreign soldiers and provide logistical support to military forces.

Huji men used as mercenaries 
Daily Star |  22 August 2016
> It was the biggest ever attack HuJi carried out in Bangladesh since it was officially launched in 1992. The militant outfit carried out at least 13 bomb and grenade attacks including that of August 21 killing more than 100 people. The August 21 attack was an outcome of collaboration between Huji and influential leaders of the BNP and Jamaat and some officials of the then home ministry, police, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, National Security Intelligence and the Prime Minister's office, according to the case charge sheet.

In Afghanistan, Defense Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops 3 to 1 
Alternet |  19 August 2016
> President Barack Obama announced last month that he plans to further delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, leaving at least 8,400 forces in the country after January instead of honoring his most recent pledge to cut numbers to 5,500. Now, a new report compiled by the Congressional Research Service, which produces reports for members of Congress, reveals that the number of U.S. service members in Afghanistan is dwarfed by the nearly 29,000 Department of Defense private contractors in the country, outnumbering American troops three to one.

Fidelity makes off with ADT 
Times Live |  19 August 2016
> ADT's parent company, New-York-listed Tyco, said yesterday that it had signed a definitive agreement to sell its security business in South Africa for $140-million. The deal is expected to be completed next year. Fidelity Security Group said ADT would significantly strengthen its armed response and security technology offerings. ADT is the first big foreign-owned private security company to be sold to a South African business since the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Act, which has not yet been signed into law, was proposed.

Obama to Israel: Our Tax Dollars Won’t Go to Your Defense Contractors 
Foreign Policy |  18 August 2016
> The United States and Israel are close to clinching a massive 10-year arms deal, but Washington is pushing to scrap a coveted provision that has allowed Israel to pump hundreds of millions of dollars directly into its defense industry.

Justice Department Will Stop the Use of Private Prisons 
Time |  18 August 2016
> The U.S. Justice Department will stop using private prisons after concluding that they do not have the same level of safety or quality as penitentiaries run by the Bureau of Prisons. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates sent a memo on Thursday that said officials must not renew — or at least must significantly scale back — their contracts with private prisons. The move would cut back the country’s reliance on privately run prisons until they are out of service, the Washington Post reports.

Private Sector to Fill Gaps in Military Aviation Training 
National Defense |  17 August 2016
> A confluence of factors is pushing U.S. combat aviation training units to the brink. With deployment commitments on the rise, neither the Air Force nor the Navy has nearly enough fighter aircraft or pilots to sustain training squadrons. It is a problem that has been a long time in the making — accelerated over the past decade by a combination of budget cuts, low pilot morale and a migration of fighter pilots to drone units. The stressed state of aviation training has alarmed commanders and has compelled both the Air Force and the Navy to consider using contractor-provided aircraft and crews to supplement their own “aggressor squadrons” in live exercises. Also known as adversary or “red” squadrons, they serve as the opposing force in military war games and are expected to provide a realistic foe in combat training.

Watchdog: Company sold 'defective' combat helmets to Pentagon 
The Hill |  17 August 2016
> A government investigation found "endemic manufacturing problems" at a company that led to the sale of millions of dollars' worth of defective combat helmets. The Justice Department's inspector general on Wednesday released a scathing report on practices at Federal Prison Industries, a government-operated group that employed inmates to manufacture nearly 150,000 military helmets.

Russian mercenaries use banned artillery to destroy farm complex in Donbas 
Ukraine Today |  17 August 2016
> Yesterday night, Russian-controlled militants have fired 60 highly explosive shells, 122 mm caliber, to the vicinity of government-controlled village Chermalyk, stated by Lt. Col. Vadym Bakay on August 19th. (Press officer of Ukrainian side of Joint Center for Ceasefire Control and Coordination). 19 shells fell on the territory of agricultural company SE "Illich Ahro Donbas", which suffered losses amounting to millions of hryvnias.

Counting the costs of conflict in South Africa’s mining sector 
BizNiz Africa |  15 August 2016
> Thousands of security officers report for duty every day at about 290 mines in South Africa, while private security companies with military and para-military arms are deployed at mines in many African countries to manage conflict between mining companies, workers, communities, governments and activists. The size of protection services in mining is not known, but industry specialists estimate the monthly spend on security to be ZAR180 million in South Africa, with the possible deployment of up to 23 000 security officers at about 290 mines,” says Dolf Scheepers, Thorburn Security Solutions Managing Director.

America's Addiction to Mercenaries 
The Atlantic |  12 August 2016
> Sean McFate: A decade ago, I found myself in a precarious position. I was in Burundi, sipping a Coke with Domitien Ndayizeye, the country’s then-president, U.S. Ambassador Jim Yellin, and several others. We had an emerging catastrophe on our hands.

Spies like us: Pentagon taps private intel contractors to fight ISIS in Syria 
RT |  10 August 2016
> A no-bid $10 million contract announced in late July is possibly the first instance in which the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged using private military contractors alongside American special operations forces fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Russian mercenaries reportedly hired to fight Isis in Syria despite Kremlin's denials 
International Business Times |  9 August 2016
> Russian mercenaries are allegedly being recruited to fight against Islamic State (Isis) fighters in Syria by an obscure military company, despite Kremlin denials, according to reports. Moscow states its operation in the Middle East is aerial only, bar a small number of military advisers, who help strategically. Officially, 19 Russian men have died in Syria, but a number of former mercenaries have claimed this number could be in the hundreds.

Yemeni forces kill 52 Saudi mercenaries east of Sana’a 
Press TV |  7 August 2016
> Yemeni forces have reportedly clashed with Saudi-backed militants loyal to the former government in the northern province of Sana’a, killing over 50 of the mercenaries. A military source, requesting not to be named, said the militants loyal to the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, launched an offensive on Saturday to wrest control of Nihm district, east of the capital, Sana’a, Saba news agency reported.

American accuses Congo officials of unlawful arrest, torture 
Defense One |  5 August 2016
> An American security contractor is accusing two top-ranking Congolese officials of ordering his detention and torture, declaring in a lawsuit that they demanded he confess falsely to being part of a plot to overthrow the country’s government. Darryl Lewis, an Air Force veteran, said in an Associated Press interview this week that he was illegally held in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, for nearly six weeks and interrogated for as many as 16 hours a day by members of Congo’s national intelligence agency.

Ship projects highlight July defense contract awards 
Daily Press |  3 August 2016
> The Navy in July awarded roughly $300 million to Hampton Roads defense contractors for work on warships, running the gamut from advance planning to an inactivation. General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk landed two awards as part of previously awarded contracts: an additional $23.4 million for maintenance and modifications to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, and $42.1 million for repairs and alterations to the USS Oak Hill, a dock landing ship.

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