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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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The Bidding War 
The New Yorker |  29 February 2016
> America’s war in Afghanistan, which is now in its fifteenth year, presents a mystery: how could so much money, power, and good will have achieved so little? Congress has appropriated almost eight hundred billion dollars for military operations in Afghanistan; a hundred and thirteen billion has gone to reconstruction, more than was spent on the Marshall Plan, in postwar Europe.

Al Houthis enlist mercenaries as their forces wither in Sana’a 
Gulf News |  28 February 2016
> A military source has told the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat that Al Houthi militias and supporters of the ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh have started enlisting the help of mercenaries from different countries in the confrontation against the national army. The mercenaries, mainly from African countries, were promised large sums of money in return for fighting ahead of an anticipated offensive by Yemeni forces within the next few days on the Al Houthi-occupied capital.

‘Mercenaries Unleashed’: Report Highlights Threats Posed By Booming Private Security Industry 
MintPress News |  26 February 2016
> In a new report, a British anti-poverty charity puts Britain at the center of a growing global mercenary industry worth around $560 million to companies in the United Kingdom alone. In its report, “Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies,” War On Want names a number of major military and security companies (PMSCs) making vast profits in conflict zones around the world, including Control Risks, G4S and Olive Group.

Saudi Arabia urges Lebanon to stop Hezbollah from exporting mercenaries to Yemen 
Ya Libnan |  25 February 2016
> A Saudi military spokesman urged Lebanon on Wednesday to stop the Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah from exporting its “mercenaries” to Yemen and Syria, Al Arabiya News Channel reported. Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri said participation of some Iranian and Hezbollah “mercenaries,” who were killed in Yemen, violated the U.N. resolution 2216, which demanded an end to violence in the southern Arabian Peninsula country.

Security firms are big business in Mexico 
Mexico News Daily |  23 February 2016
> Private security firms have seen business skyrocket during the last decade, overrunning regulations and legal means of control, leaving an estimated 600,000 private security guards with little accountability for their actions. Data from the Interior Secretariat shows just how much the sector has grown in the last 10 years: in 2005, there were 173 registered private security firms, which collectively had 419 personnel. A decade later, the landscape was completely different: nearly 1,103 firms with 73,000 staff had registered before the Interior Secretariat.

Back to Iraq: US Military Contractors Return In Droves 
Defense One |  23 February 2016
> The number of private contractors working for the U.S. Defense Department in Iraq grew eight-fold over the past year, a rate that far outpaces the growing number of American troops training and advising Iraqi soldiers battling Islamic State militants. The sharp increase, disclosed in a recent Pentagon report to Congress, underscores the military’s reliance on civilians even for missions with relatively small troop presence.

Private security companies in Erbil to face new rules 
Rudaw |  23 February 2016
> The Kurdish government has introduced new rules and regulations for private security companies operating in the region, said an official from the Interior Ministry, with restrictions on new licenses and larger cash deposits. A company must deposit $50,000 with the Kurdish government and the age of its employees must be between 20-50 years. According to Captain Rebwar Jameel of the Interior Ministry, foreign security companies will not be allowed to engage in any other form of business and will be restricted to security only.

Pentagon mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name? 
RT |  21 February 2016
> CIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making. Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there.

Iran regime deploys 60,000 IRGC forces and foreign mercenaries in Syria 
NCRI |  17 February 2016
> The Iranian regime’s massive campaign of dispatching forces to Syria from the beginning of 2016 has now gained new dimensions and the number of Revolutionary Guards and their non-Iranian mercenaries have doubled, reaching 60,000 in total. This troop deployment crusade follows the failure of the Iranian regime’s so-called “Moharram” plan executed in the final 3 months of 2015.

US Mercenaries in Yemen: Blackwater Group Abandons Taiz War Front in West Yemen 
Global Research |  16 February 2016
> The U.S. based Blackwater Group has reportedly abandoned the Ta’iz front in western Yemen after suffering heavy casualties over the last two months while fighting alongside the Saudi-led Coalition forces and the Hadi loyalists. Local activists have reported this news after they intercepted a communication between Blackwater officers and members of the Saudi-led Coalition in the coastal province of Ta’iz.

What Does Nigeria's Use of Private Military Companies Against Boko Haram Mean for the World? 
Vice |  16 February 2016
> Over 2015 and early 2016, there have been reports, ranging from staid to hyperbolic, about the Nigerian government's decision to hire private military companies (PMCs—or mercenaries to many) to bolster its armed forces' efforts to deal with Boko Haram. In spite of the ubiquitous if underexposed presence of PMCs in the world's conflict zones, where they regularly provide security and logistics for the US and British military, this recent action raised some uncomfortable questions about the future of conflict in the region and on a global scale.

Many Shabaab mercenaries - president 
News 24 |  14 February 2016
> Somalia's president says military forces have made inroads in their fight against al-Shabaab militants but the key to defeating them lies in providing better opportunities for the country's youth. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Sunday told a gathering of top defence officials and diplomats that 70% of his country's population is under 35 and have grown up in the chaos of a lawless state after the government collapsed in 1991.

Moldova Indicts, Sentences Individuals Who Fought As Mercenaries In Ukraine 
Radio Free Europe |  12 February 2016
> Moldovan prosecutors say Russian-backed separatists in southeastern Ukraine have been hiring Moldovan mercenaries to fight on their side, sometimes promising as much as $3,000 monthly. Dozens of Moldovans are known to have fought along the separatists for money, officials under the Prosecutor-General's Office said at a news conference on February 11.

‘Blackwater Mercenaries’ Are Fighting For Saudi Arabia In Yemen 
MintPress News |  10 February 2016
> A spokesman for the Yemeni army told Russian media that hundreds of mercenaries are fighting in his country on behalf of Saudi Arabia and its allies. “They hire poor people from around the world to take part in the hostilities. Among them are Somalis and people from Sudanese tribes,” Brig. Gen. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman told the state-operated Russian news agency RIA Novosti, according to a Jan. 19 report from Sputnik, the agency’s international arm.

Africa: Beyond Piracy - What Next for African Maritime Security? 
AllAfrica |  8 February 2016
> Last year saw an almost total absence of reports of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the western Indian Ocean and off the coast of Somalia. This is the laudable outcome of concerted international and regional counter-piracy efforts. Since 2012, there has been an annual decline in the total number of reported attempted and actual attacks in the region. The decline has led to calls for reforms to four key international counter-piracy institutions in the new 'post-piracy' environment. These reforms are important, but will not provide lasting solutions if African maritime, economic and developmental interests are neglected.

The return of the dogs of war: what's it like to be a soldier for hire? 
The Guardian |  6 February 2016
> When you are a soldier in the military, and you’re firing at an enemy alongside several other soldiers, you don’t know if it was your gun, your bullet, that killed someone. “I’d rather not know,” says Stephen Friday, who spent 12 years in the British army before becoming a private military contractor (PMC) in 2008, working in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Foreigners mustn’t own security firms - Ex-soldier 
StarrFMOnline |  5 February 2016
> An ex-serviceman Major (rtd) Nii Carl Coleman has called for a review of Ghana’s security codes in order to prevent the ownership of private security firms by foreigners. According to him, the practice has the capacity of putting the security of the nation in danger. Speaking at Starr 103.5FM’s ‘Thought Leadership Summit' on security titled: “Securing Ghana 2016: Fending off threats and safeguarding the peace,” at the Alisa Hotel Thursday, the retired soldier said the security of a nation is crucial to its existence and therefore inappropriate to be left in the hands of foreigners who may have no direct allegiance to the state.

China's private security firms flex their muscles 
CCTV |  4 February 2016
> China’s rich are not only increasingly protecting their financial assets, but also their bodies. The growing number of high net-worth individuals in the country has opened the market for more private security firms and bodyguards. You don't mess around with these guys. They are taking courses to become bodyguards. This training center - located in a Beijing suburb and established in 2011 - is the brainchild of Xin Yang, a former Chinese military martial arts instructor.

Govt to provide training to private security guards  
Press Trust of India |  3 February 2016
> The 50-lakh strong private security guards, who keep a vigil on various establishments such as corporate offices, housing societies and malls, are likely to be given training by the government. Home Minister Rajnath rpt Rajnath Singh, who reviewed the performance of the police modernisation division of the Home Ministry, took stock of the Private Security Agency Regulation Act, 2005 and the proposal to amend it for tailoring it to the prevailing atmosphere. The Home Minister advised the officials to take appropriate steps for training facilities for private security guards and finalisation of Standard Operating Procedures for cash handling, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

Britain is at centre of global mercenary industry, says charity 
The Guardian |  3 February 2016
> Britain is the “mercenary kingpin” of global private military industry, which has been booming ever since the “war on terror” began 15 years ago, according to a report seen exclusively by the Guardian. The UK multinational G4S is now the world’s largest private security company, and no fewer than 14 companies are based in Hereford, close to the headquarters of the SAS, from whose ranks at least 46 companies hire recruits, says the report by British-based charity War on Want.

Blackwater contractors linked to deadly Baghdad shooting appeal convictions 
Lawyer Herald |  2 February 2016
> Four security contractors of the private military firm, formerly known as Blackwater, filed an appeal on Monday regarding their convictions. According to reports, the men's defense attorneys made the appeal immediately after a key witness in the case against them made a significant change in his testimony. As reported by the Associated Press via Yahoo! News, the case against former Blackwater contractors Nicholas Slatten, Evan Liberty, Dustin Herd and Paul Slough initially ended in 2014, following a series of investigations and trials that spanned for almost nine years. Slatten was found guilty of manslaughter and is currently serving a life-sentence, while the other three have each been given 30-year sentences for manslaughter.

ISIS promises poor African mercenaries $1,400 a day, creating ‘army of the poor’ 
Toronto Sun |  2 February 2016
> By promising poor African recruits up to $1,400 a day, ISIS is building an "army of the poor" in Libya, intelligence chiefs tell the U.K. Telegraph. The terror army appears to be taking a page out of the book of late Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. The dictator recruited thousands of Africans to serve in his army to suppress the revolution that ultimately threw him from power more than four years ago.

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