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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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Putin’s Attack Helicopters and Mercenaries Are Winning the War for Assad 
Foreign Policy |  30 March 2016
> The George W. Bush parallel was lost on very few analysts when Vladimir Putin proudly announced that he was withdrawing a significant amount of Russia’s forces from Syria because their “mission is accomplished.” The announcement came just four days after the Atlantic published an overview of “The Obama Doctrine,” wherein U.S. President Barack Obama told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that Russia was “bleeding,” “overextended,” and that Putin had made a terrible mistake.

Vladimir Putin sent Russian mercenaries to 'fight in Syria and Ukraine' 
The Telegraph |  30 March 2016
> President Vladimir Putin has sent Russian mercenaries to fight in Syria and Ukraine, decorating them for their service and concealing their casualties, according to a new report. An investigation published by Fontanka, an independent Russian newspaper, found that the Kremlin had hired members of a private military company called Wagner to go to Syria and Ukraine. The use of contractors gives Mr Putin a deniable way of sending trained personnel to both countries.

Rocket kills two mercenaries fighting for Saudi Arabia in Ta’izz 
Press TV |  26 March 2016
> Two Israeli and French mercenaries with a US security firm have been killed in a rocket attack in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz, a report on the al-Masirah TV's news website says. Yemeni troops targeted a site where mercenaries employed by US military firm DynCorp International and fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia had gathered in the al-Waze’aya district, killing the two, it said.

Erik Prince in the Hot Seat 
The Intercept |  24 March 2016
> Eric Prince founder of the now-defunct mercenary firm Blackwater and current chairman of Frontier Services Group, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.

U.N. confirms 'foreign armed actors' in Donbas 
Ukraine Today |  24 March 2016
> Foreign armed actors in Donbas range from volunteers to paid-service men and women, and from independent militants to professional militaries, according to preliminary findings by the United Nations Working Group on mercenaries. "The Working Group was informed by the authorities of Ukraine of at least 176 identified foreigners serving in armed groups of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic' and the self-proclaimed 'Luhansk People's Republic.' These reportedly include large numbers from the Russian Federation, Serbia, Belarus, France, and Italy, among others," the report says.

An army of none: The U.S. military is more powerful, less accountable and more dangerous than ever before 
Salon |  23 March 2016
> In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal. As such, it’s a military increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops).

Ukraine: UN experts urge accountability for human rights violations by foreign fighters 
UN News Centre |  22 March 2016
> Today in Geneva, the United Nations Working Group on mercenaries called on the Government of Ukraine to ensure accountability for human rights violations committed by foreign armed actors during the conflict that has plagued the country since 2014. “What is particularly concerning is that with the diverse array of foreign armed actors who joined the conflict, reports on human rights violations by these individuals have not been properly investigated or brought to justice,” said Patricia Arias, who formed the Group with co-human rights expert Saeed Mokbil.

A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as the United States' 51st and Most Powerful State 
The Ferret |  22 March 2016
> In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal. As such, it's a military increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops).

Leash the dogs of war 
The Economist |  21 March 2016
> During the 1980s Leon Lotz fought for the “Koevoet” (“crowbar” in Afrikaans), a South African apartheid-era paramilitary unit charged with rooting out nationalist guerrillas in what is now Namibia—acting as “the crowbar which prises terrorists out of the bushveld like nails from rotten wood,” in the words of South Africa’s then minister of law and order, Louis le Grange.

Fears guns at sea could end up with terrorists 
The Ferret |  21 March 2016
> The UK Government has failed to keep track of thousands of assault rifles, machine guns and pistols stored on floating armouries, prompting concern they could end up in the hands of terrorists. Licences have been granted for the export of tens of thousands of guns but The Ferret can reveal there is no central register with details of the weapons, or their serial numbers. This prompted criticism of the UK Government over a lack of regulation of the private maritime security industry and weapons stored at sea.

Drones, drugs and death 
Open Democracy |  17 March 2016
> The war on terror’s methods of mass surveillance and remote warfare are not unique. The US is also addicted to covert tools in its ‘war on drugs’, with disastrous consequences. ‘Remote control’ warfare describes the global trend towards countering threats at a distance without the need to deploy large military force. Pervasive, yet largely unseen, it minimises its engagement and risk while extending its reach beyond conflict zones. Remote warfare includes not only mass surveillance techniques, but also the use of drones, ‘special forces’ and private military and security companies (PMSCs).

Saudi regime signs $539 million-agreement with Blackwater for killing Yemenis 
ABNA |  15 March 2016
> An agreement has been recently concluded between Saudi Arabia and the notorious Academi security company (formerly known as Blackwater), claimed Dhahi Khalfan, deputy chief of Dubai Police in a tweet. According to the contentious security chief, the UAE-brokered agreement has been signed between Mohammad Bin Salman–the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia and Erik Prince, a resident of UAE, and Craig Nixon the company’s incumbent CEO.

Private military companies go way back in history  
The Southern Times |  15 March 2016
> The post-cold war period witnessed a proliferation of private security armies. These should be differentiated from private armies that are usually under the leadership of some warlords or criminal gangs. A host of such warlord led military outfits were found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Mozambique, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, DRC, Somalia and Rwanda.

Private military companies: Threat to continental security 
The Southern Times |  14 March 2016
> Analysts have warned that the proliferation of private military companies (PMC) on the African continent pose a serious security threat to the survival of some states teetering on the brink of civil strife. The analysts have called for a concerted effort in curtailing and containing PMCs’ operations on the continent and the SADC region as a way of ensuring lasting continental peace and stability.

UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries on fact-finding visit to Ukraine 
UN Human Rights |  10 March 2016
> A delegation of the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries, composed of human rights experts Patricia Arias and Saeed Mokbil, will visit Ukraine from 14 to 18 March 2016 to gather information on the activities of alleged mercenaries, foreign fighters, as well as private military and security companies. “The situation in Ukraine is complex and dynamic, and we will be trying to learn about the flows of alleged mercenaries, private military and security contractors, and foreign fighters, and their impacts on human rights,” Ms. Arias said.

Yemeni forces capture 150 Saudi mercenaries in Bayda: al-Masirah 
Press TV |  9 March 2016
> Yemeni forces have reportedly captured at least 150 Saudi mercenaries in the war-hit country’s central province of al-Bayda. According to a report by Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah news website, the Yemeni army, backed by Popular Committees loyal to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, caught Saudi mercenaries in Rada' town on Tuesday as they were heading toward a Saudi military base in west-central Ma'rib Province.

Philippines' Aquino Plays Down ISIS Presence, Blames Mercenaries 
International Business Times |  9 March 2016
> Philippine President Benigno Aquino has sought to assure the public that there are no Islamic State group militants in the country's volatile south, dismissing those behind a recent spate of attacks as local "mercenaries" trying to attract attention from the Middle East-based terror group, a report said Thursday.

DynCorp mercenaries to replace Blackwater in Yemen 
TASS |  7 March 2016
> The first batch of mercenaries from the private US military firm DynCorp has arrived in the Yemeni city of Aden to replace paid militants from another American company. Under a USD-3-billion contract between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and DynCorp, mercenaries from the company are to be deployed to Yemen, where UAE forces are fighting against the Yemeni army and Popular Committees on Saudi orders, Khabar News Agency quoted an official with Yemeni Defense Ministry as saying.

Russia receives evidence mercenaries are trained in Mideast countries for war in Syria 
TASS |  2 March 2016
> The Russian center for reconciliation between warring factions in Syria is getting evidence mercenaries for further hostilities in that country are trained in the territory of a number of Middle East states, the center said in a news release published on the Defense Ministry’s website. "The center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria is receiving information that mercenaries are being trained in the territory of a number of states in the Middle East for war in Syria and that weapons for militants are delivered," the news release says.

S.African private army protects world’s largest rhino farm 
Capital News |  2 March 2016
> The world’s largest rhino farm looks like a vast fortress and is guarded by a private army. At night a helicopter fitted with an infrared camera circles over the 8,000 hectare (nearly 20,000 acre) electric-fenced ranch in South Africa, and by day armed men in military fatigues are on patrol. Their sole mission: to protect 1,200 rhinos from poachers, who killed 1,175 of the horned beasts across the country last year.

A group of mercenaries 
Arab News |  2 March 2016
> To understand why Hezbollah has expanded beyond Lebanon into Syria and Yemen, we have to look at it as a limited-liability company that provides services to its owner, the Iranian regime. The party reportedly receives $900 million annually from Tehran. In return, Hezbollah undertakes multiple tasks.

Hillary Clinton’s Dark Drug War Legacy in Mexico 
Foreign Policy In Focus |  1 March 2016
> Mexico, John M. Ackerman wrote recently for Foreign Policy, “is not a functional democracy.” Instead, it’s a “repressive and corrupt” oligarchy propped up by a “blank check” from Washington. Since 2008, that blank check has come to over $2.5 billion appropriated in security aid through the Mérida Initiative, a drug war security assistance program funded by Washington. Much of this aid goes to U.S.-based security, information, and technology contracting firms, who make millions peddling everything from helicopter training to communications equipment to night-vision goggles, surveillance aircrafts, and satellites.

Pentagon mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda…What’s in a name? 
The Standard |  1 March 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.

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