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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 Security Outnumbers The Police In Most Countries Worldwide [Infographic]  
Forbes Business|  31 August 2017
> The private security industry really started flourishing during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when companies like Blackwater (now called Academi) committed droves of employees to fulfill lucrative contracts. That's only part of the story with increasing levels of global inequality driving the sector's meteoric rise.

[OPINION] Erik Prince: Contractors, Not Troops, Will Save Afghanistan  
The New York Times|  30 August 2017
> This spring, as Afghanistan policy was debated in Washington, the president asked for fresh options to end the war honorably. Faced with two choices — pulling out entirely or staying the course — I (Erik Prince) argued strongly for a new approach, a third path that would put in place a light footprint of American Special Forces, as well as contractors to work with Afghans to focus on the goal that Americans really care about: denying America’s enemies the sanctuary they used to plan the Sept. 11 attacks.

Blackwater founder calls for military contractors in Afghanistan  
The Hill|  30 August 2017
> The founder of the private military company Blackwater is urging President Trump to reconsider his new Afghanistan strategy and instead use contractors in place of U.S. soldiers.

[OPINION] The Dangers of Contractor Armies  
The New York Times|  30 August 2017
> Erik Prince’s self-serving article about replacing American military personnel with contractors is wrongheaded on a number of fronts.

The Dogs of War Are in High Demand  
Bloomberg|  28 August 2017
> Canines with finely trained noses now fetch $25,000 and up on the open market, where border patrol units, the State Department, and private security firms go for canine talent. Even the war on bedbugs scoops up some of the best noses in the business. And that’s just U.S. demand.

How much money car guards and private security officers earn in South Africa  
Business Tech|  28 August 2017
> The (South African) Department of Labour has announced new minimum wages for the private security sector – which will rise 6.4% with effect from next month, 1 September 2017.

Gunmen kill 2 security guards in Pakistan's Karachi  
Xinhua Net|  28 August 2017
> Unidentified gunmen on Monday shot dead two security guards during duty hours outside a government's building in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi, police said.

Was attempt made to make Dera chief flee after conviction?  
The Economic Times|  27 August 2017
> Haryana Police sources say a definite attempt was made by the sect chief's security personnel, who themselves were from Haryana Police and also included private commandos, to help him flee in his private vehicle.

Eight security personnel martyred as militants carry out suicide attack on police complex in Pulwama  
The Financial Times|  26 August 2017
> Eight security personnel, including four CRPF men, were killed when militants carried out a suicide attack on a district police complex in south Kashmir's Pulwama today, triggering a massive gunfight in which the three terrorists were killed.

Trump’s Afghanistan strategy won’t end human rights violations among immigrant contractors  
Quartz|  25 August 2017
> Though Trump didn’t mention it, this “new” strategy means a continued reliance on private security contractors, particularly “third-country” contractors used as cheap labor by private security companies, such as DynCorp, in Afghanistan. With over 25,000 contractors hired with Department of Defense funds, there are almost three private contractors for every one US soldier in Afghanistan.

Acapulco, once Mexico's glamorous resort city, is now its murder capital  
The Chicago Tribune|  24 August 2017
> Mexico is halfway through what may become the bloodiest year in its recent history, with more than 12,000 murders in the first six months of 2017. June was the deadliest month in the past two decades of consistent Mexican government statistics." They kill barbers, tailors, mechanics, tinsmiths, taxi drivers," said Joaquin Badillo, who runs a private security company in the city. "This has turned into a monster with 100 heads."

Israel's Volunteer Soldiers  
Al Jazeera|  23 August 2017
> As thousands of foreign 'lone soldiers' are serving in the Israeli military, Al Jazeera went to find out how and why Israel encourages volunteers from the Jewish diaspora and beyond to work in its army, both as paid soldiers on the front line and volunteers in non-combat roles.

With Steve Bannon out of the White House the military is now firmly in charge of Afghan policy  
The Independent|  23 August 2017
> The sending of more troops to Afghanistan by Donald Trump was not, in the end, unexpected. It was, however, a decision of significance showing that the military commanders have won a highly important battle in the White House. A concerted attempt to privatise America’s wars has been seen off and the vestiges of Steve Bannon’s shaping of foreign policy have been swept away.

Promoter of privatizing Afghan war loses out to generals  
USA Today|  23 August 2017
> The key architect of a radical plan to turn over much of the Afghan war to private contractors said Tuesday that President Trump’s top military advisers steered the president toward a conventional military approach that hasn’t worked.

Trump’s Afghanistan Surge Could Mean Big Money For Defense Contractor Tied To James Mattis  
Huff Post|  22 August 2017
> The multinational defense contracting behemoth from which Defense Secretary James Mattis received generous payouts as recently as last year stands to gain handsomely from the Afghanistan “surge” announced Monday night by President Trump.

Blackwater founder says Trump's Afghanistan plan is 'Obama-lite'  
The Hill|  22 August 2017
> The founder of the private military company Blackwater Worldwide is ripping President Trump’s new Afghanistan war plan as an “Obama-lite policy.” Erik Prince — who has encouraged administration officials to use contractors instead of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan — called Trump’s plan “a continuation of the same limited or failed strategy of the last 16 years.”

Violent clashes in Cato Manor over shack evictions  
Times Live|  22 August 2017
> Sustained tensions surrounding shack evictions and protest action in Cato Manor boiled over on Tuesday when private security‚ riot police and shack dwellers clashed. A group of about 200 protesters have overpowered private security on Wiggins Road‚ which flanks a patch of land occupied by shack dwellers.

How President Trump Reversed Himself on Afghanistan  
Time|  22 August 2017
> In his first primetime address to the nation, President Donald Trump reversed his campaign pledge to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan while laying out his most thorough explanation of his approach to the war.

Elon Musk and over 100 AI experts warn U.N. about killer robots  
Vice News|  21 August 2017
> In the past decade and a half, experts have noted that “lethal autonomous weapons systems” have quickly moved from science fiction to reality. The South Korean government uses robotic sentry guns along their side of the Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Koreas, and military contractors like BAE Systems have been working on autonomous drones and similar technologies for years.

Angry Trump Grilled His Generals About Troop Increase, Then Gave In  
The New York Times|  21 August 2017
> As the administration tried to flesh out the policy, he [Bannon] recruited two outside businessmen — Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management — who proposed plans to substitute private military contractors for American troops. Both men owned companies that supply contractors and would have profited from such a policy.

Five things to watch for in Trump's big speech  
The Hill|  21 August 2017
> A decision likely became easier after the ouster of chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who was said to favor replacing U.S. troops with contractors in a plan opposed by Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Privatization of Security Can Derail US-Led Stabilization of Afghanistan  
The Diplomat|  21 August 2017
> The Trump administration has recently been encouraged to consider a plan using private military companies (PMC) to maintain security in Afghanistan. According to Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the plan’s primary external supporter, such a force would include 5,500 personnel and a 90-plane ready-to-use air force.

Taming Donald Trump likely to be Kelly’s toughest task  
The Financial Times|  20 August 2017
> Mr Trump will make an address to the nation on Monday night laying out his new Afghan strategy, after months of wrangling. The debate had pitted a Bannon-backed plan to turn America’s war effort over to private military contractors against a Pentagon plan for a small boost in troop numbers. The strategy is also likely to take a tougher stance towards Pakistan.

Trump to announce new strategy — and probably more troops — for Afghanistan  
Los Angeles Times|  20 August 2017
> President Trump has settled on a new military strategy in Afghanistan after months of bitter internal debates by his national security team and will announce a plan Monday expected to provide U.S. commanders with additional troops and broader authority to pursue militant forces.

Trump mulls new US strategy in Afghanistan  
The Straits Times|  19 August 2017
> Frustrated by the fragile security situation in a war that has cost more than US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) in fighting and reconstruction, and more than 2,400 US combat deaths, Trump is considering a range of approaches. One of these is a plan provided by Erik Prince, who founded the private security company Blackwater. It would replace most US forces with a private army of around 5,500 contractors who would train Afghan soldiers and join them in the fight against the Taleban.

An Easy Way to Explore How Changes in U.S. Federal Spending Affect a Contractor  
Bloomberg|  19 August 2017
> Consider President Trump’s proposed defense budget. For the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, it would provide $574 billion to the Pentagon (not including an additional $65 billion for overseas contingency operations). That’s a 10 percent increase from the last full-year budget, and some of that could flow to defense contractors. Which ones, though?

Afghanistan celebrates independence as Taliban power grows  
Foreign Brief|  19 August 2017
> At Camp David, the Trump administration will debate its Afghanistan strategy. Secretary of Defence of Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser HR McMaster support sending an additional 5,000 troops to support the 8,400 American soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, while a plan to replace US troops with private military contractors is being considered.

Erik Prince's Plan to Privatize the War in Afghanistan  
The Atlantic|  18 August 2017
> The Blackwater founder brought it with him to the Corner Bakery on North Capitol Street in Washington last Thursday, printed out and placed in a presentation binder. He’s been shopping it around D.C. And on Friday, when President Trump huddles with his advisers at Camp David to plot a way forward, it will be in the mix.

'Guardian angel' need for advisers in Afghanistan drives call for more troops  
Reuters|  17 August 2017
> The minimum security requirements mean that providing even just a few thousand advisers for Afghan security forces is a monumental task that, if continued, will keep many thousands more international troops and contractors facing daily threats.

How Militias Became the Private Police for White Supremacists  
Politico|  17 August 2017
> Despite the militias’ public statements of neutrality, evidence has mounted over the past six months that the militias have gravitated decisively toward one side in the street battles that have played out recently in cities across the country. Indeed, during these first months of Trump’s presidency, these loose-knit organizations making up America’s militia movement are losing their anti-government ideological purity as they grow increasingly close with a segment of the right-wing from which many in the recent past had generally kept their distance.

North Korean hackers target US military contractors  
The Hill|  15 August 2017
> Hackers linked to North Korea are targeting U.S. military contractors, including those interested in the missile defense system protecting South Korea, according to a Monday report from Palo Alto Networks.

US failed in Afghanistan campaign, must withdraw forces: Russia official  
PressTV|  15 August 2017
> A senior Russian official has described the US military campaign in Afghanistan as a failure, calling for the withdrawal of American troops from the country, which has now become “an incubator of international terrorism.”

Blackwater founder Erik Prince awaits president’s call to privatise war in Afghanistan  
The Times|  14 August 2017
> President Trump is to be briefed directly on a plan to privatise the war in Afghanistan drawn up by the founder of Blackwater, the world’s most notorious private security company.

Top Dem: Privatizing Afghanistan War would be 'affront' to US troops  
The Hill|  10 August 2017
> The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is urging against a private contractor’s pitch to take over the war in Afghanistan.

Is Blackwater Back in Iraq?  
WarisBoring|  10 August 2017
> Members of Iraq’s parliament have some questions about security contractors arriving in Iraq. They’re worried that notorious mercenary firm Blackwater has, more or less, made its way back to Iraq.

Are Mercenaries Really a Cheaper Way of War?  
The Atlantic|  09 August 2017
> Blackwater founder Erik Prince says privatizing the 16-year war could save taxpayer money. History, both recent and farther back, suggests a different outcome.

Gunmen kill two Afghan women contractors at air base near Kabul  
Reuters|  09 August 2017
> Two Afghan women working for a security firm searching people entering Bagram air base near the Afghan capital Kabul were killed on Wednesday and two others wounded by unknown gunmen, officials said.

Mercenaries aren’t a solution to Afghanistan’s forever war  
The Washington Post|  09 August 2017
> According to a number of reports, as well as Prince's own television appearances this week, the proposal involves close to 5,000 private military contractors replacing the U.S. troops currently deployed in support of Afghanistan's national security forces.

UK defence contractor billed US more than $50m in expenses  
The Guardian|  09 August 2017
> A British company hired to help train Afghan intelligence officers billed the US government for more than $50m (£38.4m) in expenses that included luxury cars and salaries paid to the “significant others” of the company’s top executives, according to a Pentagon audit.

Inside Erik Prince’s secret proposal to outsource the war in Afghanistan  
The Washington Post|  09 August 2017
> Businessman and Blackwater founder Erik Prince has been shopping around Washington a detailed proposal for replacing thousands of American soldiers in Afghanistan with contractors from foreign countries led by a “viceroy” with almost unfettered power over U.S. military and diplomatic policy.

Venezuela army repels attack on base, hunts 'mercenaries'  
The Straits Times|  08 August 2017
> Venezuela's military was hunting a group of "mercenaries" yesterday who made off with weapons after an attack on an army base carried out against what they called the "murderous tyranny" of President Nicolas Maduro. The 20 men, led by an army officer who had deserted, battled troops in the base in the country's third city of Valencia for three hours on Sunday, officials said.

Blackwater founder says contractors in Afghanistan wouldn't be mercenaries  
CBS|  08 August 2017
> Prince, now executive director of Frontier Services Group, joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the plan that he says would cut the annual cost of the war from an estimated $45 billion to less than $10 billion.

Erik Prince offers private military force in Afghanistan  
The Financial Times|  07 August 2017
> Erik Prince, the world’s most infamous military contractor, wants his private military forces to give Afghanistan the same treatment he gave Iraq. In a document dated August 2017, parts of which have been seen by the Financial Times, he proposes a two-year plan for fewer than 5,000 global guns for hire and under 100 aircraft, bringing the total cost of the US effort to turn round a failing war to less than $10bn a year.

Venezuelan military says attack on army base by deserter and mercenaries has been repelled, leaving two dead  
South China Morning Post|  07 August 2017
> Two of the attackers were killed and eight were captured, President Nicolas Maduro said on state television, claiming the group of “mercenaries” – whose total number he put at around 20 – had ties to Colombia and the United States.

Erik Prince’s private air force in Afghanistan faces many legal hurdles  
The Military Times|  06 August 2017
> Erik Prince’s proposal to bridge the Afghanistan air force’s capability gaps with his own private air force faces a mountain of legal hurdles, government oversight, and raises new questions about private military companies operating in roles typically in the purview of nation states.

[AUDIO] Could A Private Air Force Replace U.S. Troops In Afghanistan?  
KUT 90.5 NPR|  04 August 2017
> A controversial proposal to bring American troops home from Afghanistan, replacing them with contractors, wouldn’t involve private citizens manning tanks or Humvees. Instead, they would fly military-style planes above the battlefield – amounting to a private air force. The proposal comes from Erik Prince, whose contacting firm Blackwater made headlines during the Iraq War.

Killed and dumped in wells: probe reveals horrors of Gambia's ex-regime  
Reuters|  04 August 2017
> When 52 West African migrants sneaked into Gambia from Senegal on July 21, 2005, they expected to meet a boat to ferry them to Spain, but instead they were arrested and put to death on the orders of then-president Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh, in power for more than two decades until he fled into exile earlier this year, had feared the migrants were mercenaries come to overthrow him.

Is It A Good Idea To Privatize The War In Afghanistan?  
Newsweek|  04 August 2017
> Several weeks ago Erik Prince, best known as the CEO of the Blackwater Corporation, wrote an op-ed arguing that the U.S. should privatize the war in Afghanistan. The outcry has been voluble. Commentators have highlighted the moral qualms associated with private armies, the propensity toward violence and warlordism of mercenary forces, and the conflicts of interest that could be inherent in such a plan.

U.S. Appeals Court Tosses Ex-Blackwater Guard's Conviction In 2007 Baghdad Massacre  
NPR|  04 August 2017
> A federal appeals court has thrown out the murder conviction of an ex-Blackwater security guard and ordered three others to be resentenced in connection with the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. The high-profile incident called into question the role played by U.S. security contractors in Iraq.

Blackwater founder wants to boost the Afghan air war with his private air force  
The Navy Times|  03 August 2017
> Erik Prince, the former CEO of the private military company known as Blackwater, wants to step up the Afghan air war with a private air force capable of intelligence collection and close-air support, according to a recent proposal submitted to the Afghan government.

SitRep: McMaster Purges the NSC; Trump Furious With Generals Over Afghanistan  
Foreign Policy |  03 August 2017
> The former CEO of Blackwater is pitching the Afghan government on the idea of hiring him to set up a private air force for the country.

Russian losses in Syria jump in 2017, Reuters estimates show  
Reuters |  02 August 2017
> That tally over seven months exceeds the 36 Russian armed personnel and contractors estimated by Reuters to have been killed in Syria over the previous 15 months, indicating a significant rise in the rate of battlefield losses as the country's involvement deepens.

Australian government defends airport security after criticism by pilots  
The Guardian |  02 August 2017
> Pilots are also unconvinced about private contractors doing security screening rather than a government agency. They say these issues have been raised with the government in the past but were ignored.

Mercenaries may fight for US in Afghanistan  
The Times |  01 August 2017
> President Trump is considering a plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and replace them with private contractors as his administration struggles to agree on strategy to tackle one of America’s longest- running wars.

Being an Uber driver can be lethal  
CNET |  01 August 2017
> After clashes between taxi and Uber drivers, some of which turned deadly, the ride-hailing company hires a security force called Hi-Risk. It may not be enough.

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