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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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[EDITORIAL] The war in Afghanistan needs a change in tactics. Privatizing the military isn't the answer  
Los Angeles Times |  29 July 2017
> Trump is right to insist on a searching review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, one that considers diplomatic as well as military options. But he should say no to one proposal being floated, reportedly with the encouragement of some of his advisors: the replacement of U.S. forces by private security contractors.

[AUDIO] On 'Radio Times': The difference between mercenaries and soldiers  
Newsworks |  28 July 2017
> On Friday’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Marty was joined by Sean McFate, who has a nuanced position on the matter as both a former military contractor and former Army paratrooper.

Trump’s crude view of Afghanistan won’t solve U.S.’s longest-running war  
The Washington Post |  27 July 2017
> In a bid to conjure up a new strategy, the White House has even contemplated outsourcing the war to private contractors.

Nigeria: Abducted NNPC Contractors, Others Rescued From Boko Haram  
AllAfrica |  27 July 2017
> The 10 workers contracted by Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and security escorts who were abducted by Boko Haram during an oil exploration mission at the Lake Chad Basin on Tuesday have been rescued.

Russia looks to UN to help it profit from Syria conquests  
The Chicago Tribune |  26 July 2017
> The Russian government's push to protect Syria's ancient ruins, these diplomats note, coincides with reports of an effort by Russia to convince private security companies to secure territory around Palmyra from Islamic State militants in exchange for the rights to lucrative gas and mining rights.

Russia Looks to U.N. to Help It Profit From Syria Conquests  
Foreign Policy |  25 July 2017
> The Russian government’s push to protect Syria’s ancient ruins, these diplomats note, coincides with reports of an effort by Russia to convince private security companies to secure territory around Palmyra from Islamic State militants in exchange for the rights to lucrative gas and mining rights.

[AUDIO] Blackwater Founder Backs Outsourcing Afghan War-Fighting to Contractors  
NPR |  24 July 2017
> Morning Edition - Steve Inskeep talks to Erik Prince, founder of the now defunct private security firm Blackwater, who has reportedly submitted a proposal to the White House calling for contracting out the Afghan war.

Return of Blackwater to Afghanistan?  
The Express Tribune |  22 July 2017
> In a bizarre turn of events, the latest strategy for Afghanistan being shopped around entails pulling out American troops and handing over Afghanistan to a mercenary army. Erik D Prince, the founder of the infamous private security firm Blackwater, and Stephen Feinberg, the owner of the military contractor DynCorp, have come up with proposals to use a mercenary army instead of American troops in Afghanistan.

From a Gladstone servo to Australia's largest private military, police arms supplier  
The Brisbane Times |  21 July 2017
> The Brisbane-based company, NIOA, has branched out from the commercial gun market into military and law enforcement, supplying Australian and New Zealand police with 70,000 Glock pistols and providing the military with their latest infantry weapon – an automatic grenade launcher.

The Privatization of Security Is Coming. The U.S. Must Start Preparing for It  
World Politics Review |  21 July 2017
> The United States is not ready for the privatization of security, clinging still to the notion that it is a temporary expedient rather than the bow wave of historic change.

Private security profiting from political killings: Mahlobo  
IOL |  20 July 2017
> South Africa State Security Minister David Mahlobo has called on the private security industry to stop pushing for profits at the expense of lives in the fight against political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

[AUDIO] Report: Trump Administration Wants To 'Outsource Afghanistan To Mercenaries'  
NPR |  20 July 2017
> Steve Inskeep asks Mark Perry of The American Conservative about his article that says some in the Trump administration want to use more contractors in Afghanistan.

On Point Radio: Privatizing The War In Afghanistan  
WBUR |  19 July 2017
> Talk in the West Wing about using a private army of mercenaries to take over the war in Afghanistan. Blackwater founder Erik Prince is with us.

Liberian Security Officer From USA to Establish Security Firm in Liberia  
Front Page Africa |  19 July 2017
> A Liberian based in the United State of America (USA) is back in the country with the determination of creating a private security firm to create job opportunities for Liberians interested in the field.

Opinions Could mercenaries end America’s longest war?  
The Washington Post |  17 July 2017
> Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly cool to a plan developed by Erik Prince that would entail turning over a substantial part of the Afghanistan effort to “contracted European professional soldiers” — what you and I call mercenaries.

The 'Blackwater 2.0' Plan for Afghanistan  
The Atlantic |  17 July 2017
> Here’s a crazy idea floating around Washington these days, outlandish even by today’s outlandish standards: The United States should hire a mercenary army to “fix” Afghanistan, a country where we’ve been at war since 2001, spending billions along the way. The big idea here is that they could extricate U.S. soldiers from this quagmire, and somehow solve it. Not surprisingly, the private-military industry is behind this proposal. Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private military company Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, each see a role for themselves in this future.

Trump's new Afghanistan strategy may draw on old, controversial methods  
Business Insider|  15 July 2017
> Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president's senior adviser and son-in-law, called in Erik Prince, who founded the Blackwater private-security firm, and Stephen Feinberg, a billionaire who owns military contractor DynCorp, to create proposals to use contractors in Afghanistan rather than US troops.

Stephen Feinberg, the Private Military Contractor Who Has Trump’s Ear  
The New Yorker |  14 July 2017
> To the financial press, he is known as the C.E.O. of Cerberus Capital Management, one of the country’s largest investment firms, with business lines in private equity, distressed debt, hedge funds, and real estate. His holdings have included the once struggling G.M. automotive-financing division, the controversial defense contractor DynCorp, and the Bushmaster assault-rifle brand.

The Militarisation of Conservation in Africa May Be Doing More Harm Than Good  
The Wire |  13 July 2017
> Conservation is becoming more militarised, and it is cause for serious concern. Rising rates of elephant and rhino poaching in Africa, and fears of a link between poachers and terrorists, have led to foreign national armies, private military companies and even UN peacekeeping forces all moving into wildlife protection.

Ramdev launches private security business with ‘Parakram Suraksha’  
The Indian Express |  13 July 2017
> Yoga guru and Patanjali Ayurveda founder Ramdev launched his own security firm titled Parakram Suraksha Pvt Ltd on Thursday. “Ramdev has hired retired Army and police personnel to train young interested recruits and plan to make a mark in security,” Balakrishna added.

Private military contractors aren’t going to do a better job in Afghanistan. Here’s why.  
The Washington Post |  12 July 2017
> General studies of PMSCs (though not focused on counterinsurgency, per se) begin to shed light on their overall impact on war. Looking at civil wars in Africa, only when there is competition among companies do PMSCs working for government and rebels have a positive effect on civil war termination. This suggests that we may not want the unified effort Erik Prince envisions.

The Spoils, and Profits, of Conflict  
The New York Times |  10 July 2017
> According to Russian news outlets, the Syrian government has contracted with private Russian companies that have Kremlin connections to carry out security operations for the Assad regime in Syria in exchange for a share of oil, gas and mineral production in territory won back from rebels.

Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan  
The New York Times |  10 July 2017
> Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Yemeni forces capture strategic mountain, Saudi base  
Press TV |  10 July 2017
> Yemen’s army and popular committee forces have taken a strategic mountain in the province of Jawf from Saudi-backed mercenaries.

[Video] South Africa's booming private security industry  
BBC News |  07 July 2017
> Per capita, the country's private security industry is the fourth largest in the world and South Africans spend more than $4bn (£3bn) a year protecting themselves and their homes.

Russia Deploys a Potent Weapon in Syria: The Profit Motive  
The New York Times |  05 July 2017
> The Kremlin is bringing a new weapon to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria, using market-based incentives tied to oil and mining rights to reward private security contractors who secure territory from the extremists, Russian news outlets have reported.

Troops neutralise mercenaries hired by Boko Haram  
The Guardian Nigeria |  04 July 2017
> The Nigerian Army said its troops in the North East have neutralised a number of mercenaries hired by the Mamman Nur faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group at Gulumba Gana in Bama Local Government Area of Borno.

Blackened Waters of Somalia  
The Huffington Post |  03 July 2017
> In a clever marketing strategy that exploits consumer biases, major manufacturing companies of household products commonly have several competing brands of the same products side by side in super markets. They even hire different brand managers to advance one product against another, though profits generated from all those products ultimately go to the same owners. The private mercenary industry clearly duplicated the same strategic marketing, and nowhere is that more apparent than in The Horn.

Yemeni forces kill 6 of Saudi's mercenaries in Jawf, Ta'izz  
Press TV |  01 July 2017
> Yemeni army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees loyal to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, have killed half a dozen of Saudi Arabia's mercenaries in Yemen's Jawf and Ta'izz provinces.

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