Media reports play a critical role both in informing the public and as resource for academic work on the private military and security industry. Because journalists base their reports on a variety of sources, including employees, industry sources, and personal observations, their reports often provide an on-the-ground picture of firms' behavior that is lacking in many of other reports.
The Private Security Monitor's media project aggregates recent media reports into a single feed of the most up to date news articles on private security. After one month articles will retire into our news archives. Importantly, PSM exercises some editorial selectivity in articles, both in type of publication and in the topics presented. As such, this page is not a complete archive of all articles published, but a resource for the most relevant stories issued in the past month.
For those seeking in-depth, investigative journalism, view the investigative reports section at the bottom of this page. Separate from general media articles, these reports provide more extensive analysis on PMSCs from a journalist's perspective.
Liberia: Private Security Officer Assaulted At China Union The Sacramento Bee | 28 April 2017 > In 2011, the UAE acknowledged working with private military contractors, including a firm reportedly tied to Blackwater founder Erik Prince, to build up its military. The Associated Press also reported that Prince was involved in a multimillion-dollar program to train troops to fight pirates in Somalia, a program by several Arab countries, including the UAE.
Local, global security firms in race along China's 'Silk Road' Reuters | 23 April 2017 > Global security companies and their smaller Chinese rivals are jostling for business along Beijing's modern-day "Silk Road", the grandiose plan for land and sea routes connecting the world's second largest economy with the rest of Asia and beyond.
Paramilitary: Russian Military Contractors Strategy Page | 22 April 2017 > Noting the success the United States had with private security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russia has tried to create a similar capability.
Private security guards loot over $1 lakh in Karachi India | 21 April 2017 > What might be termed as one of the biggest robberies of recent years in Karachi, two private security guards looted over $1.2 lakh (Rs 12 million in Pakistani currency) from a company van on Thursday.
When a private company is in charge of your security Pambazuka News | 13 April 2017 > Just one year after the attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016, at least one economic sector appears to be flourishing: the security sector. The Belgian subsidiary of the security multinational G4S has announced that it has hired 1,610 new employees in 2016, including temporary contracts, an "exceptionally high" figure according to the company, leader of the Belgian market, which provided 1000 additional recruits in 2017, "of which 500 women".
China's Answer to the US Military-Industrial Complex The Diplomat | 10 April 2017 > From January, civil-military integration has since risen to one of the most frequently used terms in Chinese mainstream media, and many are speculating about the economic incentives for the Chinese private sector to be engaged with the patriotic duty of providing service and technology to the PLA.
Death toll in Somalia blast outside military base rises to at least 15 Reuters | 09 April 2017 > "At least 15 people mostly civilians died in the blast," Major Hussein Nur, a military official, told Reuters. "We do not know the exact figure of casualties. All the people on board the ruined minibus perished. Soldiers and other private security guards also died," he said.
Costa Rica Reduces and Tracks Arms Used by Private Security Companies The Costa Rica Star | 04 April 2017 > In recent months, the Public Security Ministry has destroyed 450 arms which were decommissioned by state agencies who are decreasing their use of armed guards, said Roberto Méndez, head of the private security bureau within the ministry, in a phone interview.
Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel The Washington Post | 03 April 2017 > The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
In this article, the author finds that the seemingly insoluble dilemma of PMSCs in Africa is not because of PMSCs but because of a lack of imagination on the part of governments and regional bodies as to how to sustainably and effectively employ them. He also argues that the future of PMSCs in Africa will be contingent upon good governance with robust, strategically aligned frameworks that utilize PMSCs to cultivate, but not replace, security and military capabilities.
In this documentary feature, the BBC investigates the British private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report examines both the companies who are contracted to provide security services and the individuals affected by improper practices in the field.
BBC asked both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the private security firm G4S for a response to the program.
In this story on NPR program "This American Life," contributing editor Nancy Updike went to Iraq to try to figure out what it's like to be a private citizen working in the middle of a war zone. Among others, Updike interviews private security contractors guarding the Baghdad International Airport and others training Iraqi police forces.
This New Yorker article is a profile of the service subcontract industry for the U.S. military. The article discusses the more than seventy thousand "third-country nationals" who work for the American military in war zones. The author details the reports by many TCNs that the conditions they are held in resemble indentured servitude, and also the subcontractors who appear to operate outside the law.
Frontline investigates the new world of private contractors servicing U.S. military supply lines, running U.S. military bases, and protecting U.S. diplomats and generals. In the video, FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith travels throughout Kuwait and Iraq to give viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at companies like Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, and its civilian army. "Private Warriors" also explores a very different kind of contractorthe private world of security teams that work for firms like Blackwater, Aegis, and Erinysthat provide armed protection for U.S. government officials, government offices, military installations and even military commanders.
The website for the episode also contains comment from KBR, and documents uncovered and used during the investigation.
This investigation by Propublica explores the issues caused by the U.S. government's heavy reliance on civilian workers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The site features multiple articles, charts, and data on contractor injuries, insurance coverage, and other problems for civilian contractors working for the U.S. government.
The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in the Washington, DC area and a central reporter on domestic policy issues in the United States. The post produces multiple investigative pieces each year that focus on different aspects of the U.S. government and its agencies.
This article is part of a series in the Washington Post covering the U.S. expansion of its secret intelligence operations in Africa. The article describes the use of private contractors to conduct spying operations in Africa, specifically in Uganda. The missions are air surveillance, with contractors doing overflight operations on Uganda searching for the Lord's Resistance Army. Other articles in the series address the efforts of U.S.-hired and paid contractor to train the Ugandan army.
The Washington Post's Top Secret America project describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The articles in this series and an online database on the website depict the scope and complexity of the government's national security program through interactive maps and other graphics. Every data point on the Web site is substantiated by at least two public records. At the private-sector level, The Post identified 1,931 companies engaged in top-secret work for the government.