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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.

Media

PMSC News Reports

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.

Recent News

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.

Liberia: Private Security Officer Assaulted At China Union  
AllAfrica |  27 April 2017
> An employee of Loyal Protective Guard Service (LTGS) was on Saturday, April 22, reportedly assaulted by a Chinese national identified only as Lee at the China Union compound in Bong Mines.

War Zone Contractors' Role Under Trump Questioned  
U.S. News |  25 April 2017
> The Defense Department under President Donald Trump has employed thousands fewer private contractors for its wars in the Middle East, according to newly released documents.

Bomb attack hits US base in Afghanistan as Defense Sec Mattis visits Kabul, casualties reported  
RT |  24 April 2017
> The attackers detonated the car bomb at an entrance to Camp Chapman, a secretive facility manned by US forces and private military contractors, said Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor, as cited by Reuters.

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.

Dramatic footage captures a deadly firefight between American mercenaries and Somali pirates as they try to hijack a cargo ship  
Daily Mail |  22 April 2017
> Footage of a private security team engaging in a fire fight with Somali pirates trying to hijack a cargo ship has emerged online.A speedboat can be seen hurtling towards the vessel as a private security contractor wielding a sub-machine gun begins to take aim.

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.

China opens military contracts worth billions of yuan to private companies  
South China Morning Post |  20 April 2017
> China’s military further opened its research and development programmes to private companies, inviting them to take part in projects worth an estimated 6 billion yuan (US$870 million or HK$6.78 billion), state media reported on Wednesday.

Survivors to protectors: Rehabilitation home inmates get new roles  
The Times of India |  20 April 2017
> The Delhi State Services Legal Authority (DSLSA) has joined hands with Delhi government to start a unique programme involving 160 hours of rigorous training for women to become security guards.

The American mercenary behind Blackwater is helping China establish the new Silk Road  
Quartz |  18 April 2017
> Erik Prince is now chairman of Frontier Services Group (FSG), which announced in December that it is setting up a “forward operating base” in Yunnan to provide logistics and unarmed security training services to facilitate OBOR-related projects in Southeast Asia.

100 Saudi-backed militants killed by Yemeni forces east of Mokha: Report  
AllAfrica |  17 April 2017
> Two private security guards were wounded by a reported roadside bomb that hit a UN convoy in Mogadishu on Sunday.

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".

100 Saudi-backed militants killed by Yemeni forces east of Mokha: Report  
PressTV |  13 April 2017
> The Yemeni army and allied Houthi fighters have killed at least 100 Saudi-backed militants near the embattled port city of Mokha on the Red Sea coast.

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.

‘We Need to Develop Capacity in Handling National Security Challenges’  
ThisDay |  09 April 2017
> On the part the private security organisations ought to play in national security he said, “Security outfits are saddled with in the management of risk and how technology can play a huge role in positioning the private security outfits in Nigeria.

African intelligence bodies meet to discuss mercenary, foreign terrorist fighters phenomenon  
Xinhua |  04 April 2017
> Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday hosted a regional workshop, organized by the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa (CISSA) to discuss the "Phenomenon of Mercenary, Foreign Terrorists Fighters and Negative NGOs and its Implications on Security and Stability in Africa."

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.

Uganda: One Shot Dead, Mob Clobbers Security Guard in Mistaken Identity Scenario  
AllAfrica |  04 April 2017
> A private security guard has been arrested after shooting a man dead and injuring five others in a city protest against rent increment at Superior Complex building on Ben Kiwanuka Street.

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.

Militants, kidnappers now disguise as security guards – Lagos Police alerts residents  
Daily Post |  01 April 2017
> According to Fatai Owoseni, Commissioner of Police in Lagos, kidnappers and militants had infiltrated private security companies and were using their jobs to spy on potential victims.

<< Older News Reports Archive Main

Investigative Reports


African Defence Review

African Defence Review is a dynamic news organisation focused on African security. It provides the most detailed and comprehensive news and commentary of issues on the African continent.


Unloved but Needed: PMCs in Africa

Author: David Pfotenhauer
Publish Date:

 

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.

BBC Reports

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a publically funded news and entertainment company in the United Kingdom. The BBC produces daily news programs as well as in depth investigative reports.


Britain's Private War

Author: BBC Scotland
Publish Date:

 

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. 

  1. FCO's response
  2. G4S's response
The Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting is a non-profit, non-partisan news organization based in Berkeley, California. The Center specializes in in-depth reporting on current issues.


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David Isenberg

Author and commentator David Isenberg frequently reports on PMSC issues, including almost daily entries on the Huffington Post.

Federal News Radio

Federal News Radio is a radio news station focused upon stories, news and analysis relevant for U.S. federal government agencies and those who do business with government agencies. It is non-partisan.


National Public Radio

National Public Radio (NPR) creates and distributes award-winning news, information, and music programming to a network of 959 independent stations.


Audio Report: I'm from the Private Sector and I am Here to Help

Author: Nancy Updike
Publish Date:

 

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.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker is a weekly print magazine dedicated to the arts, politics, current events and investigative journalism.


Invisible Army

Author: Sarah Stillman
Publish Date:

 

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.

PBS

PBS is a private non-profit broadcaster in the United States. It primarily produces educational programming for children and documentary features for adults. 


Private Warriors

Author: PBS Frontline
Publish Date:

 

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 contractor—the private world of security teams that work for firms like Blackwater, Aegis, and Erinys—that 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.

ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.


Disposable Army: Civilian Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

Publish Date:

 

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

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.


Contractors Run U.S. Spying Missions in Africa

Author: Craig Whitlock
Publish Date:

 
Open PDF:
 

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. 

Top Secret America

Author: Washington Post
Publish Date:

 

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.