Skip navigation

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

Group laments killings, sacking of communities in Nasarawa by mercenaries  
Vanguard |  20 May 2018
> A group has lamented the killings of scores in a fresh attack on Egbura communities in Umaisha, the headquarters of Opanda chiefdom in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The unknown gunmen alleged to be Bassa mercenaries were said to have razed several houses in a coordinated attack on the Egbura communities.

Nigeria: Government Outlaws Private Security Guards Aboard Vessels  
All Africa |  18 May 2018
> Notwithstanding the spate of pirate attacks on its territorial waters, the Federal Government has declared that the Nigerian Constitution forbids the use of armed private guards on board vessels. The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who made this known at the 3th edition of Lagos International Maritime Week in Lagos, called on maritime stakeholders to develop a strategy to deal with the challenges within the permissible scope of security agencies to improve maritime security

Criminal Justice Expert Warns Private Security Officers Against Impersonation  
Front Page Africa |  16 May 2018
> Several officers of the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL) have been cautioned to avoid presenting themselves as state security. Marc Kollie, coordinator of Criminal Justice at Zion University, says it is unimaginable and criminal for private security officers “Misrepresenting yourselves as police officers. He spoke at the 12th anniversary of SEGAL in Bong County, where officers and managerial staff of the firm gathered to brainstorm ideas and way forward in making the firm effective.

‘31 killed in ongoing Nasarawa communities ethnic crisis’  
Vanguard |  16 May 2018
> No fewer than 31 persons have lost their lives in the ongoing ethnic crisis between Bassa and Egbura communities in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. It was also gathered that several others were injured with many displaced as a result of sustained attacks which has lasted for over two weeks.

Botanic Garden security guards get new uniforms  
The Times of India |  13 May 2018
> The Indian Botanic Garden (IBG) administration has finally got their security guards – hired from a private agency – to shun their military uniforms. TOIhad reported on April 10 how the security guards wore combat uniforms with the crossed swords emblem and Indian Army printed on the fabric, prompting many visitors to believe that they were soldiers. Some even had their trousers tucked into boots in military style as they strutted around in a non-military gait or slouched on chairs.

Yemeni forces fire missiles at 'economic targets' in Saudi capital  
PressTV |  09 May 2018
> A Yemeni military source said Yemeni forces carried out an ambush on the Saudi mercenaries in the region’s al-Amoud military base on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores of them.

Behind Erik Prince’s China venture  
The Washington Post |  04 May 2018
> Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks.

Kolkata Metro Railway to hire private security after assault on couple  
Financial Express |  04 May 2018
> The Metro Railway authority is planning to hire private security personnel and install more CCTV cameras in its underground railway stations following the moral policing incident, a Metro railway spokesperson here said.

Private security guards on Metro radar  
The Times of India |  04 May 2018
> To bolster security along its network, particularly at stations, Metro Railway is planning to hire personnel from private security agencies. If this happens, Kolkata Metro will be the first railway zone in the country to hire private security guards.

<< 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.


NA

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.