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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

Chinese private security goes global 
The Financial Times |  26 February 2017
> Details of the operation last year, revealed here for the first time, point to the greater role being played by China’s fledgling private security industry. Its growth has echoes of the prominent and often controversial part played by western contractors such as Blackwater, now known as Academi, and DynCorp in Iraq and Afghanistan after the September 11 2001 attacks.

Back to Iraq: US Military Contractors Return In Droves 
DefenseOne |  23 February 2017
> The number of private contractors working for the U.S. Defense Department in Iraq grew eight-fold over the past year, a rate that far outpaces the growing number of American troops training and advising Iraqi soldiers battling Islamic State militants.

Army soldiers, allies kill Saudi mercenaries off Yemen coast 
PressTV |  22 February 2017
> Yemeni forces have launched an operation against Riyadh-backed militiamen loyal to the former government, killing scores of them, including the commander of Saudi-led Emirati troops in Yemen.

Fighting ISIS with mercenaries is bad idea, says private military expert 
RT |  22 February 2017
> He warned that, although mercenary interventions in places like Sierra Leone by the now-defunct Executive Outcomes group are still seen as success stories, this was because there had been a clear enemy and a set of clearly defined aims. In Syria, there is no such clarity and the war is being contested by major powers – it is not just a marginal conflict.

Israeli Police Want Palestinians to Pay for Their Own Security Escort to Court 
Haartetz |  21 February 2017
> The police are demanding that Palestinians caught entering Israel illegally pay thousands of shekels for private security firms to escort them to subsequent court hearings in Israel.

Report: South Africans spend more on personal security than annual SAPS budget 
The South African |  15 February 2017
> On Tuesday statistician-general Pali Lehohla released StatsSA’s Victims of Crime Survey and soe of the findings don’t look all that great for government. According to Lehohla, the police’s annual budget sits at around R30 billion annually, but South Africans spend R45 billion a year on private security measures.

Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference under way as participants gather from 25 countries  
The National |  15 February 2017
> The Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (Adioc), an event sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and Tawazun Economic Council, opened in the emirate with more than 450 participants from more than 25 countries exchanging views on offsets programmes. The biennial conference included participants from the UAE Armed Forces, Ministry Of Defence, international defence contractors and local companies, according to Tawazun.

Iran trains thousands of mercenaries each year to fight in Syria and Iraq wars claims PMOI 
International Business Times |  14 February 2017
> The Islamic Republic of Iran is training thousands of foreign mercenaries and exporting them to fight in proxy wars in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, a leading opposition group has claimed in a detailed intelligence report.

ADG Singh exhorts firms to hire quality security guards 
Times of India |  14 February 2017
> Instead of cutting corners by employing guards from private security agencies, companies should hire men of the government-run Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) for the safety of their employees, additional director general of police (ADG) Jay Jeet Singh said on Monday.

The Blackwater of Jihad 
Foreign Policy |  10 February 2017
> Heavily armed and expertly kitted with body armor and ballistic helmets, the men can be seen defending bunkers, storming buildings, and even posing by whiteboards giving tactical lessons. Though the titles of these YouTube videos are written in Russian Cyrillic, their background music is an a cappella Islamic chant known as a nasheed, which is often used by extremist groups in propaganda films. But the men are no ordinary jihadis. They are members of Malhama Tactical, the world’s first jihadi private military contractor (PMC) and consulting firm.

Being Honest About U.S. Military Strategy in Afghanistan 
Council on Foreign Relations |  09 February 2017
> Today, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John “Mic” Nicholson, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). Though it remains the longest war in American history, the ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan received little attention during the presidential race and even less since President Trump entered office. You may recall that in December 2009, President Obama authorized the deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total to 97,000. The vast majority of those troops have returned home; there are 8,400 troops in country now (plus 26,000 military contractors, 9,474 of whom are U.S. citizens).

Yemeni rocket kills many Saudi mercenaries in Mokha 
PressTV |  08 February 2017
> Scores of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to the former Yemeni government have reportedly been killed when Yemeni armed forces targeted their gathering in the country’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

Cops prepare checklist of documents for firms 
The Times of India |  08 February 2017
> Police have decided to tighten the noose around the private security agencies operating in the city, taking a note from the murder of an Infosys techie at her office in Pune recently.

Yemeni Rebels Kill Three Saudi Mercenaries in Sanaa Province 
Sputnik International |  07 February 2017
> Three Saudi-paid mercenaries were killed by a guided missile while being in a military vehicle in Yemen's Sanaa province's Nihm district, according to local media.

Afghan diplomat killed by his personal security guard in Pakistan, officials say 
Fox News |  06 February 2017
> An Afghan diplomat was shot and killed by his security guard inside the consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Monday, officials said.

Saudi airstrikes, mercenaries kill seven across Yemen 
PressTV |  04 February 2017
> Two civilians were killed and a number of others injured after the fighter planes struck the al-Mokha District of Ta’izz Province in Yemen’s extreme southwest.The United Nations has warned about the dire situation of civilians in Mokha and Ta’izz more generally, as Saudi Arabia and its mercenaries try to force out Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Report Shows Brazil Has Highest Cost of Crime in Latin America 
The Rio Times |  03 February 2017
> According to a recent report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) violence costs in Brazil were one of the highest recorded in the Southern Cone of South America, with most of the spending towards combating violence going to private security.

NSCDC warns against illegal private security outfits 
Vanguard |  02 February 2017
> The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos Command, has warned commercial banks, eateries and other private organizations in the state, against illegal security outfit operating within the state.

<< 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.