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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

Overtaxation kills security firms: group  
The Citizen |  24 May 2017
> For the first time, private security companies were last year included among the 'professional services' businesses that are subject to the 5 percent withholding tax - an obligation applied to higher-waged professionals in areas such as accountancy and consultancy.

Sudan: Wali of Blue Nile Congratulates Army and Rapid Support Forces On Victories Over Remnants of Agents and Mercenaries  
All Africa |  22 May 2017
> The Wali (governor) of the Blue Nile State, Hussein Yassin Hamad has congratulated the Army and te Rapid Support Forces on their victories over the remnants of agents and the mercenaries in East Darfur State.

Army arrests 17 war mercenaries in Akwa Ibom  
Daily Post |  22 May 2017
> The Nigerian Army, 2 Brigade, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has nabbed 17 armed youths said to be war mercenaries. The suspects, who were picked up by soldiers during raids on their hideouts on Saturday, were said to be members of a sponsored gang that had been threatening the peace of Ayadeghe community in Oku Iboku, in the Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Sudan: Govt Forces Attack Minawi's SLM Rebels in Darfur  
All Africa |  21 May 2017
> According to a statement by Ahmed Khalifa El Shami, spokesman for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Saturday, a joint force of army troops and members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) "confronted armed groups of mercenaries who simultaneously entered North and East Darfur from Libya and South Sudan to undermine peace and stability in Sudan".

Chandigarh cops to maintain records of agencies providing bouncers, security guards  
Hindustan Times |  19 May 2017
> There are 103 registered private security agencies operating in Chandigarh that employ around 10,000 security guards with private agencies. In addition, 400 people, including college-going students, sportsmen and gym trainers are associated with the industry.

When is a Mercenary (Not) a Mercenary? The Case of Foreign Fighters in the UAE’s Military  
Just Security |  18 May 2017
> These terms do have more-or-less precise meanings in international law, and there are good reasons for that precision, grounded in a deliberately established balance between liberty and security interests of individuals and states. But in popular parlance, and to the detriment of both liberty and security, these terms are used indiscriminately today.

PNG police chief stands down expat security contractor over ‘illegals’  
Asia Pacific Report |  18 May 2017
> A group of United States security contractors engaged by Papua New Guinea’s police chief to give firearms training have been stood down from their duties, ABC’s Pacific Beat reports.

Danger zones along new Silk Road an opportunity for Chinese security firms  
South China Morning Post |  18 May 2017
> Li, chairman of Beijing-based private security contractor DeWe Group, is looking to help his company cash in on the vast security needs that could be generated by the new Silk Road, China’s big plan to link the country through trade and infrastructure to the rest of the world.

New laws could mean the end of private security as we know it in SA: report  
Business Tech |  17 May 2017
> This year could see the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill signed into law, if its brief return to the spotlight yesterday in State Security Minister David Mahlobo’s 2017/18 budget vote speech is any indication, notes Legalbrief’s Pam Saxby.

SFormer health secretary grilled by CBI for irregularities  
The Times of India |  14 May 2017
> The Central Bureau of Investigation has questioned former Delhi health secretary Dr Tarun Seem for alleged irregularities in hiring three private security companies for hospitals -a decision which was approved by the Arvind Kejriwal-led cabinet in just one day.

South Africa’s R40bn private security industry under threat  
The Daily Maverick |  14 May 2017
> More is being spent by South African citizens on private security than ever before, R45-billion a year, to be exact. That’s a third more than the government spent on the police last year, making South Africa’s private security industry the fourth largest in the world per capita. But a controversial bill currently awaiting President Zuma’s signature threatens to throw the industry into turmoil.

The industry of inequality: why the world is obsessed with private security  
The Guardian |  12 May 2017
> At least half the world’s population lives in countries where there are more private security workers than public police officers, according to a new Guardian analysis.

[Video] Child Soldiers  
AlJazeera |  11 May 2017
> These former child soldiers became hired guns in the US war in Iraq - for just $250/month.

AfriForum: Private Security In Coligny Will Only Step In If Private Property Is Attacked  
Huffington Post |  11 May 2017
> Private security from a Pretoria-based company, paid for by AfriForum, has been sent to the North West town "in case of further attacks on private property", the group's head of community safety Ian Cameron told HuffPost SA.

One Analyst On Why The Boom In America's Privatized Military Is 'Here To Stay'  
WBUR |  10 May 2017
> Demand for military contractors surged with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but what impact has the boom in private defense contractors had on the U.S. military?

Thousands flee Congo conflict, swelling villages over border in Angola  
Reuters |  10 May 2017
> All had fled clashes between Congolese government and militia forces that erupted in Congo's Kasai-Central province in July, then spread to four other provinces.

Iraq Hires US Military Contractors to Secure Baghdad-Amman Highway  
Albawaba News |  08 May 2017
> The Iraqi government has signed a contract with US mercenaries to secure a road between Baghdad and the Jordanian capital of Amman.

EU rules on private security companies  
New Europe |  07 May 2017
> The European Parliament has finally expressed its concern about how private security companies operate in European member states.

Police close four private security companies  
The New Times |  06 May 2017
> Police in Rwanda has issued stern warning to private security service providers against unprofessional conduct and violating standard procedures.The warning follows the closure of four private security firms, which were operating illegally.

In Parliament this week: sharing economy, money laundering, private security companies  
European Parliament News |  02 May 2017
> On Tuesday afternoon, the foreign affairs committee votes on recommendations on how to strengthen oversight of private security companies operating in EU countries, as well as in EU missions abroad. Some of them have been repeatedly involved in incidents resulting in injury or even the loss of life.

Child Soldiers Reloaded: The Privatisation of War  
Al Jazeera |  01 May 2017
> As armies and war increasingly become 'outsourced', private military companies have taken on a wider increasing range of responsibilities, from security and intelligence analysis to training and combat roles.

<< 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.