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Private Military/Security Companies 

Private Military Companies or Private Security Companies are a reality in 21st century conflicts all around the globe.  Often mistaken with their ancient predecessors (the so-called mercenaries), offer their protection/defensive services to both private and public clients, including NGOs, United Nations, aid agencies and goverments.

This site is a portal which offers news and articles on this topic. A controversial topic which gains more and more public attention due to their status as civilians and increasing casualties among this group of operators .

Together with the whole private security community we are crediting their sacrifice. Be it to their country, their client or asset to be protected or their buddies working at their side. 
Waterboarding, Interrogations: The CIAs $1,000 a Day Specialists
New Focus on Two Retired Military Psychologists Called the 'Architects' of the CIA's Techniques

April 30, 2009—

As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.
Contractors: Not Just for the DoD Any More
April 24, 2009

Jeremy Scahill has a compelling article up on Alternet about how local law enforcement is embracing the contracting trend.
This privatization trend is hardly new, but it is accelerating. While events such as the Nisour Square massacre committed in September 2007 by Blackwater operatives in Baghdad show the lethal danger of unleashing mercenary forces on foreign soil, one area with the potential for extreme abuses resulting from this privatization is in domestic law enforcement in the U.S.
CIA Replacing Private Guards At Secret Prisons
by The Associated Press

NPR.org, April 10, 2009 · The CIA has stopped using contractors to interrogate prisoners and has fired private security guards at the CIA's secret overseas prisons, which are in the process of being shut down, agency Director Leon Panetta says.

Panetta told agency employees in an e-mail message Thursday that the guards will be replaced with CIA officers at the sites, which President Obama ordered closed on his second day in office.
Blackwater is now Xe. Just Xe. Blackwater rebrands itself
Corporate News
Feb. 2009

The Eastern North Carolina-based private security company had exemplified the problems of using private soldiers in combat zones. Now, after losing its contract to guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq, it is changing its name.

Company officials announced Friday that the group of businesses formerly called Blackwater Worldwide will now be known as "Xe," pronounced like the letter Z.
Afghanistan Eyes Gun-for-Hire Clampdown
Afghanistan & Asia
Prominent private security firm Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) was recently forced out of Iraq after the company was refused an operating license by the local authorities. Now it looks as if the Afghan government may tighten its oversight of armed security contractors as well.

Last week, the Afghan Ministry of Justice introduced a draft law on private security companies; while it's still too early to gauge the impact of the new law, it's clear that the Afghan government will be taking a closer look at the conduct of the guns-for-hire.
Licensed to Kill
By Scott Horton

Yesterday CIA Director Leon Panetta emailed thousands of subordinates his hearty greetings for Passover and Easter. Appropriate to the season, perhaps, his message was filled with talk of torture, foreign captivity, and doubtful acts of contrition. “CIA officers do not tolerate, and will continue to promptly report, any inappropriate behavior or allegations of abuse,” he wrote. And this rule was not to be evaded by proxies, either: “That holds true whether a suspect is in the custody of an American partner or a foreign liaison service.”
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