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News Categories

 
Review: Examining the privatization of American warfare
Iraq & Middle East
WHATEVER ELSE the Iraq War may be remembered for, it has already achieved one unique distinction: It is America’s first outsourced war.

On a scale never before seen in the nation’s history, the Iraq enterprise has been turned over to private contractors. There are more of them in the battle zone than there are U.S. troops. Many of them – tens of thousands – carry guns and fulfill functions that are indistinguishable from jobs once done by soldiers.

And yet they  operate under different rules. Steve Fainaru calls them “Big Boy Rules,” which he defines as an unwritten code that the contractors make up as they go along. No rules at all, really – a lawless void in which a motley, anonymous private army does whatever it wants.
 
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Blackwater quietly expanding its reach
Business News
January 21, 2009 - Mike Papantonio
Most people know the basic facts behind the story of Blackwater, the private security firm that has profited so handsomely from the war in Iraq.

They may have read a few facts about how that mercenary organization was started by a phenomenally rich multimillionaire inheritance baby named Erik Prince.

For decades, Prince's daddy wooed all of his political friends by spreading millions of dollars around to conservative think-tanks and ultra-right religious organizations that helped shape the now floundering neo-con revolution.
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CPS to decide on Mark Thatcher "wonga coup" charges
Africa
By Mark Hollingsworth and Ian Gallagher
17th January 2009

Scotland Yard detectives investigating the failed 'wonga' coup in Equatorial Guinea have sent a file on the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Officials are now studying the documents, said to contain a lengthy affidavit from British mercenary Simon Mann, jailed for his part in the 2004 plot to overthrow the oil-rich nation's government.
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New book on PMCs by renown author David Isenberg
Miscellaneous

Shadow ForceSHADOW FORCE

Private Security Contractors in Iraq

Today, with an emphasis on force restructuring mandated by the Pentagon, the role of private military contractors (PMCs) and their impact on policy-making decisions is at an all time peak.  SHADOW FORCE: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International; December 30, 2008), by David Isenberg, analyzes that impact, focusing specifically on PMCs in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Isenberg dissects their responsibilities, the friction that exists between contractors and military commanders, problems of protocol and accountability, as well as the problems of regulation and control that PMC companies create for domestic politics

 

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Blackwater offering to protect ships from pirates near Somalia
Africa
By Jeff Bliss - Bloomberg - October 16, 2008Blackwater Worldwide, whose security guards came under scrutiny after a 2007 fatal shootout in Iraq, is looking to the high seas to expand business, marketing its security services to shippers plagued by pirates.
Blackwater is in talks with several companies about protecting ships traveling through the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia, where piracy is increasing, said officials of the Moyock, North Carolina-based company.

"We have the capability to assist" shipping companies, said Bill Mathews, Blackwater executive vice president. He and other company leaders are former Navy SEALs. Ship security "is kind of what we did for a living" before joining Blackwater, he said.
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Afghans Trained by Blackwater Defect to Taliban
Afghanistan & Asia
Oct. 16th 2008

Remember when Sarah Palin said that "the surge principles that have worked in Iraq need to be implemented in Afghanistan." Well...as Ms. Palin would say, many Afghans working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides and are now defecting to the Taliban.

Guess who trained many of them? Blackwater!
Read more...
 
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