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News Categories

 
Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan
Afghanistan & Asia
Graham Thomson - Canwest News Service - August 09, 2008

Master Cpl. Joshua Brian Roberts was killed oin a skirmish involving coalition forces, insurgents and a private firm that provides armed escorts for civilian convoys.

KANDAHAR CITY, Afghanistan - A Canadian soldier, whose fiancee is nearly eight-months pregnant, has been killed in a confusing firefight involving a private security company in the notoriously violent Zhari district, west of Kandahar City.

The soldier is identified as Master Cpl. Josh Roberts of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Shilo, Man.

Military officials are saying little about how Roberts died, except to say he was killed on Saturday morning in a skirmish involving coalition forces, insurgents and a private firm that provides armed escorts for civilian convoys.
Read more...
 
Highway to Hell - Dispatches From a Mercenary in Iraq
Iraq & Middle East
 By John Geddes (Broadway Books)

It's a chatty British page-turner that describes a lot of "slotting along a dual carriageway."

Do you need an interpreter?

John Geddes' actual style is a lot more reader-friendly than that, though he seems to think anyone North American ought to understand that "slotting" is British military slang for killing. "Dual carriageway" just means any two-way road or street. That could be an understated British way to describe the desolate 530-kilometre stretch between Baghdad and Iraq's border with Jordan. Geddes calls it the Highway to Hell.

His writing involves copious use of what most publications call expletives - an uncensored version of the speech habits in many armed forces. Geddes spells out all the words.
Read more...
 
Blackwater Worldwide: Small Business?
Business News
Blackwater Worldwide is the subject of yet another report, this time regarding the security company's claims of small business status.

Like companies across the land, Blackwater sought to be designated as a small business to win contracts more easily from the State Department or other agencies. But is it also possible that government procurement officials wanted to apply the designation to Blackwater to make it easier to award the contracts?
Read more...
 
Use of Mercenaries in Conflict Zones Mulled
Miscellaneous
Friday, August 08, 2008 - by Stephen Mbogo

Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com) – Despite the negative associations tied to mercenaries, debate is stirring in Africa about whether the use of private soldiers should be formalized in a way that sidelines disreputable players but could also help to bring intractable conflicts to an end.
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Private Military Companies, civilian contractors and the Global War on Terror
Miscellaneous
Listen in mp3

Recently, civilians working for Private Military Companies (hereafter called “PMCs”) have attracted a lot of attention from many western media outlets.  In the wake of the deaths of four security contractors (from the US-based Blackwater Worldwide in Fallujah in 2004) more attention has been paid to these people than ever.  PMCs are companies that take on jobs such as personal protection, convoy security, security consulting, and others that are traditionally performed by the military.
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US agrees to scrap immunity for security guards in Iraq
Iraq & Middle East
BAGHDAD (AFP) — The Iraqi foreign minister said on Tuesday that Washington has agreed to scrap immunity for foreign security guards in Iraq, moving the two countries closer to signing a long-term security pact.

"The immunity for private security guards has been removed. The US has agreed on it," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP after briefing Iraqi MPs on the controversial US-Iraq security pact which is being negotiated.
Read more...
 
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