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Thread: Private Military Companies (catch all)

  1. #1
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    Default Contracting as a greater trend

    In Washington, Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever:

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 — In June, short of people to process cases of incompetence and fraud by federal contractors, officials at the General Services Administration responded with what has become the government’s reflexive answer to almost every problem.

    They hired another contractor.

    It did not matter that the company they chose, CACI International, had itself recently avoided a suspension from federal contracting; or that the work, delving into investigative files on other contractors, appeared to pose a conflict of interest; or that each person supplied by the company would cost taxpayers $104 an hour. Six CACI workers soon joined hundreds of other private-sector workers at the G.S.A., the government’s management agency.

    Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government. On the rise for decades, spending on federal contracts has soared during the Bush administration, to about $400 billion last year from $207 billion in 2000, fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina, but also by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything government does.

    Contractors still build ships and satellites, but they also collect income taxes and work up agency budgets, fly pilotless spy aircraft and take the minutes at policy meetings on the war. They sit next to federal employees at nearly every agency; far more people work under contracts than are directly employed by the government. Even the government’s online database for tracking contracts, the Federal Procurement Data System, has been outsourced (and is famously difficult to use)...

  2. #2
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Successful Contractors

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/wa...4contract.html

    The most successful contractors are not necessarily those doing the best work, but those who have mastered the special skill of selling to Uncle Sam. The top 20 service contractors have spent nearly $300 million since 2000 on lobbying and have donated $23 million to political campaigns.


    Donated 23 million !

    Would've been far easier to simply fund their participation in the war and let the politicians pay for their own meals

  3. #3
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Angry FEMA Wants Over $300M in Katrina Aid Back

    FEMA Wants Over $300M in Katrina Aid Back
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...TAM&SECTION=US

    The Justice Department so far has prosecuted more than 400 people for storm-related fraud, and $18 million has been returned to FEMA or the American Red Cross, according to a recent report by the department's Katrina Fraud Task Force. The bulk of prosecutions have occurred in Louisiana (115), California (79), Texas (50) and Mississippi (46). The amount recovered so far, however, is slight compared with estimates of widespread fraud.

  4. #4
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default On Private Military Companies

    From Council member MountainRunner at his blog by the same name - On Private Military Companies.

    Thanks to Mark at Zenpundit, I'm not getting back to what I need to... why? Because I just read his post suggesting a read of Shloky's Private Militaries and Market States. A few brief comments...

  5. #5
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Default

    "Special Forces provide deniable accountability."

    What does that mean?

    SFC W

  6. #6
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default deniable accountability

    He also has a previous post on this subject here:

    http://mountainrunner.us/2005/12/

    The issue of private military companies, private security companies, or private military firms brings up the question of accountability. This question can be asked in different dimensions: moral, legal, ethical, and command and control. This is a brief draft on the legal accountability of private military forces, divorced from any profit motives. It is my belief that private military forces fall into the same "loophole" (really a misnomer, it is an intentional gap) in regulation in which non-governmental forces "approved" by the international community, namely Blue Helmets, are also found.
    Last edited by Stan; 04-18-2007 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Forgot the quote !

  7. #7
    Council Member MountainRunner's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    "Special Forces provide deniable accountability."

    What does that mean?

    SFC W
    I meant that in the margins, when seeking options that are not readily attributed back to the source and are generally covert, SF can be used effectively. In this space, private forces can also provide value, especially in the cold sense of disposability. In the overt arena, deniable accountability, that is thinking actions don't represent the principal, is a fantasy, contrary to what many may want to think. In less overt applications, such as the Balkans before Dayton, SF could have been used if deniable accountability was the real reason to use MPRI.

  8. #8
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    Default The Private Military Services Industry

    SIPRI, 18 Sep 08: The Private Military Services Industry
    The trend towards increased outsourcing of military activities has led to a rapid expansion of the military services segment of the arms industry in recent decades. Military services as defined here include technical services such as information technology and equipment maintenance, operational support such as facilities management and logistics, and actual armed ‘security’ in conflict zones. Some of the demand for the latter comes not from ‘outsourcing’ as such, but from internal conflict situations where state capacity is weak or absent. This paper discusses the background to the growth of the military services industry and presents an overview of the different types of military service, the size of the market and the companies involved.

    The continuing expansion of the private military services industry raises many issues. The view that outsourcing is economically efficient can be challenged on a number of grounds, not least when these services are provided in operationally deployed contexts. The involvement of private companies in assisting military operations in armed conflict situations such as Iraq also raises serious concerns about the democratic accountability of armed forces, the status of civilian contractors in military roles, and the political influence of companies that have a vested interest in the continuation of the conflict.
    Complete 20 page paper at the link.

  9. #9
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    Default Private Soldiers: Bullets for Hire

    Private Soldiers: Bullets for Hire

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  10. #10
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Armies

    A quick review by Business Insider:http://www.businessinsider.com/most-...#ixzz2RLM04tgP

    Yes, there are more than Blackwater; although for obscure reasons it has two slots in the article.
    davidbfpo

  11. #11
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    Default More links of possible interest

    I posted the following link in a previous thread:

    http://www.amazon.com/War-Business-T.../dp/0754671674

    I've not read the following but it seems of interest (was it mentioned in the article? Read it too quickly to remember):

    http://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Warr.../dp/0801474361

    Like anything else, I suppose there is both good and bad when looking at the situation clinically and within the larger phenomenon of global outsourcing, long supply chains, etc.

    Jobs are important and I don't begrudge anyone a job. There's a comment that is going to infuriate some people reading but I'm betting that not all jobs fall into the negative stereotypes about PMC's. The larger phenomenon worries, I have to admit, especially contracting out intellectual duties.

    The other thing that worries is how many officials responsible either for policy or for military advice (retired civilian and military) cycle back and forth between various consulting groups, even for nations with which we are involved in some sort of complicated intervention.

    I sometimes think the focus on culture and transnationalism misses the mark - the nation state and its strange licit and illicit connections are as much a part of what we are seeing as anything else.

    There is a tendency toward trying to fit the world into the latest theory instead of simply looking at the world as it is, as best as we are able.
    Last edited by Madhu; 04-25-2013 at 03:21 PM. Reason: removed formatting

  12. #12
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    Default Are Private Contractors Really Cheaper?

    Are Private Contractors Really Cheaper?

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  13. #13
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    Default The Status of Private Military Companies: When Civilians and Mercenaries Blur

    The Status of Private Military Companies: When Civilians and Mercenaries Blur

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  14. #14
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Back to the future

    An interesting article on PMCs even if it is essentially based on a new book, by Sean McFate, a contractor and academic: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What they Mean for World Order

    Nowt happening, move along now:
    The U.S. used contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan more than it had in any war in its history: in 2010 there were more contractors deployed to war zones (207,000) than U.S. servicemembers (175,000). In World War II, contractors only made up 10 percent of the military workforce, according to McFate.
    Link:http://www.theamericanconservative.c...r-world-order/

    Another author, Peter Singer (who has his own book):
    In an idealized world the companies with the best practices and best performance records would end up with all the contracts, and the bad actors would be eliminated from the field, that hasn’t happened in regular business, much less when you cross regular business with what you call politics.
    davidbfpo

  15. #15
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default McFate on modern mercenaries: podcast

    Via WoTR:
    Watch Sean McFate discuss his new book, The Modern Mercenary, at the National Defense University. Sean offers an insider’s understanding of the opaque private military world, how its presence can change the future of war and world order as we know it.
    Link to eighty minutes:http://warontherocks.com/2015/04/wha...n-mercenaries/
    davidbfpo

  16. #16
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default PMC polling

    From the UK Defence in Depth blog the first opinion polling of PMC personnel. The autho opens with:
    The data presented here was drawn from a large-scale study of armed private security contractors, of which this blog post is one aspect. The study set out to explore the perceptions and realities of being a private security contractor after military service. Of the men and women who completed the survey (n=1516), 86% had prior military experience, of which 65% served in the UK Armed Forces, 16% in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the remaining 19% were from countries other than the UK and US. This blog post focuses on the 65% of UK Armed Forces, herein referred to as the ‘sample population.’
    Link:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/11/09/...-armed-forces/
    davidbfpo

  17. #17
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Britain is at centre of global mercenary industry, says charity

    Hardly a shock, although being a UK-based charity and newspaper they would say that - just teasing.

    The charity report:http://www.waronwant.org/media/new-r...s-war%E2%80%99
    The short article:http://www.theguardian.com/business/...y-says-charity
    davidbfpo

  18. #18
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Dogs of War: the PMCs

    More of a follow-on to the above post, with a human focus appearing and one almost wonders if a PR person has been spinning hard:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...ldier-for-hire
    davidbfpo

  19. #19
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Addicted to mercenaries

    A short article from The Atlantic and one passage says it all:
    ...the United States has developed a dependency on the private sector to wage war, a strategic vulnerability. Today, America can no longer go to war without the private sector.
    Link:http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...-obama/495731/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-22-2016 at 09:08 PM. Reason: 30,355v
    davidbfpo

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