‘Mercenaries Unleashed’: Report Highlights Threats Posed By Booming Private Security Industry

‘For too long this murky world of guns for hire has been allowed to grow unchecked. In letting the industry regulate itself, the government has failed,’ the executive director of War On Want tells MintPress.
By @billybriggs |
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Google+
    Private military firm, European Security Academy, carries out a training exercise. Britain's $560 million a year mercenary industry is booming as governments and corporations seek to 'evade responsibility for the use of violent and often deadly force.’ (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

    Private military firm, European Security Academy, carries out a training exercise.
    Britain’s $560 million a year mercenary industry is booming as governments and corporations seek to ‘evade responsibility for the use of violent and often deadly force.’ (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

    LONDON — In a new report, a British anti-poverty charity puts Britain at the center of a growing global mercenary industry worth around $560 million to companies in the United Kingdom alone.

    In its report, “Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies,” War On Want names a number of major military and security companies (PMSCs) making vast profits in conflict zones around the world, including Control Risks, G4S and Olive Group.

    The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for example, has awarded contracts to PMSCs in conflict zones with a combined value of around $70 million each year since 2003. This includes nearly $210 million in the five years between 2007 and 2012 awarded for operations in Iraq.



    War On Want reports:

    “From dependency on Pentagon contracts, they [PMSCs] have found a wealth of new and eager clients amongst the private sector, especially in the extractive industries. They have sought out and exploited political instability in the wake of the Arab uprisings. And they have spread floating armories across the world’s oceans to protect commercial shipping interests. In all of this, U.K. companies are playing a leading role, reaping enormous profits.”

    In its report, War On Want says the use of private armies by foreign governments and corporations is increasing rapidly because “states and companies seek to evade responsibility for the use of violent and often deadly force.”

    According to an earlier War On Want report in 2006, a proliferation of security firms led to human rights abuses, a flourishing weapons trade and political destabilization. The latest briefing provides an update on the situation, noting that hundreds of new PMSCs have been established in recent years in a secretive industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

    War On Want argues that the U.K. government could be complicit in the aforementioned crimes because it has allowed mercenaries to regulate themselves.

    John Hilary, executive director of War On Want, told MintPress News that the time has come to ban these companies from operating in conflict zones:

    “Now we are seeing the alarming rise of mercenaries fighting on the front line in conflict zones across the world: it is the return of the ‘Dogs of War.’ For too long this murky world of guns for hire has been allowed to grow unchecked. In letting the industry regulate itself, the government has failed; only binding regulation will do.”

     

    Dwindling US, UK military presence allowed PMSCs to flourish

    Many leading PMSCs are sprawling corporate entities, the War On Want report explains, adding that companies such as G4S (which acquired ArmorGroup in 2008), Aegis Defence Services (now part of GardaWorld), Control Risks and Olive Group, make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit each year from the industry and “come complete with PR departments and marketing teams.”

    An Afghan National Police officer meets a British security contractor during a engagement between U.S. Marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and Nawa District officials in the Nawa District Bazaar, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 22, 2009. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/William Greeson)

    An Afghan National Police officer meets a British security contractor during a engagement between U.S. Marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and Nawa District officials in the Nawa District Bazaar, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 22, 2009. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/William Greeson)

    No fewer than 14 British PMSCs are based in Hereford, England, close to the headquarters of the British army’s Special Air Service (SAS), while at least 46 PMSCs in the U.K. employ former members of the British special forces.

    While the report focuses on British firms, it also highlights the close links between the U.K. and the United States within the private security industry.

    Control Risks is a London-based security firm that operates in war zones around the world. Most of its staff, like Jim Brooks, are former members of the military and intelligence community.

    The report notes that Brooks, the CEO of the American arm of Control Risks, “is ex-CIA, and worked for the agency supporting its worldwide paramilitary operations, and as a Navy SEAL advisor to Latin American security services.”

    Meanwhile, the company’s Middle East operations are overseen by Andreas Carleton-Smith, a former officer in the SAS, and its Iraq operations are headed by David Amos, a former officer in the British army, who now leads more than 1,200 people with 340 armored vehicles in sites across the country.

    Control Risks declined to comment for this story, but a statement on its website outlines its expertise as “an independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments.”

    Echoing that, a statement sent to MintPress by G4S, the world’s largest private security company, which the report notes for its complicity in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and concerns about its operations in Iraq, maintains:

    In limited circumstances, we deploy highly trained armed security specialists ‎to complex environments, often to support humanitarian operations, to protect critical national infrastructure or help companies looking to invest in local economies. However, nowhere do we operate in military combat situations.

    The War On Want report says that as the large-scale military occupation of Iraq by American and British troops wound down, PMSCs expanded in scope.

    “Security operations which were once the preserve of the occupying armed forces were outsourced, with UK companies remaining key players,” the report notes, adding that Aegis Defence Services is “one of several PMSCs under contract from the U.S. military providing services to the Pentagon’s program for training and equipping Iraqi security forces under the Office of Security Cooperation’s Iraq program.”

    Contracts in the Middle East have brought huge profit increases to PMSCs, and War On Want points out that many, including Control Risks, have been hired to protect the oil and gas sector in Iraq.

    War On Want also mentions Academi, the U.S. mercenary firm founded by Erik Prince, formerly known as Blackwater. The report states that “hundreds of Colombian mercenaries recruited by the infamous US PMSC Blackwater (now renamed Academi) have been fighting alongside Saudi Arabian forces in Yemen.”

     

    Maritime militarization

    War On Want says the proliferation of PMSCs isn’t confined to land, but extends to the sea. Indeed, the use of private armies in the maritime industry is booming, and the report warns that the militarization of the oceans and the use of private armies is having “significant consequences.”

    Private military contractors are being increasingly employed to police the world's waterways.

    Private military contractors are being increasingly employed to police the world’s waterways.

    The report notes that PMSCs have shot at vessels at sea, sometimes resulting in the deaths of innocent fishermen. One captain working in the Indian Ocean told War On Want: “It’s the Wild Wild West out there. There are no regulations or vetting process for these teams. The company doesn’t know who it’s getting on board.”

    At a 2012 shipping conference, Thomas Rothrauff, president of the Virginia-based Trident Group, played a video of armed personnel firing without warning on two skiffs approaching their vessel in the Indian Ocean the previous year, and, according to War On Want:

    “[He] acknowledged that those on board were probably killed, although the exact extent of injuries and the real intent of those in the skiff remains unknown: ‘We’re not in the business of counting injuries,’ he said.”

    After the video leaked, Bloomberg reported that it “highlights a lack of rules governing the use of weapons on the high seas amid questions over how much force is legal and necessary to fight Somali piracy attacks.” Reporters also noted that it “risks a Blackwater moment,” referring to the 2007 incident in which Blackwater Worldwide employees opened fire, killing civilians in Baghdad.

    Watch the leaked video that shows Blackwater contractors in Iraq running over a woman with a car, smashing into cars to move them out of the way and firing a rifle into traffic:

    In a statement to MintPress, Trident Group said War On Want’s reference to the company in its report was fragmentary, drawn entirely from a “grossly inaccurate secondary source,” and “all but flatly asserts that Trident Group subcontractors committed murder.”

    “Nothing could be further from the truth. Far from the callous, unprovoked mayhem implied by the Bloomberg article – and swallowed whole by the War On Want report – Trident Group’s subcontractors acted with restraint, and in full compliance with established rules of engagement,” the statement continued.

    Trident Group pointed out that it has been a signatory company to the U.N. International Code of Conduct since 2009 and continues that status to this day.

    Further, the report also explains how PMSCs exploit a legal loophole when it comes to use of arms in international waters by making use of floating armories. These ships are harbored at sea, stocked with high-power rifles, ammunition, night-vision goggles and other military-grade material.

    The U.K. Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has issued 50 licenses for floating armouries operating in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, according to a December 2014 report from the Omega Research Foundation.

    And, as the report warns, PMSCs on these floating armories in international waters “can operate without fear of legal repercussions.”

    Academi, Control Risks, Olive Group and the U.K. government all declined to comment for this article.

    Be Sociable, Share!

     

    Print This Story Print This Story
    You Might Also Like  
    ___________________________________________
    This entry was posted in Foreign Affairs, Front Page: Foreign Affairs, Inside Stories, Investigations, National, Top Stories, Top Story and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
    • Pingback: “La Otan apoya juegos de rol de corte satánico”. | eladiofernandez()

    • David Hale

      I’m thinking there wouldn’t be a need for this if the criminals of the third world would turn their attentions to more productive means of living their lives. The re-emergence of radical Islam over the past 50 to 100 years energized by trillions of dollars in oil profits and godless murdering dictators who use these social diseases to consolidate their power has created this high level corporate war and it will likely get worse.

      As western states are further driven by the social Marxists with their utopian fantasies to refuse to let armies do what armies do and that is to break dictators and their stuff and kill thugs then the job will have to get done on the low low with these private armies who will never achieve total victory but just a maintenance of unmolested commerce. What’s funny is that the nuts complaining about this are the same nuts complaining about armies killing murdering dictators and breaking their stuff.

      These same social Marxists are the ones that have allowed 100,000 or more Christians to be murdered in the Middle East. They’re the same ones trying to take our guns in the USA. They’re the same ones that rant on college campuses about free speech but then riot when Ann Coulter comes to speak. They are the same ones that have caused the rise of violence worldwide because they refuse to meet violence with violence. They make me ill and infuriate me.

      Xx

    • David Hale

      I’m thinking there wouldn’t be a need for this if the criminals of the third world would turn their attentions to more productive means of living their lives. The re-emergence of radical Islam over the past 50 to 100 years energized by trillions of dollars in oil profits and godless murdering dictators who use these social diseases to consolidate their power has created this high level corporate war and it will likely get worse. As western states are further driven by the social Marxists with their utopian fantasies to refuse to let armies do what armies do and that is to break dictators and their stuff and kill thugs then the job will have to get done on the low low with these private armies who will never achieve total victory but just a maintenance of unmolested commerce. What’s funny is that the nuts complaining about this are the same nuts complaining about armies killing murdering dictators and breaking their stuff.

      These same social Marxists are the ones that have allowed 100,000 or more Christians to be murdered in the Middle East. They’re the same ones trying to take our guns in the USA. They’re the same ones that rant on college campuses about free speech but then riot when Ann Coulter comes to speak. They are the same ones that have caused the rise of violence worldwide because they refuse to meet violence with violence. They make me ill and infuriate me.

    • Pingback: Knowledge is Power | Mercenary Industry Booming as Private Armies Wage Wars for Corporations()

    • Pingback: ‘Mercenaries Unleashed’: Report Highlights Threats Posed By Booming Private Security Industry - Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site : Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site()

    • Mark Hard

      its not getting worse learn your history, did you know that in the 1800 the Pinkerton’s security forces in the US had more men and guns then the US army. So things are not getting worse, things were so bad in the old days you just don’t study history. in the old days the Pinkerton as an example could kill people merely for protesting over labor issues and be fully covered by the law in doing so.

    • Pingback: Mercenary Industry Booming as Private Armies Wage Wars for Corporations - Realities Watch()

    • Pingback: Mercenary Industry Booming as Private Armies Wage Wars for Corporations – GhostSec- Independent News()

    • Pingback: Mercenary Industry Booming as Private Armies Wage Wars for Corporations AnonHQ()

    • Pingback: Mercenary Industry Booming As Private Armies Wage Wars For Corporations – The Modern Gnostic()

    • Pingback: Mercenary Industry Booming as Private Armies Wage Wars for Corporations()

    • tapatio

      “Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies”
      http://media.waronwant.org/sites/default/files/Mercenaries%20Unleashed%2C%202016.pdf?_ga=1.162632510.341186890.1456513154

      What’s the real difference, though? An American or Brit who puts on their country’s uniform today is NOTHING more than a poorly compensated mercenary for predatory capitalism.

      In 1968, when I went to Vietnam, that’s what I was – even though I had the delusion that I was fighting for “Truth, Justice and The American Way”. When they carried my stretcher out of ‘Nam, I was just beginning to learn that that was one of the Great Lies.

      • GALT

        “Kill everything that moves!”

        They got us cheap…..less than $ 300 a month….today, being a trained
        killing machine pays way more ( even adjusted for inflation ) and it’s actually
        a “career move”…….plus it seems, all the support services are private…..
        ( costing way more )…..plus when and if you graduate ( survive ) you
        can get 4x what the military will pay you, now…..if they let you go.

        It’s our fault really…..the sentence actually was ” The American Way of Truth
        and Justice”…..and we kinda knew…..because anyone that asked you what
        you were doing there got the standard response…..”365 and a wake up.”

        • tapatio

          I was thinking about the line from the opening of the Superman series of 55ish years ago. I did a bit better as a Navy O-1. I think it was $340.00. By the time I took a bullet in the Delta, I’d made it to O-2 (Lt.JG) and $500ish.

          Back then, though, I spent a lot of hours learning the law and having an instructor give us a graphic description of the gallows that would be waiting if we violated those laws (of course, Calley proved that to be a lie – he should have been burned at the stake on the Capitol Mall).

          There wasn’t any “kill everything that moves” for us and, in 22 months on the Mekong Delta, neither I or ANY of my guys did anything to be ashamed of – not once.

          As to these mercenaries, I think that participation in any mercenary organization, as management or troop, should be a felony in the US and that should become international law. But, I’m one of those freaks that feels that nobody should be wearing uniforms without the blue UN flag on them. It’s time to dump war for profit – humanity needs to grow up.

          • GALT

            That’s where the “line” comes from…..the product of winning
            a war against “identifiable evil” while failing to recognize that
            the source of that evil is a potential in all of us, because we are
            encoded with it and it requires “reason” to defeat….and we
            are NOT encoded with that.

            If you have read the “book”, then you should grasp the “problem”
            even if you were fortunate enough not to have faced the choices.

            I had a friend who flew choppers, who described the experience
            as “god like”, using the 20mm cannons…..he had a good chunk of his
            head blown off, and he used to drink and become zombie like.
            ( and use other things )

            I have talked to “gulf war” vets and “afghan vets”…..being in places
            we didn’t belong and coming home…….it’s all the same, survivor
            guilt and other kinds……and they don’t want to talk about it, but once
            they know that you know….they have literally broken down in front of me.

            We don’t need to grow up….we need to evolve….but DNA doesn’t encode
            for “reason”…..it encodes for survival and reproduction.

      • Michelle Warren

        ❝my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….two days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!!b721➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsCrowd/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:❦2:::::!!b721…..

    • Pingback: 1 – Report Highlights Threats Posed by Booming Private Security Industry()