Contractors Supporting Combat Operations. A Failure of Imagination

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Mission Accomplishment through Outsourcing

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Escobar Dooms Blackwater FCA Suit, Court Told

Escobar Dooms Blackwater FCA Suit, Court Told

Law360, New York (November 4, 2016, 1:56 PM EDT) — Blackwater successor Academi asked a Virginia federal judge on Thursday to toss a False Claims Act suit accusing it of falsifying firearms qualifications for U.S. Department of State guards in Afghanistan, arguing that the claims don’t hold up under the U.S. Supreme Court‘s recent Escobar decision.
In a reply in support of its motion for judgment on the pleadings, Academi pointed to the Supreme Court’s ruling this year in Universal Health Services Inc. v. Escobar, which noted that the FCA requires that violations be “material,” defined by the statute as something “capable of influencing” government payment decisions. Under this standard, former marksmen Lyle Beauchamp and Warren Shepherd have failed to allege that the government would, or likely would, have withheld payment had it known of Academi’s “supposed noncompliance,” according to the company. Continue reading

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G4S sells Israeli arm for £88m


Credit: Tom Parker/OneRedEye

Security company G4S has agreed the sale of its Israeli business to a local private equity firm for £88m as it pushes ahead with plans to rationalise.

FIMI Opportunity Funds has agreed to buy the arm, with senior management staying with the business after the sale. G4S will continue to have a presence in Israel through its stake in a police training centre, Policity, in conjunction with FIMI, and Israeli infrastructure and real estate group Shikun & Binui.

The deal is expected to complete within three months. Continue reading

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This is a national security risk

This is a national security risk

2016-11-13 06:00

The military pilot training school at Polokwane International Airport Picture: Supplied

The military pilot training school at Polokwane International Airport Picture: Supplied

Top-secret reports from the State Security Agency (SSA) and a firm of private investigators hired by the Limpopo transport department have raised the alarm on a group of foreigners who, having received military pilot training in Polokwane, could now pose a “serious national security risk”.Documents obtained by City Press reveal that SSA officials and others from the country’s military intelligence are also concerned that the training, which takes place at Polokwane International Airport, “could inadvertently be provided to people with malicious intent”.

A group of 25 foreigners were trained between 2013 and 2014 by Aerosud Aerospace Systems, a company acquired by the Paramount Group in 2014. Continue reading

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Belgium Employs Private Security Companies in Operations of Surveillance, Inspection

Belgium Employs Private Security Companies in Operations of Surveillance, Inspection

A Belgian soldier patrols in Brussels' Grand Place as police searched the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, Belgium, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Brussels- The Belgian Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said that security guards in the country will be allowed to practice some of the police missions like participating in questioning people to verify their identities or to inspect their bags as part of the new regulations adopted by the government concerning the work of private companies. Continue reading

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Merchant of Doubt: Did the DEA Nab an International Weapons Dealer, or a CIA Asset Hung Out to Dry?

Merchant of Doubt

In the late evening of December 15, 2014, agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration descended on a hotel in Podgorica, Montenegro, to take into custody a man arrested by local authorities for arms trafficking.

Flaviu Georgescu, an American citizen from Romania, had been in the DEA’s sights for years. A tall, heavyset man in his mid-40s with close-cropped hair, Flaviu worked as a private security contractor in Bucharest. Continue reading

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Nigeria: Defence Headquarters Denies Considering South African Mercenaries

Abuja — The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied any consideration for recruitment of security contractors and mercenaries from South Africa to help Nigerian military in the ongoing counter-terrorism efforts in the North-east region.

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in a statement issued yesterday expressed concern that the story making the round that it plans to invite mercenaries who once assisted the military operations is totally misleading.

Continue reading

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William Mesny: The Mercenary Mandarin

William Mesny: The Mercenary Mandarin

In February 1871, Chinese troops entered Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, at the end of an exhausting campaign. They had been fighting the Miao ethnic minority, who were in rebellion against the central government: the Chinese had battled them right across Guizhou, enduring starvation rations, infighting amongst their own commanders, long periods under siege, several disastrous ambushes, and moments of unbelievably bloody hand-to-hand fighting.

But now it was Chinese New Year, and Guiyang’s streets were packed with happy, festive throngs setting off firecrackers. Checking in to his temporary quarters at the rear of the Black Sage temple, the newly-appointed Provincial Superintendent of Foreign Arms found the halls packed to the rafters with barrels of gunpowder, took one look at the worshipers lighting sticks of incense and candles, and decided it would be safer to bunk elsewhere. Despite his Chinese robes, whose leopard rank badge and pale blue hat button identified him as a military Mandarin of the third rank, there was something decidedly unusual about this young, thickly-moustached officer: he was British, and his name was William Mesny. Continue reading

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Overseas Contingency Operations: Observations on the Use of Force Management Levels in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

Increased Use of Contractors and Personnel on Temporary Duty. DOD relies on contractors to support a wide range of military operations and free up uniformed personnel to directly support mission needs. During operations in Afghanistan and Iraq contractor personnel played a critical role in supporting U.S. troops and sometimes exceeded the number of deployed military personnel. However, the increased use of contractors and temporary personnel to provide support during operations has its challenges, including oversight of contractors in deployed environments. GAO made four recommendations to improve oversight of operational contract support. DOD concurred with all four, and has implemented three of them. GAO also made a recommendation that DOD develop guidance relating to costs of overseas operations, with which DOD partially concurred and which remains open.

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