Independent Auditor’s Report on Agreed-Upon Procedures for DoD Compliance With Service Contract Inventory Compilation and Certification Requirements for FY 2014

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NO REGRETS: An American Adventure in Afghanistan

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Nigeria’s Private Army

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Book – Competition, Accountability, and Private Military Industry in Civil Wars – Introduction chapter1 June 2015

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Private Military Companies, Opportunities, and Termination of Civil Wars in Africa

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Mystery surrounds death of Bay man killed in Baghdad

DEVASTATING: Hervey Bay’s Chris and Angela Betts. Chris died while working in Iraq on May 12.

DEVASTATING: Hervey Bay’s Chris and Angela Betts. Chris died while working in Iraq on May 12.

Chris Betts, 34, a former Australian soldier, was working as a security contractor when he died after a firearm was discharged at the embassy about 2.30am on May 12. Continue reading

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Will These 2 Court Cases Finally Hold Our Torturers Accountable?

Will These 2 Court Cases Finally Hold Our Torturers Accountable?

They may confirm that since torture is a war crime, it can never be a policy option.
By David Cole

May 10, 2016

Soldier walks through Abu GhraibSoldier walks through Abu Ghraib

A US soldier walks between cells holding Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad on May 17, 2004. (AP Photo / Damir Sagolj, file)

It’s been 13 years since interrogators and military police at Abu Ghraib prison tortured detainees, and 12 since the abuse, captured on film, was disclosed to the world. It’s been even longer since a pair of psychologists, James Mitchell and John Jessen, developed torture tactics for the CIA’s interrogation of “high-value detainees” who had been disappeared into secret prisons. There is little doubt that the tactics employed at Abu Ghraib and by the CIA were not just illegal, but war crimes. They intentionally inflicted severe and wanton abuse, humiliation, and pain on detainees under our control. Federal and international law alike absolutely prohibit such treatment. Practically no one other than Dick Cheney seriously defends the CIA’s tactics, and even Cheney won’t defend what happened at Abu Ghraib. Yet apart from the court-martial of a few low-level soldiers at Abu Ghraib, no one has been held accountable for these wrongs. Two recent cases suggest that, finally, this may change. Continue reading

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6 Things Being a Mercenary Taught Me About Being a Novelist

6 Things Being a Mercenary Taught Me About Being a Novelist

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Before becoming a writer, Sean McFate didn’t have a desk job. Far from it, in fact. McFate spent years as a private military contractor and a paratrooper in the US Army, and racked up a lot of unusual professional experience that he has now channeled into his novel, Shadow War. While McFate’s novel is a work of fiction, he did learn a thing or two in these roles. Some of these lessons are surprisingly applicable to being a writer. Here, McFate shares with Bookish readers what his days as a soldier taught him about being a novelist. Continue reading

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UN Working Group on the use mercenaries Mission to European Union institutions: Preliminary findings

UN Working Group on the use mercenaries Mission to European Union institutions: Preliminary findings

Brussels, Belgium (29 April 2016) The Working Group on the use of mercenaries, represented by Chairperson Ms. Elzbieta Karska, undertook a visit to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, from 25 to 28 April 2016. The Working Group wishes to thank the European Union (EU) for extending an invitation to visit and also expresses its appreciation for the meetings held with various representatives from the different functional entities as well as with members of civil society organisations. The Working Group also appreciates the support provided by the UN Regional Office for Europe in Brussels for the visit. Continue reading

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Is the reputation of contractors overseas tainted by previous wars?


Is the reputation of contractors overseas tainted by previous wars?

Post Date: April 26, 2016 | Category: Around the World, The Danger Zone

Professional Overseas Contractors

During the Iraq war, private defense contractors providing security and support outnumbered troops on the ground at points. Contractors can enhance US military capacity but also entail risks. US experience with private security contractors holds several key lessons.

Over ten years after the war began, the Iraq war might best be remembered as America’s most privatized military engagement to date, with contractors hired by the Pentagon actually outnumbering troops on the ground at various points.

This might come as a surprise to many, since the sheer number of contractors used in Iraq was often overshadowed by events. By 2008, the US Department of Defense employed 155,826 private contractors in Iraq – and 152,275 troops. This degree of privatization is unprecedented in modern warfare.

One of the most important lessons of the Iraq war is that this military privatization is likely to continue in future conflicts. This could be a good thing, as contractors can enhance US military capacity. But any large-scale use of private military contractors also entails risks. Recent US experience with private security contractors, in particular, holds several critical lessons for the future. Continue reading

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