South African Mercenaries Play Crucial Role In Fight Against Boko Haram
NPR: Morning Edition
26 March 2015
STEVE INSKEEP: Today is the final day of campaigning for Nigeria’s presidential election – an election that was postponed six weeks ago because of security concerns. That delay seems to have been a bonus for embattled incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.
RENEE MONTAGNE: It gave the president extra time to make progress against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing northern Nigeria for years. And now indeed Boko Haram is on the run. The Nigerian military has taken credit for those victories, but there’s evidence that the real fighters include a contingent of highly skilled mercenaries. New York Times‘ West Africa bureau chief Adam Nossiter uncovered the story. When he joined us via Skype, he said the Nigerian armed forces are doing some of the fighting.
The next government should introduce an ‘open book’ approach to outsourcing contracts to increase transparency and value for money, CIPFA has said.
In a briefing published today, the institute said there was currently insufficient information about the estimated £93.5bn spent on services that are contracted out to private and third sector firms.Continue reading →
Update, March 27, 2015, 6:48 p.m.: This story has been updated to include responses from the FBI and the State Department.
Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.
The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya’s civil war raged in 2011. Continue reading →
A $12.2 million contract to boost the Palestinian economy was scrapped more than a year before its scheduled completion after U.S. Agency for International Development officials covered up the poor performance of its contractor, Deloitte Consulting.
USAID officials “mischaracterized” the results of the project, which was intended to generate $75 million in revenue and savings for Palestinian companies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the development agency’s inspector general found.
The officials reported on Deloitte’s “satisfactory” performance in the early months of the contract, “although project staff generally agreed that the project was unsuccessful in the first year…Giving misleading information about Deloitte’s performance does a disservice to other contracting officers who use this evaluation,” the inspector general said. Continue reading →
We summarized DoD information operations (IO) challenges in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa identified in audit reports issued by the DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG).What We Found
Since 2006, DoD OIG issued six reports on IO projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa. The reports identified areas of compliance with rules and regulations to conduct IO, use contractors to perform IO, and award contracts for IO. Continue reading →
DynCorp International; DynCorp International Awarded $56.0 Million Contract Modification to Provide Aviation Maintenance Services in Afghanistan
China Weekly News
31 March 2015
2015 MAR 31 (VerticalNews) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at China Weekly News — The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command (AMCOM) has awarded DynCorp International (DI) a contract modification to continue providing aviation maintenance services throughout the Theater Aviation Sustainment Manager – OCONUS (TASM-O) and Theater Aviation Sustainment Manager – Southwest Asia (TASM-S) regions under the Army Aviation Field Maintenance (AFM) contract.
Here is the video of the private military and security contracting event I spoke at on Tuesday at the American University Washington College of Law.
Panel 1 (Exploring the history and current scope of military contractors), Guns For Hire: The Legal, Policy, and Ethical Implications for the Growing Reliance upon Military Contractors, March 24, 2015, American University, Washington College of Law, Room 603
The use of mercenaries in warfare has a very long history—much longer, in fact, than the almost-exclusive deployment of national militaries to wage wars. Before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ended Europe’s Thirty Years’ War and marked the rise of the modern state system, medieval powers from kings to popes routinely hired private fighters to do battle for them. As state governments sought a monopoly on the use of force within their territories in the 17th century, however, they moved to stamp out violence by non-state actors, including mercenaries, driving the industry underground.
Private militaries never really went away, but according to Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and associate professor at National Defense University, they have experienced a resurgence in the past 25 years. McFate himself was a contractor with DynCorp International, one of the private military companies whose rise is the subject of his recent book, The Modern Mercenary. Companies like DynCorp—and, more infamously, Blackwater—were major players in the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing logistics and other services, as well as armed guards and trainers for local armies. McFate draws a distinction between these types of support contractors, used for defense and training, and mercenaries, who stage offensive operations on behalf of a client. Nigeria has reportedly deployed mercenaries from South Africa and elsewhere in the fight against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. In practice, however, that difference is not clear-cut. “If you can do one, you can do the other,” McFate told me in a recent interview. Continue reading →
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