Feds Tap Data Surveillance Firm for Money Laundering Investigations


Feds Tap Data Surveillance Firm for Money Laundering Investigations

Chamille White/Shutteerstock.com

By Aliya Sternstein April 23, 2014

The federal government has tapped data surveillance provider Palantir to help civilian intelligence agencies collaborate on money laundering investigations.

The five-year $9.9 million sole source contract follows independent efforts by the departments of Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security to use the tools, according to contracting documets.  Continue reading

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Impact of USAID’s $580 Million Afghan Water Sector Programs Unclear

Impact of USAID’s $580 Million Afghan Water Sector Programs Unclear

Date: Apr 24, 2014 10:07 AM

Today SIGAR released three reports:  An audit of USAID’s $580 million effort to develop Afghanistan’s water sector, a letter on concerns with the Kajaki Dam project and a report on the State Department’s spending in Afghanistan.

The water sector audit found that USAID did not meet key provisions of the U.S. government’s strategy for developing Afghanistan’s water sector.  Specifically, USAID did not develop a work plan, measure progress toward the strategy’s goals, or update the strategy.  Continue reading

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The Real Winner of the Afghan War Is This Shady Military Contractor

04.24.14

Jacob Siegel


The State Department paid out $4 billion to rebuild Afghanistan. Some $2.5 billion of that went to a single firm with a bad, bad past.
For over a decade, the State Department gave 69% of its funding for Afghanistan to a single company—a company with a particularly checkered history.

DynCorp, one of the largest corporations working in the government’s army of private contractors, has long been known for corruption scandals and a questionable performance record. But none of that seems to have discouraged the U.S. government from awarding the company new contracts. Continue reading

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Snapshot: Top Recipients of State Dept Afghanistan Reconstruction Funds (2002-2013)

April 24, 2014 · 12:19 am

Snapshot: Top Recipients of State Dept Afghanistan Reconstruction Funds (2002-2013)

–Domani Spero

Via SIGAR:

State data indicated that the top-five recipients of State Afghanistan reconstruction awards by total obligations accounted for approximately $3.5 billion, or 87 percent, of total State reconstruction obligations. State awarded the remaining 13 percent of obligations to 766 recipients,who averaged about $676 thousand each in total obligations.

The top recipient of State reconstruction funding by total awards was Dyncorp International Limited Liability Corporation (Dyncorp). Dyncorp received approximately $2.8 billion in contracts, accounting for 69 percent of total State Department reconstruction awards. The majority of Dyncorp contracts were for governance and rule-of-law activities such training and equipping the Afghan National Police. Dyncorp contracts included police trainers, construction of police infrastructure, and fielding police equipment and vehicles. PAE Government Services Incorporated (PAE) received the second largest amount of total State reconstruction awards, receiving $598 million in contracts. PAE contracts supported development of the rule of law, including police training, counter narcotics advising, and justice sector development.

Of the total reported awards between the beginning of fiscal year 2002 and March 2013, 98 percent of awards by total value were scheduled to be complete by the end of calendar year 2013. Continue reading

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Judge dismisses case against Blackwater defendant

Judge dismisses case against Blackwater defendant

By PETE YOST

— Apr. 23, 2014 4:51 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed criminal charges against a former Blackwater security guard whose actions allegedly triggered the shootings of dozens of Iraqi citizens at a traffic circle in Baghdad nearly seven years ago. Continue reading

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Piracy And Floating Armouries In The Indian Ocean: Risk Or A Solution? – Analysis

The Indian Ocean is bounded by India's Lakshadweep Islands to the north

Piracy And Floating Armouries In The Indian Ocean: Risk Or A Solution? – Analysis

By

By Riddhi K Shah

Rising trends in piracy in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia, over the last few years have forced States to adopt innovative and collaborative approaches as effective counter-measures.The once tabooed private military security companies (PMSCs) are an attractive option today, which has triggered a huge demand for it. As of 2013, close to 140 security firms reportedly operated in the Northern Indian Ocean, the bulk of which were conceived in 2011. Continue reading

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U.S. May Charge Ex-Blackwater Guard With Murder for Iraq Massacre

U.S. May Charge Ex-Blackwater Guard With Murder for Iraq Massacre

4/23/14 at 3:42 PM
Erik Prince
Blackwater USA Chief Executive Erik Prince testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on security contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington October 2, 2007. Larry Downing/Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is considering charging a former Blackwater Worldwide security guard with murder over his alleged role in a 2007 massacre of unarmed civilians in Baghdad, a federal prosecutor said on Wednesday. Continue reading

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Theorising the use of private military and security companies: a synthetic perspective

Journal of International Relations and Development (2014) 17, 112–141.

published online 1 March 2013

Theorising the use of private military and security companies: a synthetic perspective

Andreas Krucka

Geschwister Scholl Institute for Political Science, University of Munich (LMU), Oettingenstr. 67, 80538 Munich, Germany. E-mail: andreas.kruck@gsi.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

This article seeks to systematise and advance the theoretical debate on the causes and conditions for the privatisation of security. Drawing on previous research on private military and security companies (PMSCs) and theories from International Relations and Comparative Politics, it reconstructs functionalist, political-instrumentalist and ideationist explanations for why and under what conditions even ‘strong’ and democratic Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states (extensively) use PMSCs. Continue reading

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Remaking Soldier-Citizens: Military Privatization and the Biopolitics of Sacrifice

Remaking Soldier-Citizens: Military Privatization and the Biopolitics of Sacrifice

Author: Baggiarini, Bianca

Source: St Antony’s International Review, Volume 9, Number 2, February 2014 , pp. 9-23(15)

Abstract:

This paper questions how military privatization has the potential to signal the end of sacrifice. For two centuries, states have used various combinations of sovereign and biopolitical power to cultivate the synthesis of citizenship and sacrifice, thereby authorizing and legitimizing the use of military violence. Modern citizenship has been informed by the legacy of the French Revolution, which facilitated the sacralization of citizenship, and the citizen-soldier archetype has thus come to represent the most “true” expression of embodied sacrifice. Yet as Taussig-Rubbo has argued, the actions, injuries, and deaths of private military contractors cannot be interpreted within the realm of sacrifice, because their work operates within a corporate contract, rather than a social one. Continue reading

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Beyond the Trinitarian Institutionalization of the Warrior Ethos – A Normative Conceptualization of Soldier and Contractor Commitment in Post-Modern Conflict

Defence Studies

Volume 14, Issue 1, 2014

Traditionally in liberal normative theory the warrior’s ethos has been defined on basis of the warrior’s raison d’être as the trinitarian protector of the social contractarian discretionary association of society and state. Since the post-modern warrior, whether serving in state uniform or as an employee of a commercial enterprise, is increasingly asked to provide security as a global rather than public good on the liberal state’s behalf in non-trinitarian contingency operations, this paper provides a broader normative conceptualization of the post-modern warrior ethos. Continue reading

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