Here’s How Private Contractors Can Help Win the Afghan War

Here’s How Private Contractors Can Help Win the Afghan War

A member of the Afghan security personnel stands guard at the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul

History and incentives are on their side.

The president has declared a “path forward” for Afghanistan. Given that the United States is at a nexus for strategic change, might there be an increased role for private contractors in positions previously held by U.S. troops? A proposal from Erik Prince, formerly the head of Blackwater Worldwide, claims that with the use of his “corporate warriors” he can end the war in Afghanistan. Can it work? History suggests that it can. But to be successful, it would require a level of commitment and integration not yet demonstrated. It also relies upon the imperatives of capability, capacity and efficiency, as well as the effectiveness of those chosen to perform the task that the U.S. military has been unable to accomplish: winning the war. First, though, there must be a real understanding of what private security contractors (PSCs) actually do, and how they can and will be held accountable for their actions. Continue reading

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Olgoonik Global Security, LLC

Olgoonik Global Security, LLC

B-414762,B-414762.2: Sep 8, 2017


The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This redacted version has been approved for public release.

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Mercenaries, Privateers, and Chartered Companies

  • Christopher Spearin 1
  1. 1.Department of Defence Studies Royal Military College of Canada/Canadian Forces College Toronto Canada


Chapter 3 offers a historical consideration of commercial non-state violent actors and commercial type policies under two rationales. The first is to highlight the one-time prominence of such actors, predominantly in the land milieu and especially understood through the term “mercenary”. This then allows one to reveal how mercenarism either declined in an absolute sense or those who might be described as mercenaries were absorbed into state expectations and the standing, standardized, and technologically dependent organizations of states. Here attention is paid to pejorative implications related to nationality and military service and to bodies such as the French Foreign Legion, the Gurkha units in a variety of countries, and the bands of (mostly) Cold War era soldiers of fortune. The second is to note that commercial non-state violent actors became less and less associated with advanced machines in warfare. The decline of phenomena like privateering and armed chartered company fleets made the possession and utilization of sophisticated technologies in conflict more and more the preserve of states. The chapter inherently emphasizes that today’s Private Military and Security Companies owning and operating sophisticated technologies that we commonly associate with the state would be, at the very least, a surprising bucking of historical trends.

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The Gurkhas and Great Inequalities in Their Lives

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This Law Firm Is Both Representing Dakota Access Owner and Suing Its Security Firm

This Law Firm Is Both Representing Dakota Access Owner and Suing Its Security Firm

A police officer stands near protesters with signs against Dakota Access blocking the entrance to an Army Corps building

However, federal court rules require that, in addition to the New York-based team at Kasowitz, Energy Transfer Partners must retain local legal counsel in North Dakota, where the lawsuit was filed. The bottom of the 187-page legal complaint filed on August 22 reveals that the corporation chose Vogel Law Firm, with offices in both Minnesota and North Dakota, for that job.

However, by serving as a law firm for Energy Transfer Partners, Vogel may have a potential conflict of interest. That’s because, at the same time, the firm is representing the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board in its ongoing lawsuit against TigerSwan. This private security firm worked on behalf of Dakota Access during the months-long protest movement at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Continue reading

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Clinton State Department silenced them on Benghazi security lapses, contractors say Catherine Herridge

Clinton State Department silenced them on Benghazi security lapses, contractors say

EXCLUSIVE: Security at the State Department’s Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack – and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

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Janus Global Operations to provide security for international oil company’s central Iraq operations

News provided by

Janus Global Operations

Sep 13, 2017, 11:21 ET

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Janus Global Operations (JGO) has been selected by an integrated oil and gas multinational corporation based in Malaysia, to provide security and risk management services for the company’s operations in central Iraq.

Some 600 JGO U.S. and foreign national employees will be responsible, during the two-year contract, for security and risk management for the Malaysian International Oil Company’s (IOC) oil exploration and development program in central Iraq, to include the company’s base camp, facilities, and also mobile security for company personnel.

“We’re proud that the Malaysian IOC has selected JGO for this security responsibility,” said Matt Kaye, JGO’s chief executive officer. “JGO has worked in Iraq with commercial and government clients for more than 13 years on demining and unexploded remnants of war clearance, munitions management, security and risk management, and other tasks critical to clients’ operations.”

The Malaysian IOC has a 10-year relationship with JGO, Kaye added.

“We’ve worked hard to keep and earn the company’s trust,” Kaye said. “Its investment in these projects is significant, and the environment of central Iraq can, at times, be quite challenging. We’re appreciative of the company’s confidence in JGO.”

Janus Global Operations is an integrated international stability operations company with thousands of employees serving clients in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Janus’ services include munitions response; demining; intelligence support; logistics; life support; risk management; communications; and other services in some of the world’s most challenging and hostile environments. The company’s website is

SOURCE Janus Global Operations

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Ukraine’s Volunteer Militias May Have Saved the Country, But Now They Threaten It

For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership.

Earlier this year, armed protesters used violence and threats to force Ukraine’s government into a substantial policy reversal: a ban on anthracite coal imports from separatist-controlled territory, crucial to the country’s electricity supply. The protesters were representatives of “volunteer battalions” (or pro-state militias), broadly credited with helping Ukraine survive the early days of its continuing conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the East. This incident, and others like it, illustrate how the continued cohesiveness, weapons access, and politicization of these groups threatens Ukraine’s democracy and stability.

When the volunteer battalions (although not all are technically battalions, we will use this terminology as shorthand) first appeared in 2014, their assistance was welcome and necessary, albeit controversial. Although seen as patriots by many, critics deemed these groups undisciplined, politically extremist, and insufficiently controlled by Ukrainian authorities. Some were credibly linked to human rights violations and neo-Nazi sympathies.

One recent account suggests that those problems have disappeared and today the heroic narrative appears triumphant in Ukraine and beyond. It holds that the volunteer battalions rose to their country’s defense in a time of need, and members have now either stepped back into their civilian lives or joined the state’s formal security sector as Ukraine’s military forces became more robust. Almost all of these units are now under state command, subordinate to the National Guard or other security forces.

The reality is more complicated. In fact, several of these formations continue to function as relatively autonomous and politicized units inside state security forces, with separate recruitment and command structures. Moreover, volunteer battalion veterans, even after official demobilization, retain easy access to weapons, and many remain loyal to their old commanders and financial patrons.

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Allen v. FLUOR CORPORATION, Dist. Court, ND Texas 2017


CARRIE LAURNETTE ALLEN, et al., Plaintiffs,

Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-1219-D.
United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division.
June 15, 2017.
Carrie Laurnette Allen, Plaintiff, represented by Uriele Lawrence Boze, U. Lawrence Boze &Associates PC.

Carrie Laurnette Allen, Plaintiff, represented by Eric Robert Bell, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, pro hac vice, Richard Pollard Kinnan, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, pro hac vice, Royce West, West & Associates LLP & Veretta L. Frazier, West & Associates LLP. Continue reading

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US EX REL. BARKO v. HALLIBURTON COMPANY, Dist. Court, Dist. of Columbia 2017


HALLIBURTON COMPANY, et al., Defendants.

Case No. 05-cv-1276-RCL.
United States District Court, District of Columbia.
March 14, 2017.
HARRY BARKO, Plaintiff, represented by David K. Colapinto, KOHN, KOHN & COLAPINTO, LLP.

HARRY BARKO, Plaintiff, represented by Michael David Kohn, KOHN, KOHN & COLAPINTO, LLP, Stephen M. Kohn, KOHN, KOHN & COLAPINTO, LLP & Anthony C. Munter, PRICE BENOWITZ, LLP.

HALLIBURTON COMPANY, Defendant, represented by Craig D. Margolis, VINSON & ELKINS LLP, John Martin Faust, LAW OFFICES OF JOHN M. FAUST, PLLC, Kathleen C. Neace, VINSON & ELKINS LLP, Alden Lewis Atkins, VINSON & ELKINS LLP & Tirzah S. Lollar, VINSON & ELKINS, L.L.P.. Continue reading

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