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Security


Slick new corporate security operations around the world have replaced the mythical soldiers of fortune like "Mad Mike" Hoare, "Black Jacques" Schramme, and Bob Denard, mercenaries who drank hard, womanized, and wreaked havoc throughout Africa in the wars that followed independence from colonial rule. Today's mercenary is more likely to wear a business suit or stand guard outside over an oil pipeline. Companies like Defence Systems Limited guard British Petroleum's pipelines in Colombia, Dyncorp polices the Mexican border while Military Professionals Resources Incorporated trains US soldiers in Kuwait and Iraq in live-weapons fire.


Analysis: Dogs of War: Inherently governmental?
by David IsenbergUnited Press International
May 9th, 2008
Amid all the polemics over the use of private military and security contractors by the U.S. government there are two words one rarely sees, but they lie at the very heart of the debate: "inherently governmental."

U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
June 23rd, 2010
This week, almost a decade after the U.S. "War on Terror" began, the Commission on Wartime Contracting held two days of hearings into the role of private contractors in conducting and supporting war. The Congressional witness table included Aegis, DynCorp and Triple Canopy. Curiously, Blackwater was not called; and the CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions failed to appear.

US/AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts
by Mark MazzettiNew York Times
May 15th, 2010
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong’s operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.

US: Senators Call For Changes to Troubled, Costly Afghan Police Training Program
by Ryan KnutsenProPublica
April 15th, 2010
State and Defense department officials took a tongue-lashing today, trying to explain to a Senate subcommittee how the government has poured $6 billion since 2002 into building an effective Afghan police force with disastrous results.

AFGHANISTAN: Policing Afghanistan: How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck
by Pratap ChatterjeeTom Dispatch
March 21st, 2010
The Pentagon faces a tough choice: Should it award a billion-dollar contract for training the Afghan National Police to Xe (formerly Blackwater), a company made infamous when its employees killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007, or to DynCorp, a company made infamous in Bosnia in 1999 when some of its employees were caught trafficking young girls for sex?

NIGERIA: Ex-militant leader heads SPDC’s patrol team
by Chris EjimNigerian Compass
January 8th, 2010
Authorities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have unveiled a new security strategy for securing oil pipelines and platforms within the Niger Delta region. Shell has appointed former MEND militant commander, Eris Paul, and his company, Eristex Pipeline Patrol, to secure oil facilities in the Southern Ijaw area of the Delta.

US: Judge dismisses all charges in Blackwater shooting
by Associated PressLos Angeles Times
December 31st, 2009
A federal judge has dismissed all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards charged in a deadly Baghdad shooting.

IRAQ: The Pentagon Garrisons the Gulf: As Washington Talks Iraq Withdrawal, the Pentagon Builds Up Bases in the Region
by Nick TurseTomDispatch.com
November 22nd, 2009
Despite recent large-scale insurgent suicide bombings that have killed scores of civilians and the fact that well over 100,000 U.S. troops are still deployed in that country, coverage of the U.S. war in Iraq has been largely replaced in the mainstream press by the (previously) "forgotten war" in Afghanistan. Getting out of Iraq, however, doesn't mean getting out of the Middle East.

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/03/afghanistan.contractors/
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor
CNN.com
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."

US: New Hire Highlights Altegrity's Growing Ambition
by Thomas HeathWashington Post
August 17th, 2009
For more than 12 years, Falls Church-based USIS quietly scrutinized the backgrounds of individuals who needed security clearance to work in the U.S. government or in the private sector. Now re-named Altegrity, the company has ambitions of securing government contracts for much more than investigation and data-collection.

US: DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract
by V. Dion HaynesWashington Post
August 12th, 2009
A Defense Department auditor, appearing before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, testified Tuesday that DynCorp International billed the government $50 million more than the amount specified in a contract to provide dining facilities and living quarters for military personnel in Kuwait.

Mission Essential, Translators Expendable
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 11th, 2009
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.

Damming Magdalena: Emgesa Threatens Colombian Communities
by Jonathan LunaSpecial to CorpWatch
July 21st, 2009
Near the town of La Jagua, overlooking the Magdalena River, the landscape is dotted with concrete markers declaring the land, river, and everything else a “public utility” that Colombia has given to the energy company Emgesa as part of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project. A construction permit was granted in May, with the dam scheduled for full operation by 2014.

PAKISTAN: Attack in Pakistani Garrison City Raises Anxiety About Safety of Nuclear Labs and Staff
by Salman MasoodNew York Times
July 4th, 2009
A suicide attack Thursday in Rawalpindi was the first that singled out workers of Pakistan’s prized nuclear labs. Military analysts said they were from the Kahuta Research Laboratories, where weapons-grade uranium is produced. The lab was once run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program and one of the most successful nuclear proliferators in history.

FRANCE/UAE: Gulf base shows shift in France’s focus
by Ben Hall and Andrew EnglandFinancial Times
May 25th, 2009
France's new naval base in Abu Dhabi, its first overseas military base in 50 years, has sparked a round of lobbying on behalf of lucrative business for French companies including Dassault, the military aircraft maker, and a consortium of Total, GdF-Suez and Areva, which is bidding to build two nuclear power stations in the UAE. Dassault is hoping to sell as many as 60 of its Rafale fighters to the UAE.

US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.

IRAQ: Ex-Blackwater Workers May Return to Iraq Jobs
by Rod NordlandNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
Late last month Blackwater Worldwide lost its billion-dollar contract to protect American diplomats in Iraq, but by next month many of its private security guards will be back on the job here. The same individuals will just be wearing new uniforms, working for Triple Canopy, the firm that won the State Department’s new contract.

Policing Afghanistan: Obama's New Strategy
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 23rd, 2009
A new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama this week. It plans to ramp up the training of the Afghan army and police at a cost of some $2 billion a year. Private contractor DynCorp is already lining up to bid for some of the lucrative contracts. This article provides an overview of key reports assessing the training of the Afghan police, and DynCorp's role, to date.

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