Industry Talk: Simon Mann At Oxford Union

Thanks to James over at Facebook for finding this one. Oxford did a similar question and answer session with Erik Prince awhile back, and these talks are quite good. Great questions and a receptive audience.

Now onto some of the things that Simon Mann brought up that were of interest to me. For company news, he talked a little about New Century and their work in Mexico. That is something to look into. He also mentioned his new book called Kass, which is written from a woman’s point of view. Interesting…

He also talked about working with Vice in North Sudan, so I am sure we will see that video coming out soon. The really interesting bit was him and Erik Prince paling around, for Vice! Like a PMSC hang out session or something. So we will see how that goes. Another cool deal is that he is involved with a virtual reality training company.

At about 18:30 in the video below, he gets a really interesting question from the audience about leadership and discipline in the PMSC world. It was very cool to hear him talk about that element of Executive Outcomes, and what the problems were, and what worked. Unit cohesion is gold for a PMSC, and especially for the kinds of operations EO was involved with. Definitely check that out.

For some lessons learned about his coup attempt and imprisonment in Equatorial Guinea, he really emphasized timing. Meaning the operation was in limbo and open for an entire year before implemented. That is a lot of time for leaks to get out. He said he was pressing to do the operation quickly to minimize leaks, and his higher ups just didn’t get that. He also mentioned regret for not calling a halt to the whole thing in time. They certainly paid the price in prison…

Finally, he mentioned China, which is something I have been writing about here. That eventually, China would probably want to use their own PMSC’s and not western PMSC’s. At this time, they are dependent on western PMSC’s to accomplish OBOR projects, because these companies have so much experience with operations. China does have security companies, and eventually they will get to the same level as western companies. It is a matter of time, and especially with so much money on the line with development.

Great talk and we will see whom else Oxford Union can grab for a good chat. –Matt

 

 

 

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Industry Talk: Offense Industry In Syria?


The deal is distinct from the common practice of oil majors and other corporations outsourcing security in hot spots in the Middle East and elsewhere. Under the contract, the wells are not just to be guarded, but to be captured first, the article said.

“The arrangement returns to the times of Francis Drake and Cecil Rhodes,” it noted, referring to two figures from British history whose careers mixed warfare and private profit.-NYT

A couple years back, I came up with a concept that more accurately described the type of contracts PMSC’s were conducting in the war. Current contracts are more or less classified as ‘Defense Industry’, where companies profit from the defense of a client and their property. This kind of contract is more favorable because it is not geared towards destroying the enemy. You actually want the enemy to stick around so you don’t work yourself out of a job. lol

The second type of scheme is ‘Offense Industry’. Basically we are talking about contracts where a company profits from the destruction of a client’s enemy and their property. If XYZ company destroys ISIS, then they are payed 50 billion dollars for example. In my post about it, I brought up past examples of offense industry–like privateering.

Fast forward to today’s news coming out of Syria. According to the news site Fontanka, there is an offense industry contract that has been arranged between Syria and several Russian PMSC’s. Here is the quote from the NYT’s article on it:

So far, two Russian companies are known to have received contracts under the new policy, according to the reports: Evro Polis, which is set to receive profits from oil and gas wells it seizes from the Islamic State using contract soldiers, and Stroytransgaz, which signed a phosphate-mining deal for a site that was under militant control at the time.
The agreements, made with the Syrian government, are seen as incentives for companies affiliated with Russian security contractors, who reportedly employ about 2,500 soldiers in the country, to push the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, out of territory near Palmyra, in central Syria.
Most Middle Eastern wars are suspected of having some variant of this deal, but it is seldom made as explicit as in the Russian contracts.
“It’s all very simple,” Ivan P. Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Trends Studies, said by telephone of the deals, struck in December but just recently reported. “If a company provides security, then the country getting that service should pay. It doesn’t matter how the payment is made.”
In the petroleum deal, Evro Polis, a corporation formed last summer, will receive a 25 percent share of oil and natural gas produced on territory it captures from the Islamic State, the news site Fontanka.ru reported.

This contract is not just about defending a client’s asset. This first requires these companies to conduct offensive operations and seize this territory, and then defend it! That is a big difference and greatly adds to the risk of these types of contracts. But there is a big reward if they can take it.

It is that reward mechanism that creates an incentive for an investor to put so much into something like this. It is why investors put so much money into privateering vessels during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 in the US–they were ‘incentivized’. But they also had a legal contract with the backing of the US Constitution and congress in the form of a Letter of Marque. I have not seen such legal protections talked about in this article by the NYT or Fontanka. Although I have to imagine the backroom dealings on this would be pretty comprehensive.

A final thought on this is that I held back on putting this story up at first. I do not have the resources to go to Syria and confirm all of this. So these forces might be legitimate Russian PMSC’s, or they might be just Russian special operations dressed up to be PMSC’s (little green men anyone?). I have written about PMC Wagner in the past, as well as the Slovanic Corps and the story always seems to be a little different that what was reported. There are a lot of groups out there pushing agendas and trying to trade up the chain as they say. So are we seeing the beginnings of new offense industry in Syria? We will see where this goes…. –Matt

 

Russian EOD personnel in Palmyra, Syria. -NBC

Russia Deploys a Potent Weapon in Syria: The Profit Motive
By ANDREW E. KRAMER
JULY 5, 2017
The Kremlin is bringing a new weapon to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria, using market-based incentives tied to oil and mining rights to reward private security contractors who secure territory from the extremists, Russian news outlets have reported.
So far, two Russian companies are known to have received contracts under the new policy, according to the reports: Evro Polis, which is set to receive profits from oil and gas wells it seizes from the Islamic State using contract soldiers, and Stroytransgaz, which signed a phosphate-mining deal for a site that was under militant control at the time.
The agreements, made with the Syrian government, are seen as incentives for companies affiliated with Russian security contractors, who reportedly employ about 2,500 soldiers in the country, to push the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, out of territory near Palmyra, in central Syria.
Most Middle Eastern wars are suspected of having some variant of this deal, but it is seldom made as explicit as in the Russian contracts.
“It’s all very simple,” Ivan P. Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Trends Studies, said by telephone of the deals, struck in December but just recently reported. “If a company provides security, then the country getting that service should pay. It doesn’t matter how the payment is made.”
In the petroleum deal, Evro Polis, a corporation formed last summer, will receive a 25 percent share of oil and natural gas produced on territory it captures from the Islamic State, the news site Fontanka.ru reported.
The website has a record of accurately reporting about private security companies in Russia, and just last month Washington appeared to corroborate one of its earlier reports by imposing sanctions on a Russian whose activities first came to light in the publication.
Fontanka’s latest article on the topic, published last week, detailed how Evro Polis was cooperating with a shadowy Russian private security group called Wagner, which American sanctions suggest has also provided contract soldiers to the war in Ukraine.
The deal is distinct from the common practice of oil majors and other corporations outsourcing security in hot spots in the Middle East and elsewhere. Under the contract, the wells are not just to be guarded, but to be captured first, the article said.

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Aviation: USAF Plans To Massively Increase Red Air Contracts

Wow, this is cool. A big thanks to one of my readers for sending me this. The reason I wanted to post this here on the blog is because we are now going to see private companies, competing in the skies with the US Air Force via Top Gun style aggressor support training. So private pilots will be flying in company owned ‘fighter jets’, simulating air to air combat against the most advanced military air force on the planet. That is significant.

For one, it is just crazy to see the kinds of aircraft that these companies will be flying. Most are a mix of eastern bloc stuff, that is cost effective. But there is some other stuff that is pretty advanced. Did you know that DA Defense is actually gearing up to buy F 16’s? lol

I believe out of all the companies listed below, Draken International has the most privately owned jet aircraft. They were also the ones that were a part of the initial test at Nellis AFB for this concept. With this coming contract, I expect to see the numbers of aircraft increase for all of these companies.

I did not see how much this contract would be worth, but I expect it to be pretty sizable. We will see how it goes and I will make the edit when I hear of more info on this. Claire Lee Chennault‘s ghost is looking on with profound interest and envy. –Matt

Draken International website here.

Discovery Air Defence Service website here.

Airborne Tactical Advantage Company website here.

 

Draken International L-159.

 

USAF gears up for huge Red Air contracts
March 16th, 2017
The US Air Force plans to release a solicitation to industry for a massive 40,000 hours of contracted aggressor support training at 12 different bases. It comes following a year-long experiment at Nellis AFB, Nevada, for Draken International.
The multi-award contract, which is expected in January 2019, is huge and will have the existing contractor air service providers scrambling to win contracts.
The USAF says it will release a draft solicitation to industry in July as it seeks to provide the additional adversary air and support at 12 different bases. Nellis AFB alone will take 11,250 hours of the requested flight hours from the planned total 36,231 hours annually.
As well as Nellis, other installations that will benefit from additional red air comprise Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina; JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Holloman AFB, New Mexico; Eglin AFB, Florida; JB Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Tyndall AFB, Florida; Kingsley Field, Oregon; Luke AFB, Arizona; Hill AFB, Utah and Tucson Airport, Arizona.
The increased use of contractor owned, contractor operated (COCO) adversary aircraft has been building for several years. Air Combat Command (ACC) has conducted an analysis of Adversary Air (ADAIR) capabilities to fill a ‘significant gap’ in its training requirements. The service reportedly suffered from a shortage of adversary 3,000 sorties at Nellis AFB, Nevada, during 2016 and that number is expected to rise as F-35 training ramps up.
The USAF currently only operates two aggressor squadrons; the 18th AGRS at Eielson AFB, Alaska, and the 64th AGRS at Nellis. The 65th AGRS, that flew F-15C/Ds, disbanded in 2014. Draken International and Discovery Air Defence Services are both offering contractor air services, along with Textron, which in 2016 purchased the former ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Co).
The service first evaluated the use of commercial ‘Red Air’ when it awarded a one-year contract to Draken International last September. During the ‘proof-of-concept’ evaluation Draken’s radar-equipped Skyhawks have been flying sorties from Nellis in support of the USAF Weapons School and the F-35 Joint Operational Test Team.
The latest RFI is seeking information regarding supersonic aircraft that are equipped with radar and limited sensor and datalink capabilities — it points to more F-16s.

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Industry Talk: Constellis To Acquire Centerra Group

Wow, this is big. Centerra Group (formerly Wackenhut/G4S Government Solutions) has 9,000 employees and Constellis is wanting to acquire them. So yeah, I would say that this will dramatically increase the size of the Constellis family, and this action is in addition to their other merger and acquisitions over the last couple of years.

From a quick glance at the kind of contracts they have, it looks like they are heavy into CONUS security stuff, like nuclear security. Their jobs page showed firefighter gigs, medical gigs, and support stuff as well, but lots of security jobs. So this move will definitely get Constellis into the game of DOE contracts in the US.

As to a little background of Centerra Group, they started out in 1960 as Wackenhut Services Inc. Then G4S bought them and called it G4S Government Solutions. Then in 2014, a private equity group called Alvarez & Marsal bought the business and renamed it Centerra Group. On a side note, Centerra Group also acquired a land mine clearance company called The Development Initiative. –Matt

Centerra Group webpage here.

Centerra-Nevada here.

 

 

CONSTELLIS ENTERS INTO DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE CENTERRA GROUP
Transaction Unites Leaders in the Safety and Risk Management Sector
Enhances Constellis’ Domestic Presence and Enables Further Penetration of Key Customers, Notably the U.S. Department of Energy
Transaction to Be Supported by Committed Debt Financing Provided by Four Leading Financial Institutions
RESTON, Va. & PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fl. (March 13, 2017) — Constellis, a leading provider of operational support and risk management services, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Centerra Group, LLC (“Centerra”) and its subsidiaries from an affiliate of Alvarez & Marsal Capital. The acquisition of Centerra, a leading global government and critical infrastructure services company, will significantly enhance Constellis’ U.S. domestic presence and strengthen its relationships with key customers, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the United Nations.
The transaction is conditioned on customary regulatory reviews and approvals, and is expected to close within the second quarter of 2017. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The transaction brings together the industry’s two premier safety and risk management providers serving a broad range of customers, including U.S. government agencies (notably the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy), foreign governments, NGOs and a diverse mix of blue-chip commercial entities. The transaction furthers Constellis’ ongoing strategy of expanding its domestic presence serving well-funded customers with enduring requirements. Constellis will be able to leverage the combined entity’s scale, vertical integration, training facilities, shared best practices and financial resources to strengthen its best-in- class risk mitigation service offering, utilizing the industry’s most revered compliance programs.
Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Centerra has approximately 9,000 employees operating across the U.S., Africa, the Middle East and other international locations. Centerra has an established track record of more than five decades operating domestically for the U.S. Department of Energy and currently provides operational support and risk management services at 15 U.S. Department of Energy sites across the U.S. In addition, Centerra provides security, fire suppression and base operations support to other U.S. Government customers, as well as humanitarian- focused services and training, such as munitions clearance and related consulting services, to the United Nations and foreign governments abroad.
“The acquisition of Centerra represents a critical step in our continued evolution as an essential service provider, enabling enduring missions for our customers,” said Jason DeYonker, Chief Executive Officer of Constellis. “Centerra greatly enhances our domestic footprint and accelerates our ongoing efforts to further penetrate the U.S. risk management market with such highly regarded customers as the U.S. Department of Energy. Centerra’s well respected brand, exceptional performance and strong leadership bring tremendous value to our combined offering.”
Paul Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer of Centerra, commented: “We are excited by the combination of Centerra and Constellis, yielding the leading global provider of the most creative, compliant and comprehensive risk management services in the world. Constellis’ award winning compliance programs, exceptional training capabilities and commitment to invest in operational best practices will add value at less overall cost to our customers and partners.”
Financing
Constellis has secured financing commitments from Credit Suisse, Barclays, Citi and Goldman Sachs to fund the acquisition of Centerra and to refinance the combined company’s existing debt.
Advisors
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are serving as legal advisors to affiliates of Apollo Global Management (together with its subsidiaries “Apollo”) and Constellis.
Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside the control of the Company. Therefore, actual results may differ materially and adversely, in terms of quantum and timing, from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason except as may be required by law.

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China: OBOR, Africa And China’s Growing PMSC Industry

Members of the Ever Victorious Army, a mercenary army in China, during China’s Taiping Revolution. Led by American Frederick Townsend Ward and later Charles Gordon.

Every once in awhile, someone writes a good article on the state of some of these foreign markets that I really don’t have a good grasp of. For example, I do not speak Chinese, I do not work in the PMSC market in China, and I have had no interaction with Chinese contractors here at the blog or on Facebook. That’s not to say that they are not reading the blog or my FB stuff, but still, it is extremely difficult to get a good read on what is going on with that industry.

So I have to depend upon open source stuff that comes out, and try to put the pieces together. I also use my background as an armed security contractor to sift through what is interesting and what is not. With that said, I found these two articles below, to be very interesting.

The first talks about some key incidents that have fueled some movement in the Chinese PMSC market. In South Sudan last summer, there was a typical African ‘wild fire’ that broke out between the warring political factions there, and Chinese companies and their personnel were trapped. A PMSC named DeWe was called upon to rescue these folks, and their operation lasted over 50 hours. Here is a quote.

On the evening of July 8, the streets of the South Sudanese capital of Juba were raked with gunfire as an uneasy truce between warring political factions broke down. Inside the offices of DeWe Security, a Chinese private security firm, phones started ringing. Panicked Chinese oil workers employed by the China National Petroleum Corp, the main client of DeWe (pronounced DeWei) in South Sudan, were calling an emergency number to say they were in harm’s way and awaiting instructions. For Kong Wei, head of DeWe’s Juba office and a veteran of the People’s Liberation Army who retired five years ago, it was the start of a 50 hour-marathon without sleep as he and his colleagues executed an evacuation plan. “Bullets and shells flew over our compound all day and night”, says Mr Kong. The contractors soon realized that their tin-roofed cinder-block building couldn’t stop bullets ” just one of the many lessons they would learn.
In all, 330 Chinese civilians, stranded at 10 locations across the city, were instructed to hunker down until the airport could reopen. Some moved into shrapnel-proof metal containers. It was only on the fourth day of the fighting, once the government had blasted the rebels out of Juba, that the trapped workers were evacuated to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

I have no idea how many CNPC personnel were killed or if they all made it out alive, but the point being is that this was a major security nightmare, and it sounds like they were not that prepared for such an event. Chinese companies are not that responsible in that regard, and they are also going about it security in a very naive kind of way. For example, you should not be doing security in places like Iraq without a gun. Nor should you be providing security on boats without weapons. It’s just stupid and I continue to see this learning curve–they fear an liability of arming folks, then a bloody incident occurs where folks are killed and the security failed in protecting everyone, and then you get the backlash from the families of the deceased and from your citizens back home. Then eventually, they come to the logical point of arming their security. Remember, your threats out there could care less about your views on weapons and they will exploit your weaknesses if unarmed.

It kills me when this lesson had to be learned in the beginning stages of the Marsec industry when piracy was peaking, and unarmed guards were actually jumping ship as ‘armed’ pirates had their way with the client and their vessel. Well, the Chinese are learning this as well.

The other thing that needs to be brought up when talking about China, is their economic policy. OBOR or One Belt One Road is a Silk Road 2.0 type economic policy that China is currently trying to implement. It is said to be worth well over a trillion dollars. What is also driving OBOR is China has a manufacturing surplus, and it needs more trading partners and routes bad. Especially when they are now dealing with a Trump administration that has not been that favorable towards China.

As for the PMSC element of OBOR, Erik Prince and FSG just recently announced strategic alignment with OBOR. In one of the press releases, FSG mentioned that they were setting up two FOBs in Yunnan and Xinjiang province. China has some issues in these regions, and they have been clamping down on muslim extremists big time in places like Xinjiang or Yunnan. (on a side note, Xinjiang is Frontier in english…which makes you think that FSG was formed all along to deal with Xinjiang. It explains why they would bring on Prince, who is well known to jihadists)

Another point to bring up with OBOR is that the land component of this strategy has muslim extremists to contend with. TIP is one group of concern, and their members are getting more operational experience in places like Syria. They will be coming home, and that knowledge will be coming with them. Also, as China’s dealings with their muslim populations has been known to be extreme. But because journalists are really not able to cover that very well, I have no idea how bad the relationship really is. My guess is that it is bad, and the fear of a population being sympathetic to extremists is legitimate. So if OBOR is directed at building roads, pipelines and power lines in these areas, they will probably have issues. Here is a quote I found from one article that talked about actual numbers.

For China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, Islamic risk is also a prominent political danger. According to the broadest definition, OBOR involves 64 countries, 33 of which are Muslim countries, accounting for more than half the total. Among the remaining 31 non-Muslim countries, 10 countries have obvious existing Muslim unrest and are at risk of terror attacks. In total, 44 countries have Islamic risk, making up 69 percent of the total number of countries along OBOR.For example, Pakistan, China’s iron-core brother, is a country with serious Islamic extremism. From 2012 to 2013, violent terrorist incidents in Pakistan caused 11,590 deaths, which included 6,008 civilians, 1,408 policemen and 4,174 militants.

So there is OBOR and then there is also their expansion in Africa and their dealings in the middle east. I have written about that stuff in the past, and that is not new. But OBOR is something else, as far as scope and cost, and we will see how that works out.
Another deal that was mentioned in the articles below, from an industry news angle, is the growth of Chinese PMSC’s and the fact that they are unionizing. The first quote is about growth and it sounds like DeWe is making it’s moves. Also, it is interesting to know that HXZA has the monopoly on Chinese MarSec.

DeWe’s profile rose dramatically last summer when Chinese Poly-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings hired it to manage security at a $4bn LNG project in Ethiopia” the largest project that the Chinese private security industry has been asked to protect. Some other companies appear to have friends in high places. HXZA, for example, has a near-monopoly on security for Cosco Holding and China Shipping Container Lines, China’s two largest state-owned shipping groups. “They clearly have very solid relations to the state, considering how loyal their customer base is. And they are not that cheap,” says one foreign private contractor.

That LNG project in Ethiopia is huge! Here is a quick snippet of what that involves.

Development of the Hilala and Calub gas fields in southeastern Ethiopia may finally be getting underway, more than 40 years after their discovery.Project developers laid the foundation stone in early March for a $4 billion project to export gas from the fields to China. The project, which is being funded and developed by Chinese joint venture Poly-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings, involves the construction of a 700 km gas pipeline to transport up to 12 billion cubic metres of gas per year from the Ogaden Basin to the port of Damerjog in Djibouti, where the Hong Kong-based independent will build a 3 mtpa LNG export plant. The plan is to eventually expand the plant’s capacity to 10 mtpa.Construction should start in August and is expected to take three years to complete, a PR representative for the Djibouti government told Natural Gas Daily.

The reason why they need robust security for this operation is because of groups like Ogaden National Liberation Front. These folks attacked a Chinese assets in Ethiopia before, and no doubt, they will make things difficult for them again.
The final quote that was interesting as well, was this deal on numbers of PMSC’s and the fact that most are not armed. That is a bad combination, and I they are going to have quite a few incidents in the future if this is the attitude.

“About 3,200 Chinese employees of private security groups were based abroad last year”, says Liu Xinping, deputy director of the China Overseas Security and Defense Research Centre. “That compares with 2,600 Chinese troops deployed under UN mandates” China’s only foreign military deployments in conflict zones. Yet with a few exceptions the security contractors are usually unarmed. DeWe’s Chinese staff did not carry weapons during the fighting in Juba but led teams of armed locals. 7m Tonnes of oil destined for China said to be shut in by violence overseas each year Beijing is extremely cautious about the industry, partly due to the abuses of the type that have periodically plunged US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq into crisis. In 2010, supervisors at a Chinese-owned coal mine in Zambia fired into a crowd of workers demanding higher pay, injuring 11 and triggering an anti-China backlash.
Two years later, a supervisor was killed at the site during a dispute over wages. One security company manager, who asked to remain anonymous, says all contracts they sign with Chinese state companies prohibit employees from carrying weapons.
“The government doesn’t want Blackwater,” he says.

They may not want the liability attached to arming their PMSC’s, but the threats out there could care less. They are armed, and to think anything other than an armed security professional will be able to stop these folks, is wishful thinking. It also does not match up with reality. China needs to take a hard look at what is happening worldwide, and know that it is a very dangerous world. If they care about their workers and countrymen, they should do the responsible thing and arm their security. Lives depend upon it.

This brings up another interesting point. Western PMSC’s have a distinct advantage when it comes to the armed security contractor game. Firearms are very much a part of the US culture. To not be armed is odd, if performing security functions. Plus, the US has a constitution that protects the rights of gun owners and our freedom of speech. In China, not so much. lol Matter of fact, these so-called Chinese PMSC’s, are really not private per se. They are state sponsored companies, and tightly controlled. They do not want these folks armed, because honestly, China has had a horrible time of uprisings in it’s history. Some of the most bloodiest rebellions and uprisings in the history of mankind, have happened in China. So they are very wary of losing any control or monopoly on the use of force. But their PMSC industry is going forward, and they are getting lethal because that is reality if they want to operate in places like Africa or the Middle East.

The question I always like to ask with this stuff, is where is the industry at, and where is it going in places like China? Hopefully this information helps the readership a little, and I will keep my eye out for any new movement with this stuff. –Matt

Chinese private security goes global

February 26, 2017

By Charles Clover

On the evening of July 8, the streets of the South Sudanese capital of Juba were raked with gunfire as an uneasy truce between warring political factions broke down. Inside the offices of DeWe Security, a Chinese private security firm, phones started ringing. Panicked Chinese oil workers employed by the China National Petroleum Corp, the main client of DeWe (pronounced DeWei) in South Sudan, were calling an emergency number to say they were in harm’s way and awaiting instructions.  For Kong Wei, head of DeWe’s Juba office and a veteran of the People’s Liberation Army who retired five years ago, it was the start of a 50 hour-marathon without sleep as he and his colleagues executed an evacuation plan. “Bullets and shells flew over our compound all day and night”, says Mr Kong. The contractors soon realized that their tin-roofed cinder-block building couldn’t stop bullets ” just one of the many lessons they would learn.
In all, 330 Chinese civilians, stranded at 10 locations across the city, were instructed to hunker down until the airport could reopen. Some moved into shrapnel-proof metal containers. It was only on the fourth day of the fighting, once the government had blasted the rebels out of Juba, that the trapped workers were evacuated to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

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Legal News: Did Russia Just Legalize PMSC’s?

I am at the ends of my research on this. What I wanted to do is put this out there to see if anyone has anything to add to this? I do not speak or read Russian or follow Russian legal stuff. I do try to follow what countries are actually doing with private forces though.

In the past I have posted about Russia wanting to legalize PMSC’s and the legal effort seemed to go nowhere. The Slavonic Corps in Syria highlighted the idea that legally speaking, Russian law had not caught up with Russia’s use of PMSC’s.  I believe that Ukraine and Syria have become testbeds for Russia’s use of private forces, and it makes sense that their use would finally be legalized.

The other reason why I bring this up, is apparently Russia has been awarding medals to contractors that were killed in places like Syria? That sounds like official recognition of private forces to me.

Back to this Law No. 53 mentioned below. Does it cancel out Article 348 of the Russian Criminal Code, which makes mercenary work illegal? I only have this one article from Zeit Online that talks about this deal. Here is the clip below.  –Matt

Edit: 02/26/2017 Another resource for looking at Russian law concerning PMSC’s, is this one from InformNapalm.

Edit: 02/08/2017 RT reported that the Duma passed some legislation in December of last year, which aligns with the time period that Zeit discusses. Check it out here.

A Little Known Change in the Law (February 6, 2017)

Two days before the new year, Vladimir Putting signed a legal amendment. The state-aligned media reported very little about the development and the foreign press hasn’t covered it at all yet. But it could have far-reaching consequences. The change was made to Law No. 53, pertaining to military conscription in Russia. Following the change, the law now states that anyone who has completed basic military service or is a reservist is to be considered a member of the Russian military if that person “prevents international terrorist activities outside the territory of the Russian Federation.”

Given that almost every man in Russia completes military service after finishing school, the new law pertains to almost all Russian men. If they fight against terrorists, they are now considered to be members of the military, even if they don’t officially belong to a unit of the Russian military under the control of the Defense Ministry. In other words: Law No. 53 permits the deployment of Russian mercenaries around the world and allows for augmenting the Russian military with private military firms. The law went into force on Jan. 9, 2017.

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