Archive for category PMC’s

Company Spotlight: Bancroft Global Development, the 501(c)3 Non-profit PMC

    That’s right, I am not making this up.  Bancroft Global Development is a no-kidding non-profit PMC. lol.  Anyway, this is all I could scrape up about BGD, and I thought it was a pretty cool concept.  I don’t know of any other non-profit PMC’s out there, and this company totally presents a different view on how we look at the PMC.  I also posted their earnings from 2007, and it looks like they are doing pretty well.

     What I really like about this is that is takes the whole ‘evil profiteering PMC’ element out of the conversation.  Although I would like to hear about any downsides with something like this, and I am all ears with the readership.

     So how about a non-profit Co-op PMC as an idea for a company? Just thinking out loud, and there are all sorts of interesting paths you could take with this stuff.  By the way, if any BGD guys would like to comment, or post any PR stuff, feel free to do so in the comments or send it to me and I will edit this thing.  I also look forward to when the website becomes fully operational and if they start looking for guys for their operation in Somalia and elsewhere. -Matt

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From their website.

Bancroft Global Development is a non-governmental organization dedicated to removing violence from public discourse, by promoting permanent solutions to the economic, environmental and societal harm caused by armed conflict.

Bancroft Global Development was duly organized in 1999 under the laws of the United States as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization.

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Company Spotlight: Oryol

   This is a continuation of the video I posted earlier about this company.  This kind of reminds of another article I wrote in regards to PMC versus PMC. Not in the way of Blackwater fighting Oryol on the battlefield, but in the way of competing with them on the battlefield of market share. That the German Landsknecht defeated the Swiss Guard back during the Italian wars, by copying the Swiss (all the way down to the uniforms), being cheaper than the Swiss (thus gaining more experience with more jobs), and finding an innovation that gave them an edge over the Swiss (firearms).

    In this case, this company wants to take market share in Iraq by doing a better job of the task than the top British and American companies. Competition is what drives innovation, and these guys sound hungry. Although I will have to say that they will have to work very hard to find the one or two innovations that will make them competitive in this market.  They are dealing with some very advanced and successful companies in this industry, and Oryol will definitely have to find a niche to get a seat at the table. -Matt

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Oryol

Former Russian soldiers ready to take on Blackwater in Iraq

06 October, 2009, 19:50

A group of former Russian soldiers is involved in an intense military training program in preparation for Iraq. They believe they can compete with their British and American counterparts by adopting a unique approach.

The training of the Oryol anti-terror centre may seem like an intense action scene from a Hollywood blockbuster movie, but in fact it is to prepare Russian men to work in Iraq…

“Before we send people there, we put them through some serious training. This includes psychological training and an educational program,” says Sergey Epishkin, head of Oryol anti-terror training centre. “In our classes, we even speak the way they speak in this particular region. If you can’t master local slang, you can run into a serious trouble sometimes.”

And to avoid such trouble is the chief responsibility of this group. These men are from the anti-terror group Oryol and, much like their infamous, American counterpart “Blackwater”, they provide private security for Russian engineers and businessmen operating inside Iraq.

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Legal News: Priv-War, and Regulating the PMC/PSC Industry

    Be sure to check in with their news section every now and then.  This is Europe’s attempt at finding the correct model of regulation for private military companies, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with over the years. -Matt 

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PRIV-WAR is a collaborative research project coordinated by the European University Institute through the Academy of European Law in cooperation with LUISS “Guido Carli” (Rome) and the other project partners: Justus Liebig Universität Giessen; Riga Graduate School of Law; Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), Centre Thucydide; University of Sheffield and Utrecht University. The project will assess the impact of the increasing use of private military companies and security companies (PMCs/PSCs) in situations of armed conflict. It will examine the regulatory framework at national, European and international levels, with a view to ensuring improved compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights. Launched in January 2008, the project will run for three years.

The PRIV-WAR project is aimed to

• Promote a better understanding of the phenomenon of the privatisation of war 

The research project will formulate a definition of PMCs/PSCs and examine the reasons why states resort to them, focusing on the nature of the functions they exercise, the definition of rules of engagement and chains of accountability. Special attention will be paid to outsourcing in the context of peace-keeping operations, against the background of the development of a European Security and Defence Policy. The project will favour comparative research in a historical perspective.  

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Publications: Efficacy of Private Military Contractors in Peace Operations, by Nicholas Pascucci

    This is a nice little publication that gives a quick run down of positive (and some negative) uses of PMC’s over the years.  One of the conclusions made, that I really like, is the concept of applying quality control and clear objectives for these companies.  The author makes the point that if used correctly, PMC’s are certainly capable of producing excellent results (Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone for example). If there is no clear oversight or clear objective for these companies, then that is when problems arise (like in Iraq or Afghanistan).

   To me, this conversation needs to continue to happen in this industry, of where we are and where we have come from, so we know best how to carry on into the future.  All of the companies and the clients that use us must become the ultimate learning organizations and continue to find a better way.  There is too much at stake in this war to not care about doing it right.  It is also the goal of Feral Jundi to present to the reading public that we in this industry do care, and with a lot of hard work and persistence, we can find a better way.

    The most important aspect of this conversation are the ideas that each side of the debate uses to support their views.  For to long, academia and media has hijacked these ideas with assumptions and half-truths, and the only way to stop that is to challenge those assumptions with solid facts to the contrary. To be silent and not challenge this ideas only allows these assumptions to become some kind of truth.

    And this site is not some propaganda machine (privately owned and operated by me, and not some company blog), that supports some ‘military industrial complex conspiracy’.  This site is about setting the record straight, and having a serious discussion about the use of this tool called the ‘private security contractor’ in today’s war. I have been critical of this industry and of the client here before on FJ, only with the goal of presenting ideas for fixing the problems and providing a better service for the client–not promoting the shutting down of the whole thing down.

   Identify the problems, identify the industry we want, and find the correct models and systems out there for contracting and oversight that will only help us to achieve that goal.  I think we are doing great at identifying the problems, but we still have a ways to go on figuring out what is ‘the industry we want’.  And I say ‘we’ meaning the state.  It’s not about what I want, or what the government wants, but what the state collectively wants and what they are comfortable with.  It does matter what the professor or the soccer mom or whomever thinks about this industry, and the more we can work to explain and justify what we are and what we can do for the people and the government in today’s war, the better it is for all. -Matt  

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Efficacy of Private Military Contractors in Peace Operations

By: Nicholas Pascucci 

Date: December 5, 2008

Summary: The Private Military Contracting field has experienced massive growth since the September 11th attacks. This essay explores how the contractors have been used in the past and how they can be used in peace- and nation-building operations in the future.

Introduction

In the years since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Private Military and Security industries have grown remarkably, garnering contracts in hotspots and warzones around the world in support of the interests of both nation states and private companies. Private Military Companies can be found in over 50 countries, operating in an industry that makes over one hundred billion dollars annually.1 Their increased use has sparked much controversy, and revelations regarding both the successes and failures of the industry raise questions about its role in moderating conflict worldwide. In an industry whose primary focus is providing military-related services in failed states and conflict areas, understanding the effects of their activities and presence in those areas is essential to being able to utilize them effectively in creating peace.

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Industry Talk: The Montreux Document

  I know that this is a little old, but I still thought it was important to mention.  So why is a document about clarifying the rules for private military and security companies important?  My answer is because it helps to legitimize the industry and gives us all a framework of rules to operate by in the various war zones out there.  Wether or not this document is effective in keeping the companies in line is up for debate, but it is a start.  And I think what this document is really useful for, is getting the various companies and countries and agencies talking about the subject and consolidating the rules that apply to the industry.  In essence, to make everyone happy so they can talk about the next step of utilizing the services of these companies.  So talking is good for everyone.

    There is no question that the industry would like to be more involved in Africa, and especially with the advent of AFRICOM(US Africa Command).  But Africa has some history with shady mercenary operations. The international community has had some resistance to allowing anything that resembles a mercenary force to operate in Africa because of this history, and that is what the industry is up against now.  

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News: Blackwater Plans Shift From Security Business

     I figured I would post this, because it is making the rounds out there.  I apologize for posting two Blackwater stories back to back, but this thing just popped up and deserves some attention.

 

      I tend to think that Blackwater will do what it can to get the job done with their other companies like Greystone and Presidential Airways, and their partnerships with all sorts of little companies out there.  I do not see them getting out of the business of anything really.  I do see them shifting company responsibilities, and that is about it.  -Head Jundi 

 

 

Blackwater logo

    

Blackwater plans shift from security business

MOYOCK, N.C. (AP) — Contractor Blackwater Worldwide plans a shift away from the private security business that brought it unwelcome attention following a deadly shooting in Baghdad last year.

Executives told The Associated Press Monday that the negative media coverage and intense government scrutiny has made the cost of doing business too high. They say the company has unfairly come to symbolize all Iraq contractors and thus is a flash point for those opposed to the war.

Blackwater contractors are under investigation for their involvement in a shooting in Baghdad in September that left 17 Iraqis dead.

Regardless of the outcome of that case, Blackwater executives say the company will survive with a focus on international training, aviation and construction.

AP Link Here

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