Archive for category Quotes

History: George Washington On Starting His Own PMSC To Combat The British

Mr. President, I am a soldier and believe in being prepared. For that and other reasons, I will give my vote for the resolutions of the gentleman from Hanover. Rather than submit to the present condition of things, I will raise one thousand men, subsist them at my own expense, and march myself at their head to the relief of Boston.- George Washington

This is a cool quote from American history that you don’t hear much about. Obviously Washington did not have to raise an army in this fashion, but it is interesting that he put it out there. That he was willing to finance such an army if no one else was going to act.

What is also interesting is that George Washington was very familiar with concept of privatized warfare from his experience fighting with the Royal American Mercenary Regiment (RAMR) during the French and Indian War. He was also a champion of actually paying soldiers as opposed to asking them to do what they did, purely out of love of country. Washington found out that with a volunteer militia, it’s a little hard to keep guys focused when they can’t be home to make money or grow food to support their family. Paying a salary kept their heads in the game, and helped reduce attrition.

The other area of privatized warfare that Washington was involved with was privateering. He actually owned stock in privateering ventures and was a supporter of issuing the Letter of Marque to privateers to fight wars.

The artwork posted below is also interesting. That would be the uniform he wore during the French and Indian War. I noted in the past that this war was significant because this is where Washington learned how to fight and lead men in combat. He learned from the various mercenaries that came to fight in the RAMR, and he used that knowledge and experience and applied it later on. -Matt

 

Charles Willson Peale is the Artist. This is the earliest authenticated portrait of George Washington and shows him wearing his colonel’s uniform of the Virginia Regiment from the French and Indian War. The portrait was painted about 12 years after Washington’s service in that war, and several years before he would reenter military service in the American Revolution. 1772

 

Patrick Henry: “Liberty”

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience.”

As the British army tightened the noose around Boston, the Virginia Assembly met in an extralegal session to discuss what steps to take in the wake of what was happening up North. The British hoped that by isolating Boston, they could stamp out the revolution. As the speech below demonstrates, the effect was the opposite of what the British desired, for Virginians—and other colonists—realized that “If they can do it to Boston, they can do it to us.”

The words of the debate were later written from memory by William Wirt, and though they may not be the exact words spoken by Patrick Henry and others, the general consensus among historians is that they certainly contain the spirit of Henry’s remarks and are consistent with what we know of his eloquence. He was, in many ways, the voice of the American Revolution. Likewise, the authenticity of the remarks by George Washington has been called into question, but again, they probably accurately reflect his feelings. Loyal almost to the last, he was now thoroughly fed up with the British.

The members address the president of the meeting to gain the floor. The President acknowledges each by the jurisdiction which he represents.

Mr. Pendleton: Mr. President.

The President: The gentleman from Caroline.

Mr. Pendleton: I hope this Convention will proceed slowly before rushing the country into war. Is this a moment to disgust our friends in England who are laboring for the repeal of the unjust taxes which afflict us, to extinguish all the conspiring sympathies which are working in our favor, to turn their friendship into hatred, their pity into revenge? Are we ready for war? Where are our stores—where our arms—where our soldiers—where our money, the sinews of war? They are nowhere to be found in sufficient force or abundance to give us reasonable hope of successful resistance. In truth, we are poor and defenseless, and should strike when it becomes absolutely necessary—not before. And yet the gentlemen in favor of this resolution talk of assuming the front of war, of assuming it, too, against a nation one of the most formidable in the world. A nation ready and armed at all points; her navy riding in triumph in every sea; her armies never marching but to certain victory. For God’s sake, Mr. President, let us be patient—let us allow all reasonable delay, and then if the worse comes to the worst, we will have no feelings of blame. There is no man in this Convention more attached to the liberties of this country than is the man who addresses you. But think before we sacrifice perhaps everything to the spirit of indignation and revenge. Think of the strength and lustre which we derive from our connection with Great Britain—the domestic comforts which we have drawn from the same source—the ties of trade and business—the friends and relatives we have in England. The tyrannies from which we suffer are, after all, the tyrannies of a party in temporary possession of power. Give a little time, take no hostile action, and these tyrants will be overthrown in England and men in sympathy with America will assume authority. Our ills will pass away and the sunshine of the halcyon days of old will come back again. We must arm, you say; but gentlemen must remember that blows are apt to follow the arming, and blood will follow blows, and, sir, when this occurs the dogs of war will be loosed, friends will be converted into enemies, and this flourishing country will be swept with a tornado of death and destruction.

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Quotes: SIGAR’s John F Sopko On Government’s Inability To End Contracts With Al Qaeda And Taliban In Afghanistan

This is just appalling. If this doesn’t get your blood boiling, I don’t know what would. Pass this around and let your elected officials know that this is unacceptable. -Matt

 

In conclusion, I would also like to reiterate the concerns I raised in our last report about the Army’s refusal to act on SIGAR’s recommendations to prevent supporters of the insurgency, including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda, from receiving government contracts. SIGAR referred 43 such cases to the Army recommending suspension and debarment, based on detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and companies are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan. But the Army rejected all 43 cases. The Army Suspension and Debarment Office appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due process rights if based on classified information or if based on findings by the Department of Commerce. I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract. I feel such a position is not only legally wrong, it is contrary to good public policy and contrary to our national security goals in Afghanistan. I continue to urge you to change this faulty policy and enforce the rule of common sense in the Army’s suspension and debarment program.” – John F. Sopko (SIGAR) in their latest report, July 30, 2013.

 

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Martime Security: ’20 Floating Armories’ In The Red Sea, Gulf Of Aden And Indian Ocean

About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.

It is not perfect, but floating armories are what companies have had to turn to in order to accomplish the task. Where as I agree that some standard should be applied to how these armories function, on the other hand, thanks to this practice, ‘armed guards on boats’ has become a success. We are getting closer to achieving ‘Expulsis Piratis–Restituta Commercia’.

As for these armories being vulnerable to attack? Why would they? The operators of these vessels have every interest in the world to protect their precious and lethal cargo–and they have the tools to do that. If a pirate group wants to take on one of these floating armories, they will have to contend with the idea that the vessel is armed. But either way, some sort of standard for the defense and operation of these armories would be a good call.

I also was not aware of how many of these things were out there, and thanks to this article, that was identified. -Matt

 

Piracy fears over ships laden with weapons in international waters
Private security companies rely on unregulated ‘floating armouries’ in Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean
By Oscar Rickett
10 January 2013
Private security companies guarding ships against Somali pirates are increasingly storing their weapons on so-called “floating armouries” in international waters, to avoid arms smuggling laws when they dock in ports.
About 20 ships stocked with assault rifles and other small arms as well as ammunition, body armour and night vision goggles are scattered around the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, the EU naval force has confirmed.

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Quotes: Eric Nordstrom On Dealing And Fighting With The Bureaucracy Within

I had to put this quote up. It rings true with both the public realm and in private industry, and it is this kind of resistance towards supporting the efforts out in the field that just makes you shake your head in disbelief.

These folks put their lives on the line defending the embassies and consulates throughout the world. The main office tasked with support, should be bending over backwards to provide that support to those security efforts and leadership out in the field–and not fighting them. If that type of relationship is not in place, then that is when accidents or attacks seem to happen–as per the law’s of Murphy…. -Matt

 

 

“I said, ‘Jim, you know what makes it most frustrating about this assignment? It’s not the hardships. It’s not the gunfire. It’s not the threats. It’s dealing and fighting against the people, programs, and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me,” Nordstrom said.
He also told the State Department officer, “‘For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.”

-Eric Nordstrom, the one-time regional security officer, told the House Oversight Committee that he had a disheartening conversation with the regional director of the agency’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs when he requested additional manpower for the facility. (source)

 

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Quotes: Astronaut Frank Culbertson On Being The Only American In Space During 9/11

Thanks to Paul for finding this letter and sharing. Everyone remembers where you were and what you were doing on 9/11. I was in a hotel meeting room watching the events unfold on their big screen TV’s. The fire season at the time was hot and heavy, and the smokejumper team I was assigned to was getting ready to head out to the airport to standby for fires.

But as soon as this incident happened, word came down that the FAA  shut down all aviation in the country except for vital emergency related aircraft. So fire aircraft was still able to fly and the smokejumpers were still able to respond to call outs. We had guys on the ground in the middle of some fire fighting and having aircraft to support them was essential.

But that day, as it was for everyone in the country, was a somber day, filled with questions on what was next. How would we respond and who would we attack? Shock, sadness……and anger. Resolve is what was next…. And then here I am, no longer a smokejumper, and giving my pound of flesh to the war effort as a contractor.

What is interesting about this astronaut’s perspective of this attack, is that he could physically watch the planet bleed due to this violent act. As if humans with a large spear, stabbed New York, and the smoke and debris poured out of the wound like blood from the neck of a large animal… The thoughts of what was going through that astronaut’s brain during such a time is revealed in this letter below, and I cut out the quote in the letter that really hit home. -Matt

 

….It’s difficult to describe how it feels to be the only American completely off the planet at a time such as this. The feeling that I should be there with all of you, dealing with this, helping in some way, is overwhelming. I know that we are on the threshold (or beyond) of a terrible shift in the history of the world. Many things will never be the same again after September 11, 2001. Not just for the thousands and thousands of people directly affected by these horrendous acts of terrorism, but probably for all of us. We will find ourselves feeling differently about dozens of things, including probably space exploration, unfortunately.

It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are. And the knowledge that everything will be different than when we launched by the time we land is a little disconcerting. I have confidence in our country and in our leadership that we will do everything possible to better defend her and our families, and to bring justice for what has been done. I have confidence that the good people at NASA will do everything necessary to continue our mission safely and return us safely at the right time. And I miss all of you very much. I can’t be there with you in person, and we have a long way to go to complete our mission, but be certain that my heart is with you, and know you are in my prayers.

-Astronaut Frank Culbertson Letter from September 11, 2001

 

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Industry Talk: G4S Chief Predicts Mass Police Privatization

“We have been long-term optimistic about the police and short-to-medium-term pessimistic about the police for many years. Our view was, look, we would never try to take away core policing functions from the police but for a number of years it has been absolutely clear as day to us – and to others – that the configuration of the police in the UK is just simply not as effective and as efficient as it could be.”

I have seen this quote and others in several places and it is causing a little bit of a stir. But along the lines of what I was talking about with my prior post, there is some serious cost saving and efficiency benefits by privatizing this stuff. The problem is explaining the process to the public, and battling biased media or unions that only benefit from the current system.

This quote was the other one that I liked.

Taylor-Smith said “budgetary pressure and political will” were driving the private-sector involvement in policing but insisted that the “public sector ethos” had not been lost.
“I have always found it somewhere between patronising and insulting the notion that the public sector has an exclusive franchise on some ethos, spirit, morality – it is just nonsense,” he said. “The thought that everyone in the private sector is primarily motivated by profit and that is why they come to work is just simply not accurate … we employ 675,000 people and they are primarily motivated by pretty much the same as would motivate someone in the public sector.”

That is awesome he said this, and as a security contractor, I feel the same way. I am sure other contractors out there feel the same too, and bravo to Taylor-Smith for speaking his mind on this. -Matt

 

G4S chief predicts mass police privatization
Private companies will be running large parts of the police service within five years, according to security firm head
Matthew Taylor and Alan Travis
Wednesday 20 June 2012
David Taylor-Smith, the head of G4S for the UK and Africa, said he expected most UK police forces to sign up to privatisation deals. Photograph: Guardian
Private companies will be running large parts of the UK’s police service within five years, according to the world’s biggest security firm.
David Taylor-Smith, the head of G4S for the UK and Africa, said he expected police forces across the country to sign up to similar deals to those on the table in the West Midlands and Surrey, which could result in private companies taking responsibility for duties ranging from investigating crimes to transporting suspects and managing intelligence.

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