Posts Tagged PMC

History: The Battle For Najaf, By Travis Haley

This is an excellent story on this famous battle, fought by the contractors and military assigned to protect the CPA in Najaf, Iraq back in 2004. By now, most folks familiar with the battle have seen this video of the battle circulating around the net, and it gives a snapshot of what these guys were up against. Travis has added more detail to the big picture of what was happening at the time, to include lessons learned.

You can also read more about Travis and his history and contribution to the training industry over at his website. –Matt

 

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Industry Talk: The UN Talks Shop About Their Use Of PMSC’s

Last year in July, I wrote about this debate that the UN was having about it’s use of PMSC’s, now and into the future. This is the final review panel about this debate, and it was interesting to hear the current view point of the UN.

One of the things that came up that I thought was interesting, is that the UN still does not know how many contractors it uses, either for guard work or for logistics. So I think they should at least dedicate some time and effort towards getting a firm grasp on this. Perhaps an online database that gives a transparent view of everyone they are using, both past and present. They could also add to that database if that company was fired or not, or what they thought of their performance? Anything to add to the history of the use of contractors.

They also talked in great length about codes of conduct and other initiatives to get companies to self-regulate. My thoughts are that if the UN actually published violations of these codes as a record for the public, kind of like what POGO does with companies in the US, then that would keep the world and the UN better informed as to the true track records of companies. That kind of history and track record is essential information if you want to truly find the best value company for the money. Companies would also fight to not be on that list, and especially if it impacted bidding.

The other surprising thing is that they couldn’t list how much money was spent on contractors, past or present. So a database should absolutely list those costs so that member donors to the UN can see exactly how their money is being spent. Also, other companies can see how much a service costs, and find out if they can provide that service cheaper or at least get a feel for what it would take to spin up a contract. So a UN contractor database would be an excellent investment, if the UN is interested in transparency and effectively using this industry.

I was also taken aback when the panel was asked around the 28:30 point of this video, what they thought about the lack of accountability for member nation troops that continue to violate human rights during peace keeping operations. No one wanted to take that question and it was left ‘wide’ open. I thought the silence said everything…

There was also numerous questions about the definition of mercenary and how that applied to PMSC’s. Or how their group was called the UN Working Group On The Use of Mercenaries, and yet they were tasked with evaluating PMSC’s that were not mercenaries by definition. I think the choice of group title is somewhat counterproductive for such a panel, if they wanted to be perceived as objective in their research of this industry. With that said, the group at least tried to differentiate between mercenaries and PMSC’s.

If the video below does not show up, here is a link to the video. It is about 50 minutes long and worth your time. The panel’s final report should be coming out sometime this year, and I will post it when it surfaces. –Matt

 

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Industry Talk: ANSI Introduces New ISO Standard For PSC’s

Ok, here we go. Finally we are getting into the realm of ISO for security companies, which I have commented on in the past. This has been one of those goals of the industry for a long time, and it is great that the process is moving forward.

Below I have posted two articles packed with some good information on some ISO case studies, and why it will be a good thing for this industry. The case studies section came to some very interesting conclusions as well. Check this quote out?

Overall, the 21 case studies demonstrate that the benefits of using standards are valued, in terms of contribution to company gross profit, at between 0.15% and 5% of annual sales revenues.

So how can standards like these, actually increase a company’s annual sales revenue? Well, the studies came up with some key benefits of the ISO which all contribute to this increase. To me, it is all about getting companies throughout the world, playing by the same rules and standards, which also opens up the market for these companies wishing to be more global. It’s all about having a standard that is universally recognized, so a client knows that an ISO company in Germany is operating on the same level as an ISO company in India. They might not offer the same types of services or even the same quality, but at the least, they both abide by a standard of operation that is agreed to as the ‘international standard’.

Clients will also know what they are getting when contracting with such a company, and they will also know who to complain too if said company is not living up to this standard. Here is a list of a few of the benefits of the ISO.

Streamlining internal company processes
Decreasing waste and internal costs
Increasing the efficiency of research & development
Innovating business processes
Reducing risk
Enabling international expansion
Supporting development of new products and markets

What is also important to note is that this ISO is primarily focused on PSC’s and not PMC’s. Although to me, there is a lot of cross over between the two types of companies. This standard sounds like it is not applicable to maritime either, but I could be wrong there. For this ISO, they are making this distinction and will probably build upon it to make a custom ISO for Maritime Security Companies and Private Military Companies. Here is a quote.

The standard creates a framework for establishing, monitoring, and maintaining management of private security services and applies to any land-based private security provider; the standard does not apply to private military companies (PMCs), which work in military settings and offer direct tactical military assistance.

Pretty cool, and if anyone has anything to add, feel free to do so in the comments. –Matt

 

ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposed New ISO Standard on Private Security Provider Operations
October 4, 2012
ASIS International, a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has submitted a proposal for a new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard focusing on quality management for private security companies. As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI invites all interested stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal by Friday, October 26, 2012.
The proposal recommends the adoption of the American National Standard ANSI/ASIS.PSC.1:2012, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations – Requirements with Guidance, as an ISO management system standard. The proposed International Standard provides the principles and requirements for private security service providers, including private security companies (PSCs), with an emphasis on the establishment of auditable criteria, as well as accountability to relevant local laws and international human rights agreements.
The standard creates a framework for establishing, monitoring, and maintaining management of private security services and applies to any land-based private security provider; the standard does not apply to private military companies (PMCs), which work in military settings and offer direct tactical military assistance.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Quotes: Putin Backs ‘Private’ Defense Company Idea

This just popped up on the radar and I thought I would share. Russia already has a defense industry that provides all sorts of equipment and weapons world wide. But you don’t hear too much about Russian PSC’s or PMC’s aside from body guard work in Moscow. But that could change according to this quote below.

With that said, could we see a day where a Russian PMC (with the blessing and quite wink of the state) is contracted to fight and win a war in some region of the world? A victory that would be mutually beneficial for both Russia, and that client?  And like Putin said, it would be  “an instrument in the pursuit of national interests without the direct participation of the state.

Even for this Syria deal, Russia sent military advisers and they are getting some heat for that on the world stage.  Perhaps they are thinking now that maybe a private force would have been a better choice politically?  Or for legal reasons, they can wash their hands of any involvement, just because the state does not have any ‘direct participation’. I also imagine that Russia has been watching how the west uses private industry in it’s current wars, and taking notes.  Interesting…. –Matt

Edit: 04/18/2012- David Isenberg posted an excellent article about this deal. Especially the legal mechanisms that would support or hinder Russia’s move towards more foreign usage of PMSC’s. Check it out here.

 

Putin Backs Private Defense Company Idea
11/04/2012
Russian Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin on Wednesday supported the idea of private defense companies that would provide protection services and military training programs abroad without the participation of the Russian state.
The idea was proposed by A Just Russia deputy Alexei Mitrofanov during Putin’s report to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
Putin said that was “an instrument in the pursuit of national interests without the direct participation of the state.”
“I believe that it should be considered, thought over,” he said.
Story here.

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Film: Non-Essential Personnel

There is a funny story on how I stumbled upon this series. I was at the project funding website called Kickstarter, and for fun I put ‘private military’ into their search engine to see what would come up. Low and behold, someone actually put together a project or comedy about the administrative side of a private military company. (I also looked up Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and all sorts of projects popped up for those.)

Now of course the folks that put together this series  really trumped up the PMC with tons of stereotypes, to include anything that would give it some corporate evilness. But what makes it funny is to watch the admin folks go through all of the ridiculous policies or deal with the leadership of the company, and this is something that many folks in multiple industries can identify with to include ours. It is what makes The Office so popular, and this show takes the viewer into the administrative world of a PMC. Check it out. –Matt

 

NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL Episode 1: Corporate Solutions from grammar school on Vimeo.

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History: The Flying Tigers–America’s Celebrated PMC During World War Two

This is a supplement to the post on Claire Chennault and it gives you a real feel for what I am talking about here. Back then, this PMC called the Flying Tigers or AVG were heroes in the war, and produced such folks like Pappy Boyington who went on to lead the Black Sheep squadron in the Marines. It is also interesting to note that Chennault created the company called Civil Air Transport, and later converted into Air America during the Vietnam War. Both companies were involved in many cold war related conflicts since WW2. –Matt

 

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