Posts Tagged PMSC

Podcasts: Sean McFate, Author Of The Modern Mercenary On NPR

This is interesting. Sean McFate is the author of the book The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order and he is making the rounds promoting his book. He will also be at several speaking events in the near future. One will be at the Atlantic Council on March 3 and the other will be at the World Affairs Council on March 24. His background is that he worked for DynCorp International in Africa on a unique project to rebuild Liberia’s army back in 2004.

In the podcast, he gets into the nitty gritty of what this industry is currently involved with, and where he thinks it is going. Check it out. –Matt

Listen to the podcast here.

 

 

 

From NPR

In World War II, contractors made up just 10 percent of the military workforce; by the Iraq war, that number had risen to 50 percent. And that number is climbing – not just in the U.S. but worldwide, as governments look to save money and keep casualty numbers down for their own militaries. But what does this trend toward private-run warfare mean for the future of international relations? One former contractor warns that armies-for-hire will soon be the norm, making it easier than ever to wage war. What an increased reliance on private armies could mean for modern warfare and global security.

Guests

Sean McFate senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Former paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and former private military contractor in Africa.

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Film: The PMSC Tasked With Protecting Jurassic World–InGen Security

This is cool. Apparently in this summer’s blockbuster film called Jurassic World, there is a PMSC that they have promoted in trailers as the ones tasked with protecting the park. Below I have posted the main trailer for the film, which shows that the Jurassic park has been built and dinosaurs have been created through genetic engineering. In the second clip below, it shows the PMSC named InGen Security which is a business unit of Masarani Global. The Vic Hoskins character seems to be the CEO of InGen Security, played by the actor Vincent D’Onofrio.

Of course in the prior Jurassic Park films, InGen was a genetics company. Apparently in this film, InGen was bought up after economic collapse (due to dinosaurs destroying the business model) by Masrani Global and then converted into a PMSC. Kind of odd restructuring if you ask me, but hey that is the storyline. lol

Now what will be interesting to watch here, is how this PMSC is portrayed in the movie. One group that blogged about this element of the movie believes that InGen Security will be made out to be the bad guys and get the ‘dinosaur treatment’ in the end. That seems to be inline with how Hollywood treats PMSC’s in film these days. We saw this in the film Avatar and the bad guy company there was RDA. It was still a fun film to watch.

Who knows and we will see how this turns out? I do know that this is the first film I have ever heard of where the story’s PMSC is tasked with protecting folks in an environment filled with out of control dinosaurs. I mean InGen Security did clean up that ‘infamous flying reptile “cleanup” operation over Canada in 2001′, according to the news story from the company website. So they can’t be all that bad. lol

From a marketing point of view, it is neat that the film companies out there are making company websites like this to further support the story. The Masrani Global website looks great, and I look forward to checking out the film on the big screen this summer. –Matt

Edit: 06/15/2015- I got a chance to see the movie and it was fun. InGen’s part in the movie was basically trying to stop an out of control hybrid dinosaur. The interesting part here is that at first, the security force was limited in what they could use to stop this thing–meaning only using less than lethal force. Which of course turns out bad, and the force gets decimated by a beast that was impervious to electric shock weapons. The reason for less than lethal force was that Masarani wanted to protect their dinosaur freak show investment….

Then when all is looking hopeless, InGen brings in their ‘serious’ security folks by helicopter, and they are actually tasked with killing. Although the armaments looked pretty weak for going after such a beast. A lot of shotgun and small caliber weapons, and then one anti-tank launcher, which I think was an AT-4. (check out the IMFD for the movie here) In my opinion, they did not bring enough ‘big guns’ to the fight. If they had a helicopter or similar aircraft, they could have used a rocket launcher. Or use an IED attached to some bait. But for the film, it is more exciting to see these guys go after this beast like a squad going on the hunt in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Now what was also different about this movie, was the InGen Security side of the house wanted to use trained Velociraptors as a weapon of war (War Velociraptors?). Meaning set these things loose against an enemy. Chris Pratt’s character was the guy tasked with training and working with a pack of Velociraptors, and he eventually used them to go after this hybrid dinosaur when all other options were exhausted.  This part of the movie was fun to think about and it was an interesting turn.

Vic Hoskins turned out to be the bad guy in charge of the security group. But he was the only guy demonized and he did get killed in the end. The actual PMSC guys doing the fighting and dying, gave a great showing in the movie. Too bad they didn’t have character that was an antithesis to Vic’s character, amongst the security force. Someone that takes over when Vic dies, and that actually connects with Pratt’s character in the end to accomplish the goal. Either way, it was a fun movie. The Washington Post did a similar review in regards to PMSC’s in this movie.

 

InGen Security: An Asset Containment Unit officer stands watch at Isla Nublar’s Jurassic World.

InGen Security: No Laughing Matter.

With the number of reported Central American poaching vessels increasing in the Meurtes Archipelago over the last year, InGen’s security division, headed by Vic Hoskins, has been busy ramping up operations in the Gulf of Fernandez.

“We don’t have the capacity to take things for granted around here”, Vic says. “While some of our work is assisting the staff at Jurassic World, we also have a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations to monitor activity on Isla Nublar and its neighboring islands.”

Poachers have been known to risk their own lives working in the service of ruthless collectors. It has also been reported that some individuals have been responsible for mishandling captured specimens, with disturbing hospitalization cases on the Costa Rican mainland.

“This area of the world is controlled by a multi-national coalition, and our Asset Containment teams spearhead keeping this region safe and protected. With the use of state-of-the-art equipment and communication technology provided through partnerships with various Masrani Global subsidiaries, we can do just that.”

A seasoned security contractor, Vic Hoskins was involved in overseeing the infamous flying reptile “cleanup” operation over Canada in 2001. Due to the professionalism his team displayed, he was hired personally by Simon Masrani to re-develop InGen’s Security Division, which helped oversee the protection of workers on Isla Nublar during Jurassic World’s construction.

 

 

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Games: Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare

This game is of interest to our community because it involves a future where PMSC’s are the dominate players. It is a game that asks ‘what if?’.

This franchise has made a ton of money off of the Call of Duty games, and this latest game is the next evolution of that franchise. When they hired a heavy duty actor like Kevin Spacey to play the CEO of the fictional PMSC in this game called Atlas Corporation, then you know these guys are not fooling around. These games are essentially interactive movies, complete with premieres and premier parties and awards for best games. It really is amazing how far these things have come along.

It is also telling that video games would invest so much into PMSC related stories. Mercenary type games must really do well for them to put so much money and resource into the concept. I should also mention that I have a ton of traffic coming from places like Los Angeles and other areas of the country where games or other bits of PMSC related entertainment are made. I am sure on Facebook, the same kind of thing is happening. An industry that makes their money on good story and great action in a game, will find inspiration wherever it can–to include this blog. Which is great and I hope they take the ideas and run with them. Just know that I can’t control what the gamers or other contractors feel about the game, so if it sucks, it is on you guys. lol

So we will see how the game does? For the record, I had no involvement with the development of this game. Check out the other behind the scenes videos that talk about the weapons and ideas of the game. Lots of technology and future warfare type stuff going on. –Matt

Pre-order game here.

 

 

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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.  He also did a post over at OAF about his experience. Check it out and it is definitely worth your time. –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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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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