Posts Tagged PMSC

Russia: PMSC’s Operating In A Legal Grey Area

This is a good little report on the status of Russian PMSC’s, with a mention of the Slavonic Corps debacle. I have written in the past about Russia’s use of PMSC’s and their efforts on legalizing it. But as the report mentions, Russia also benefits from keeping their industry in the legal grey area of war fighting. Especially if you see how ‘volunteers’ (who are paid by the way) are being used in places like the Ukraine. It is not too much of  a stretch for Russia to just outright contract out various aspects of their war there.

While he says his fighters are “volunteers” rather than mercenaries, they are paid salaries: from $1,000 per month for a low-ranking enlisted man to $2,000 to $4,000 for officers. Yefimov did not answer the reporter’s question about who pays the salaries.

Ukraine’s government says more than 10,000 Russian mercenaries form the bulk of the Russian proxy forces that the Kremlin has used to sponsor the creation of the separatist “people’s republics” in parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk provinces. Many fighters are motivated by the propaganda of the Kremlin-controlled media, Yefimov says.

“Our press and television present the dramatic facts. The Russian people cannot tolerate the terror that the fascists have staged there [in Ukraine]. Killing women, children and the elderly. Most of those who go [to fight] are sensitive and empathetic; they want to help. This is especially true for people from 40 to 60 years of age, who were brought up under Soviet traditions.” Other fighters go because they miss the adrenaline of war or to earn money, he said.

Although for using Russian PMSC’s on the international market, they will have to have some protections. Compared to the west’s market of force, they have a lot of catching up to do.

With that said, one area that interests me is Assad’s manpower issues in Syria. Will we see more Slavonic Corps type contracts pop up where Russian PMSC’s answer the manpower call in Syria? We will see. Russian PMSC’s are already doing the maritime security game, and operating in the middle east protecting oil company facilities and their employees.

The one company mentioned in this video was RSB. The key thing the president mentioned was the legalities of operating as a PMSC. That Russian law has it’s roots from the Byzantine era, and that whatever is not explicitly banned, is legal. So operating outside of the country as a PMSC, is not explicitly banned in his view. Interesting comment, although as you can see with the Slavonic Corps, you can still be thrown in prison for such activities–based on the whims of their government.

He also mentioned he could raise an army of  1,000 plus troops, which is typical talk from a company CEO. If you have the attention of journalists, you always want to promote capability when you can. lol

Also, they cut the youtube video a little short. For the full video, go here. –Matt

 

RSB contractor.

RSB contractor performing maritime security.

 

 

Russia’s private military firms operate in legal grey area

July 28, 2015

Since the conflict in Ukraine began, Kiev and the West have accused Russians of participating on a massive scale. The Kremlin denies sending professional troops to Ukraine and insists the Russian citizens there are volunteers who have signed up to help the separatists. Increasingly, experts are pointing to the presence of a third category of fighters: the employees of private military companies, or PMCs.

While the private security industry is well established in the United States – with globally recognised brands such as Academi (formerly Blackwater) – Russia has never legalised their use. That could be about to change, however, as Russian PMCs certainly do exist and are now active internationally.

Programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Elom Marcel Toble.

By Gulliver CRAGG , Ksenia BOLCHAKOVA

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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. –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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