Posts Tagged private military companies

Russia: Their Many Uses Of ‘Private Military Companies’…

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. –11/04/2012 Riavososti

This is another post I wanted to get out there in regards to what has happened in the industry. The events in the Ukraine have put some more light on Russia’s use of PMSC’s, and also puts some light on how PMSC’s could be used as a propaganda tool.

Specifically, ACADEMI was mentioned in multiple propaganda pieces as supporting the Kiev government with training and ‘mercenary’ services. It was even mentioned that there were 400 elite US commandos from this company, fighting Russian separatists. lol

I am laughing because there would have been an avalanche of chatter on all of the forums and Facebook/Linkedin pages if this was true. You don’t just fire up a 400 man army like this and it not get out amongst this community. Especially if it paid well.

Even ACADEMI had to post a press releases to counter this ridiculous claim. The State Dept, who issues the licenses necessary for PMSC’s to go overseas and do training had to beat down this idiotic propaganda as well in statements. Really, I don’t think anyone in the west believed this stupid story.

But unfortunately, their propaganda efforts were able to reach those that are not savvy online or care to believe otherwise. All war is deception as Sun Tzu would say… Russia was absolutely implementing a social media campaign as a part of their battle plan to take Crimea and justify occupying parts of the Ukraine. That effort is still ongoing and we will see what eventually happens with the Ukraine.

Also expect attacks on Gazprom pipelines, and that reality will require protective services by Gazprom’s massive security apparatus.

The point is, that social media and war is standard business now, and you see combatants all over the world using social media and propaganda to prepare their battlefields and psyche out their opponents. It works if done properly, and just ask the cartels in Mexico or ISIS in Iraq how it is working out for them.

The other part of this story that is not being talked about is Russia’s focus on firing up their own private military industry. Something that can rival the west’s PMSC industry. This is very interesting to me, because it is another market to study and watch. It is also a huge money maker–private security in Russia is said to be a 7 billion dollar market.

Although there has always been a PMSC sector in Russia, and especially after the end of the Cold War. What is interesting though is that I keep picking up on hints here and there of PMSC’s getting support at some very high levels in Russia. Probably because it is a force that can be used by men in power to do things that a standing military could not do. (please note the quote by Putin up top)

For example, a company in the country of Transnistria could be contacted and asked to recruit folks to be ‘pro-Russian separatists’ in the Ukraine. To work with Russian special forces that are also posing as Russian separatists, wear ski masks to mask their identity, and fuel the grass roots movement and divisions within the country using violence. Sounds farfetched? Well that is exactly what some are speculating, and it would make sense to me, purely base off of what the leaders of Russia have said in the past.

Below I have posted recent news on efforts to further legitimize PMSC’s in Russia. To give them the legal authority necessary to operate, and to even use in other countries. This is not new and I posted stuff about Russia’s intent back in 2012. David Isenberg wrote a post on it as well. EA games did a pretty good series on PMSC’s in Russia.

Although I should note that Russia has had some recent embarrassing incidents with the use of PMSC’s in other countries. For example, The Slavonic Corps and their actions in Syria come to mind. Perhaps Russia’s recent legislation and licensing will help to control future ‘Slavonic Corps’ from happening?  Who knows, but I do know that Russia is continuing to explore the many uses of private military companies and we will see where that takes them. –Matt


Russian Special Forces operating in the Ukraine and assisting separatists. They are referred to as ‘The Little Green Men’. Weapon is a 9K115 Metis ATGM.


Russian ‘Blackwater’? MPs call for local security industry loophole
June 27, 2014
By Iliya Pitalev
Nationalist party LDPR deputies have drafted a law on private military companies to the regional legislature of North Russia’s Pskov. If approved, the draft will be forwarded to the federal parliament.
The authors of the document claim it was born out of the necessity for capable and specialized commercial organizations to enforce national interests in cases when international politics or law prevent the government from using regular military forces.
“The crisis in Ukraine in which the provisionary government in Kiev is actively using Western military contractors in its interests, demonstrate the acute necessity for similar institutions in Russia,” reads the explanatory note published by the Pskov regional legislature.
According to the lawmakers, there are over 450 private military contractors in the world, with 70 percent of the services provided by the US and British companies. These firms solve many foreign policy problems for Western governments, and at the same time bring additional taxes to their national economies.
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Russia: Private Military Companies May Appear In Russia Says Rogozin

I have seen other mentions in the news about Russia’s interest in PMSC’s, although they have been using them for quite awhile. For a great primer on one aspect of what a Russian type market would look like, is this episode of a documentary that the gaming company EA put together for Army of Two.

In the documentary they focus on the PMSC industry in Transnistria. This break away republic is flush with weapons and out of work soldiers, and this country’s industry has been involved with providing arms and services all over the world. The country is in a grey area of status, and multiple clients have been able to take advantage of this situation.

For Russia, it sounds like they are willing to experiment and copy the west’s use of PMSC’s. Although I doubt they would be totally private, but you never know… –Matt


Private Military Companies May Appear in Russia – Rogozin
By Dan Peleschuk
The Russian government’s Military Industrial Commission may consider creating private military companies in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday.
Russia’s significant economic interests abroad often operate in “difficult” conditions, and such companies would facilitate their work, said Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s military-industrial complex.
“We are thinking about whether our money should go toward financing foreign private security [and] military companies, or whether we should consider the feasibility of such companies in Russia itself,” he said.
President Vladimir Putin also declared his support in April for the creation of such companies, currently employed by a slew of Western governments, to provide security for Russian facilities abroad as well as training foreign military units.
Some Russian military analysts, however, are skeptical about Rogozin’s idea. They think the plan could be just one of the charismatic politician’s off-the-cuff statements, such as his claim earlier this month that Russia should plan to build a lunar base to reinvigorate its flagging space program.
Military analyst Alexander Golts says private U.S. security companies, for example, are useful because they allow the U.S. government to dodge the hefty insurance payments in the case of a military-related death – a practice rendered largely pointless in Russia.

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Cool Stuff: The Mayfair Set–Col. David Stirling’s Private War Against Egypt In Yemen

This is a really cool documentary, and it covers far more than the history of Col David Stirling’s adventures. Stirling was the founder of the SAS, which is a remarkable accomplishment and story on it’s own, but the history that intrigued me the most was what he did in retirement. Specifically his private military ventures and the private war he waged in Yemen. This was a privately funded war, waged by professional soldiers and forces in Yemen, with the approval of Britain.

This is also another example of a modern private military force, winning a war. They did it, and this would be a great source for a case study on the potential of private military forces. Stirling was quite the risk taker, and certainly an innovator back in his day. It is also pretty relevant to today’s issues with private military companies, and of the politics of the middle east and the defense industry. Check it out and go to the youtube link to watch the whole series if you are interested. They also discuss his work in Oman and the business he did with Saudi Arabia. Very interesting stuff. –Matt


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Industry Talk: A Review Of ‘States Of Security’

Or at least a review of the PSC part of this survey. Although I did find it disconcerting that they talked with several ‘private security commentators’ and industry professionals, but made no effort to contact this blog. I mean there are only a handful of us folks who actually work in this industry, and write about it on a day to day basis. To not recognize the significance of such a resource, tells me that perhaps they were lazy or did not care to gain that kind of insight? Such information would have made a better product, and all it would have taken is an email….Oh what a burden? lol  With that said, let me highlight some of the pros and cons of this survey.

The lack of information about PSC’s and their weapons use in the maritime security market is disappointing. These figures would have been very useful for pointing out deficiencies or strengths in this part of the industry. And if you were to make the connection between the statistic of low rates of armed PSC’s and Western Europe, and the fact that most of today’s maritime security PSC usage comes from this region, then you can see exactly what I am getting at here. If these countries are adverse to arming PSC’s, and yet those same PSC’s are the majority of security out there protecting vessels from heavily armed pirates, then that is not a good ratio.

Furthermore, their data on the types of weapons contractors are using out there is off. The type of weapons that contractors are using and have available to them, is far more varied than what they listed. I will leave it at that.

I would have also liked some more statistics and focus on homemade weaponry. With the internet and the availability of opensource information about the proper construction of weapons, I would be very curious as to the state of DIY weapons manufacturing out there. It would have also brought more attention to the concept of Opensource Military Hardware.

I do want to give praise for the effort, and it was very informative.  It was very interesting to know that there are more PSC’s than police, and yet the police and the militaries of the world have far more weapons.  To me, this is shocking. PSC’s are increasingly becoming the front line troops when it comes to terrorism, drug wars, pirates, etc., and yet here we are throwing guards into harms way without these very basic tools of defense and self protection.

I have not been able to read the rest of the survey, but I would be interested to hear about the small arms usage of terrorists, pirates, drug cartels, etc. if such a statistic could be formulated. I imagine this figure would be pretty startling. But the most disturbing aspect of such a statistic, is the idea that we are using all of these unarmed private security forces to defend against these heavily armed malcontents. I am already seeing this with the maritime security industry, and that alone has been a battle to promote the idea of putting armed guards on boats. And not just armed, but armed with sufficient firepower to deal with the potential threats.

To me, it is an issue of safety for the guard and an issue of actually providing ‘real security’ services to the client, as opposed to providing security theater. Every guard out there should be able to look their client in the eye and say ‘I am ready to take on any and all threats, in the defense of you and your property’. Guards that are unarmed or poorly trained will contribute to failure–which equates to more industry scrutiny and consternation.

The survey noted this, and also noted the important efforts of this industry to get squared away.  Things like signing the ICoC or rallying around the Montreux Document are all signs that the industry wants accountability, and they want to give the client the confidence to use their services.

But as the survey has noted, time and time again, it is the governments of the world who have dropped the ball when it comes to regulating or coming up with the laws to properly manage this industry. I have done much to highlight these deficiencies in the past on this blog, and will continue to do so. I will also continue to provide solutions for countries and clients, to help them get the best service and contract they can get out of their PSC’s and PMC’s. I will also continue to do my part to promote a business/warrior ethos called Jundism amongst my peers, as well as promote real security solutions to the world’s complex security environments.

It is also very interesting to me that the Police and Military forces of the world get far more respect than PSC’s, and yet here we are, taking on more and more responsibilities and dealing with more complex threats. Everything a cop or soldier might encounter, PSC’s could encounter as well. And yet PSC’s continue to do what they do with less arms, less legal authority, less regulation, less training, less accountability and all because we are less cost. We have ‘cheaper’ down, we have ‘faster’ down, but we still have a ways to go when it comes to ‘better’. But I am optimistic, because we are slowly evolving, learning, improving our standing as ‘better’, despite the nation state’s inability to keep up with regulations/management/accountability. –Matt

On Growth

The private security sector has been booming since the mid-1980s and continues to grow steadily (van Dijk, 2008,
p. 217). Recent estimates show that the security market is worth about USD 100–165 billion per year, and that it has
been growing at an annual rate of 7–8 per cent.4 The scale of growth is further illustrated by significant increases in
the number of personnel employed over time and across regions:

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Books: The Profession, By Steven Pressfield

Thanks to Mark from Zenpundit for the heads up about this book. Steven Pressfield is an outstanding author and he even has a novel on the Commandant of the Marine Corp’s reading list called Gates of Fire. The book is also taught at West Point, Annapolis, the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico, the Virginia Military Institute and at Brophy College Preparatory.(I am sure there are others) So when an author gets that much respect for his written word, I tend to perk up when he writes a novel about private military companies in the near future.

You might also remember his discussion about solutions for the Afghanistan war. Him and Jim Gant were definitely promoting some interesting solutions, and it was a pleasure back then to read and follow along. I am still following his blog and he does a fantastic job of going over the process of writing, as well as discussing history’s military lessons.

I have not read this book yet, but I definitely would like to hear what others think about it. On Amazon there are reviews to check out, and Mark had a few readers on his site that chimed in.  Here is a product description from Amazon.


Product Description
The “master storyteller” (Publishers Weekly) and bestselling author of Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and Killing Rommel returns with a stunning, chillingly plausible near-future thriller about the rise of a privately financed and global military industrial complex.? ?The year is 2032. The third Iran-Iraq war is over; the 11/11 dirty bomb attack on the port of Long Beach, California is receding into memory; Saudi Arabia has recently quelled a coup; Russians and Turks are clashing in the Caspian Basin; Iranian armored units, supported by the satellite and drone power of their Chinese allies, have emerged from their enclaves in Tehran and are sweeping south attempting to recapture the resource rich territory that had been stolen from them, in their view, by Lukoil, BP, and ExxonMobil and their privately-funded armies. Everywhere military force is for hire.  Oil companies, multi-national corporations and banks employ powerful, cutting-edge mercenary armies to control global chaos and protect their riches.  Even nation states enlist mercenary forces to suppress internal insurrections, hunt terrorists, and do the black bag jobs necessary to maintain the new New World Order. ? ?Force Insertion is the world’s merc monopoly. Its leader is the disgraced former United States Marine General James Salter, stripped of his command by the president for nuclear saber-rattling with the Chinese and banished to the Far East.  A grandmaster military and political strategist, Salter deftly seizes huge oil and gas fields, ultimately making himself the most powerful man in the world.  Salter’s endgame is to take vengeance on those responsible for his exile and then come home…as Commander in Chief. The only man who can stop him is the novel’s narrator, Gilbert “Gent” Gentilhomme, Salter’s most loyal foot soldier and as close to him as the son Salter lost. As this action-jammed, lightning fast, and brutally realistic novel builds to its heart-stopping climax Gent launches his personally and professionally most desperate mission: to take out his mentor and save the United States from self destruction.? ?Infused by a staggering breadth of research in military tactics and steeped in the timeless themes of the honor and valor of men at war that distinguish all of Pressfield’s fiction, The Profession is that rare novel that informs and challenges the reader almost as much as it entertains.

The only commentary I have on this, just based on the description, is that Gilbert “Gent” Gentilhomme sounds like a practitioner of Jundism. lol Or basically, he had the courage to do what is right, and stop this out of control General–that he used to idolize.

So if anyone is interested in purchasing this book, you can find it in the Jundi Gear store here. You can also check out all the reviews on Amazon while on that page, and so far the book is getting good reviews. To give you a taste, Steven has even published a chapter of this book on his site. Check it out and let me know what you think. –Matt


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Industry Talk: Missions Evolve, So Does DynCorp

These types of articles are great because they give the reader some perspective as to where the industry is going.  DynCorp mentioned specifically that they are looking at getting into intelligence and post conflict international development as their targets for company growth. They are also recognizing the fact that a company that can meet the needs of both the DoD and DoS will have some good diversification as the wars evolve and transition. I love this quote:

“We position ourselves for transition,” he said. “We have to watch the whole life cycle of conflict to see where we’re going to play and who we’re going to play with.”

Which brings up another quote that really kind of threw me here.  I had no idea that DynCorp was maintaining Presidential aircraft? That is a huge deal, and to put that kind of trust in a company like DynCorp says a lot.  Here is the quote:

“We’re also known for our work with the presidential fleet,” he added. “There are now about 28 airplanes at Andrews Air Force Base that support the president’s Cabinet, and we support that fleet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

So there you have it.  A private company tasked with maintaining the aircraft of the most important leaders of the nation. Might I add that DynCorp is also tasked with protecting dignitaries and politicians in the war zones through their DoS contracts, and that is a huge responsibility as well.  From protecting nuclear plants, government employees, CEO’s and VIP’s, military officers,  political leadership of the US, etc.–private industry is certainly making a contribution. DynCorp is definitely making their mark and it will be very interesting to watch them grow and evolve as the wars transition, or new wars come on to the scene. –Matt

Missions evolve, so does DynCorp
By Amber Corrin
Jun 06, 2011
It’s been a busy year for DynCorp International. In the past 16 months, the company has been bought by a private equity firm, made two acquisitions of its own and won at least four new major contracts.
At the same time, it is maintaining critical U.S. aircraft fleets, running counter-drug operations in Colombia, training law enforcement agents and shuttling dignitaries throughout Iraq, and maintaining military bases and working with police and Ministry of the Interior personnel in Afghanistan.
The company’s success helped it reach the No. 12 spot on the 2011 Top 100 with $3 billion in prime contracts.
The company continues to look toward its future. Specifically, it’s seeking to break into the intelligence and international development spheres, President Steven Schorer said.

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