Posts Tagged Quotes

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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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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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
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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History: Prime Minister Winston Churchill On The Flying Tigers, WW2

This is neat. I stumbled upon a great post by Defense Media Network about the Flying Tigers and they opened it with this quote. I had never heard of it before, but Churchill’s words are pretty significant. Especially when he compared the Flying Tigers to the RAF during the Battle of Britain.  (which also had a significant amount of foreign volunteers in it during that time)

On a side note, did you know that the Flying Tigers were converted into the 23d Fighter Group, which exists today and has flown in the current wars? They fly the A-10 Warthog which is an awesome aircraft. They even paint the Flying Tigers shark mouth on the aircraft. Kind of cool to see a government military carrying on the traditions and memory of an American PMC like the Flying Tigers. Enjoy. –Matt


“The victories of these Americans over the rice paddies of Burma are comparable in character, if not in scope, with those won by the Royal Air Force over the hop fields of Kent in the Battle of Britain.”-Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the Flying Tigers.


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Quotes: More Civilian Contractors Working For American Companies Than American Soldiers Died In Afghanistan, 2011

Last year, at least 430 employees of American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan: 386 working for the Defense Department, 43 for the United States Agency for International Development and one for the State Department, according to data provided by the American Embassy in Kabul and publicly available in part from the United States Department of Labor.
By comparison, 418 American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year, according to Defense Department statistics compiled by, an independent organization that monitors war deaths.

Notice where the reporter collected this information? DoL for contractor deaths and for soldier deaths. Which is exactly why I put the DoL statistics at the top of the list on my page.  I also agree with the article that there are probably more deaths that have not been reported. Especially the local national companies that are working in the war zones either directly or indirectly for DoD. For American contractor deaths, I think the DoL stats are the best, even though there are Americans that have worked for companies that did not register through DBA. Especially in the early days of the war.

The other thing mentioned in this article that is significant is that there are more contractors in Afghanistan than soldiers. I posted the latest CENTCOM AOR numbers and the reporter referenced the same report.

There were 113,491 employees of defense contractors in Afghanistan as of January 2012, compared with about 90,000 American soldiers, according to Defense Department statistics. Of those, 25,287, or about 22 percent of the employees, were American citizens, with 47 percent Afghans and 31 percent from other countries.

Finally, they discussed the companies and contractor types that have seen the most losses. L 3 Communications has seen an amazing amount of losses. Most of those deaths were interpreters that worked in Iraq or Afghanistan. But 370 killed and 1,789 wounded is an immense sacrifice for a company and it’s subsidiaries.

The biggest contractor in terms of war zone deaths is apparently the defense giant L-3 Communications. If L-3 were a country, it would have the third highest loss of life in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq; only the United States and Britain would exceed it in fatalities.
Over the past 10 years, L-3 and its subsidiaries, including Titan Corporation and MPRI Inc., had at least 370 workers killed and 1,789 seriously wounded or injured through the end of 2011 in Iraq and Afghanistan, records show. In a statement, a spokeswoman for L-3, Jennifer Barton, said: “L-3 is proud to have the opportunity to support the U.S. and coalition efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We mourn the loss of life of these dedicated men and women.”

So I guess my final commentary is that contractors deserve more respect and recognition for their contribution and sacrifice in this war than we have been given–which is none. And yet the media and public largely ignored this contribution and sacrifice? Will there be monuments or holidays to remember this sacrifice one day, or do we only give such honors for soldiers?

Either way, we will remember them here and their sacrifice will never be forgotten….. –Matt

Risks of Afghan War Shift From Soldiers to Contractors
February 11, 2012
Even dying is being outsourced here.
This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. Many American generals and diplomats have private contractors for their personal bodyguards. And along with the risks have come the consequences: More civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.

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Quotes: My Security Colleagues Would Call It ‘Getting Off The X’–Patrick Kennedy

So I wonder if Mr. Kennedy has talked with the enemy in Iraq about this whole ‘getting off the X’ thing? lol Because somehow I don’t think they plan on playing by the rules.-Matt


“My security colleagues would call it ‘getting off the X’,” Kennedy said. “We run. We go. We do not stand and fight. We will execute a high-speed J-turn and we will get as far away from the attackers as we possibly can.” –Patrick Kennedy, US State Department’s Under Secretary of State For Management on DoS Iraq security contractors.




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