private military company

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pages: 924 words: 198,159

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

air freight, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, Columbine, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, independent contractor, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Seymour Hersh, stem cell, urban planning, zero-sum game

African Ban on Mercenaries Could Hit Conflict Zone Workers,” Financial Times, August 30, 2006. 80 Doug Brooks, “New Legislation Will Undermine South Africa’s Security Staff Abroad,” Cape Times, October 5, 2005. 81 “Defence Portfolio Committee Hears: Role of South Africans ‘Critical for World Peace,’” Mercury (South Africa), May 24, 2006. 82 Clare Nullis, “South Africa Assembly OKs Mercenary Bill,” Associated Press, August 29, 2006. 83 Rebecca Ulam Weiner, “Peace Corp.; As the International Community Dithers Over Darfur, Private Military Companies Say They’ve Got What It Takes to Stop the Carnage; If Only Someone Would Hire Them,” Boston Globe, April 23, 2006. 84 Clare Nullis, “South Africa Assembly OKs Mercenary Bill,” Associated Press, August 29, 2006. 85 Ibid. 86 Mark Hemingway, “Warriors for Hire: Blackwater USA and the Rise of Private Military Contractors,” The Weekly Standard, December 18, 2006. 87 Joanne Kimberlin, “Blackwater Eyes Creation of Private ‘Brigade Force,’” Virginian-Pilot, July 28, 2006. 88 Author copy, Central Contractor registration documents for Greystone Limited. 89 Ibid. 90 Ibid. 91 Author copy of guest list. 92 Author copy of brochure. 93 Author copy of invitation. 94 Author copy of video. 95 Nathan Hodge, “Washington Urged to Save Money by Raising Private Military ‘Contractor Brigade,’” Financial Times, February 10, 2005. 96 West 2006 Web site,, accessed December 7, 2006. 97 Author copy of Erik Prince’s speech at West 2006. 98 Stephen Daggett and Amy Belasco, “Defense Budget for FY2003: Data Summary,” Congressional Research Service, March 29, 2002. 99 P.

., filed January 5, 2005. 79 Ibid. 80 Ibid. 81 Transcript, “Hearing on Iraq Private Contractor Oversight,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, February 7, 2007. 82 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Majority Staff Report, “Private Military Contractors in Iraq: An Examination of Blackwater’s Actions in Fallujah,” September 2007. 83 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Majority Staff Report, “Private Military Contractors in Iraq: An Examination of Blackwater’s Actions in Fallujah,” September 2007. 84 Ibid. 85 Ibid. 86 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Majority Staff Report, “Private Military Contractors in Iraq: An Examination of Blackwater’s Actions in Fallujah,” September 2007. 87 Interview 2006. 88 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Majority Staff Report, “Private Military Contractors in Iraq: An Examination of Blackwater’s Actions in Fallujah,” September 2007. 89 Richard P.

CHAPTER 20 1 Transcript, President Bush speaking in the Oval Office, November 8, 2006. 2 Renae Merle, “Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq,” Washington Post, December 5, 2006. 3 Transcript, “Remarks By Vice President Dick Cheney at an Armed Forces Full Honor Review in Honor of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,” December 15, 2006. 4 Transcript, Face the Nation, CBS, December 17, 2006. 5 Peter Baker, “Bush to Expand Size of Military,” Washington Post, December 19, 2006. 6 President George W. Bush, “State of the Union,” January 23, 2007. 7 Nathan Hodge, “Washington Urged to Save Money By Raising Private Military ‘Contractor Brigade,’” Financial Times, February 10, 2005. 8 Mark Hemingway, “Warriors for Hire: Blackwater USA and the Rise of Private Military Contractors,” The Weekly Standard, December 18, 2006. 9 Mark Hemingway, “Warriors for Hire: Blackwater USA and the Rise of Private Military Contractors,” The Weekly Standard, December 18, 2006. 10 Author copy of fact sheet from “6th International Special Operations Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX 2006),” held March 27-30, 2006, King Abdullah Air Base, Amman, Jordan. 11 Ibid. 12 “Record Number of Participants to Visit SOFEX 2006,”, captured November 2, 2006. 13 14 Official biography, “His Majesty King Abdullah II,” Jordanian Embassy to the United States,, captured December 2, 2006. 15 Riad Kahwaji, “Jordan Forming Spec Ops Air Unit; Contracted U.S.

pages: 330 words: 83,319

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

The Department of Defense spent about $160 billion on private security contractors from 2007 to 2012, almost four times the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.14 But this statistic entails only military contracts and does not include those made by other government agencies. For example, the State Department also hires private military contractors, including Blackwater, Triple Canopy, and DynCorp. The total amount the United States pays for private security is unknown. Contracting is now part of the American way of war. Tellingly, Senator Obama sponsored a bill in 2007 to make armed contractors more accountable, and President Obama later ignored it.15 Hiring private military companies is one of the few issues in Washington that enjoys true bipartisan support, as Republican and Democrat White Houses use them more and more.

Training and vetting standards could be maintained in a transparent manner, unlike with barely vetted private military contractors (I know, I was in the industry). Legionnaires would be held accountable for their actions under military law, called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Contractors face minimal accountability. If they commit a crime, like murder, they get sent home with minimal—or no—punishment. An American foreign legion would end such impunity. Paying for the legion would be easy. It would replace private military contractors and take their budget. In 2010, during the Iraq War, the Pentagon appropriated $366 billion for contracts—that’s five times the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.

Tomorrow’s wars will have more in common with Cormac McCarthy than Tom Clancy. I know because I have walked that road. I have looked at war from many sides. I began as a paratrooper in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, one of World War II’s most storied units. I left the service to become a private military contractor in Eastern Europe and Africa. While the West became laser focused on Afghanistan and Iraq, I was on war’s outer rim, fighting in Africa. What I saw there is invisible to conventional warriors and points to the future. War’s future is not what most people expect. I’m a professor at Georgetown University and the National Defense University, the premiere US Department of Defense war college, where I teach strategy and the art of war to senior military officers from around the world.

pages: 482 words: 161,169

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by Peter Warren Singer

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, disinformation, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market friction, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, risk/return, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

It ignored a most basic lesson of Carl von Clausewitz, one of the thinkers most cited at military acade- 243 postscript: the llssons of iraq mies; Clausewitz wrote that in war one should ensure "not to take the first step without considering the last." As the military and the Bush Administration wrestled with the policy dilemmas caused by this lack of planning, private military contractors seemed to provide an attractive answer to many of their problems. The key difference from prior wars in the modern era is that previously this alternative had not existed. It is sometimes easier to understand how the use of private military contractors came about by looking at the issue in reverse. A core problem that U.S. forces faced was insufficient troops, and there were several potential answers—but each of them was considered politically unpalatable.

NOTFS TO PAGFS 89-97 29 1 x. South African Institute of International Aifairs, "Private Security: Phantom Menace or Evil Empire?" Intelligence Update, May l 1. 2000. t). Others have attempted to differentiate private military companies from private security companies by their client lists, which hardly makes sense, given the broad crossover in clientele. International Alert, Private Military Companies and the Proliferation of Small Arms: Regulating the Actors (January 2002). 7. Robert Mandel, "The Privatization of Security," Armed Forces & Society 28, no. l (Fall 2001): 129-152. 8. International Alert.

Transcript available at hltp://w,ww.foxncws-com/world/o6230o/un broder.sml BIBLIOGRAPHY Brooks, Douglas. "The Business End of Military Intelligence: Private Military Companies." Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin^ September 1999. Brooks, Doug. "Creating the Renaissance Peace." Paper presented at Africa Institute's 40th Anniversary Conference, May 30, 2000, Pretoria. . "Hope for the 'Hopeless Continent': Mercenaries." Traders: Journal for the Southern African Region no. 3 (July—October 2000). . "Messiahs or Mercenaries?" Inletnationalf Peacekeeping 7, no. 4 (2000): 129— 144. . "Write a Cheque, End a War: Using Private Military Companies to End .African Conflicts." Conflict Trends, no. (3 (July 2000). http:/ publications/ct6/issue6.htm Brooks, Doug, and Hussein Solomon.

pages: 247 words: 71,698

Avogadro Corp by William Hertling

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, invisible hand, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, standardized shipping container, technological singularity, Turing test, web application, WikiLeaks

“Can you hire mercenaries that can do that kind of stuff?” David asked. “You said unlimited budget, didn’t you?” Mike looked at Sean. Sean sighed. “Yes.” “Well, didn’t the U.S. hire private military contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq?” “Blackstone,” Sean said. “They have helicopters and planes. Even a remotely piloted drone.” “There you go,” Mike said. “Alright.” Sean paused. “So the basic plan is to hire a private military contractor to drop explosives on the ships. All in favor?” “Sorry, but...” Jake looked sheepishly at the group. “There’s one problem with that. If you blow up the barge, but any of the containers remain intact, they’ll float away.”

It was all well and good to ask Avogadro employees to shutdown power circuits and backup power supplies, and it was another thing entirely to need trained people to wield explosives and firepower. Sean Leonov and the other executives took on the unenviable task of discreetly finding and hiring a private military contractor to implement that portion of the plan. Chapter 14 Markets Achieve Unprecedented Stability Wall Street, New York (Reuters) - Amid spreading world peace, world financial markets achieved an unprecedented level of stability. According to noted Wall Street analyst Henry Jee, commodity prices fluctuated less during the previous twenty days than any time in the recorded history of the commodities market.

It would be a long time before she would go to Japan again. * * * While the attack on the land based data centers and offices could be carried out by Avogadro employees, the floating data centers required more specialized expertise. As the employees carried out the Emergency Team’s plans, private military contractors, the polite name for mercenaries this century, sprang into action at eighteen ocean locations around the world. At ODC #4, off the coast of California, divers had spent the early morning hours approaching the floating platform, one of the original designs. They swam slowly, conserving their energy, towing heavy explosive packages.

pages: 427 words: 112,549

Freedom by Daniel Suarez

augmented reality, big-box store, British Empire, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, corporate personhood, digital map, game design, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, RFID, Shenzhen special economic zone , special economic zone, speech recognition, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the scientific method, young professional

He could see video from the lead bike, and guided it around to the back of the motel and toward the room that was his target. Moments later the northern AutoM8 came roaring around a bend in the county road a quarter mile away. It didn't follow the bend, but instead came roaring straight at a Chevy parked in the parking lot of a gas station--one containing two private military contractors. It struck broadside going ninety miles an hour. Loki winced and covered his eyes in mock horror. From the air it looked spectacular. He tagged the video and dragged it to his feed so others could check it out later. By the time he turned to the southern AutoM8, it had already plowed through a billboard and creamed the car containing the remaining sentries.

NSA: "Get the treasury secretary on--" BCM: "Your government can create all the money it wants, but it will be worthless here and abroad. Without outside intervention the U.S. government will soon be a hollow shell." There was silence for several moments. NSA: "What do they want?" BCM: "They need Army Regulation 500-3 amended to include private military contractors. And then they expect it to be invoked." DIA: "You expect us to suspend the Constitution? Are you insane?" BCM: "You're to stay out of the way while they deal with the Daemon. If you do so, global financial institutions will support the dollar--of course, there will need to be economic and social reforms put in place first to ensure a return to fiscal discipline."

I have your coordinates on my listing now, so I'll know when you're clear. Be careful. And good luck." They shook hands and slapped backs. And then Sebeck and Price moved along in the darkness again--Sebeck following the Thread as it led down into a tree-shrouded creek bed and into the night. Chapter 31: // Extermination Private Military Contractors to Restore Order in Midwest--Beleaguered local residents in six Midwestern states cheered the arrival of private security forces, Saturday. William Caersky of Patterson, Kansas, felt the cavalry had arrived just in time. "It's been a nightmare. With sky-high food and gas prices, armed gangs have ruled the streets for days.

pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

Still, with shipping volumes and values so crucial to the global economy, the United States, European Union, India, China, and other strong nations are taking as tough a line today on piracy as America did more than two hundred years ago, their navies patrolling and killing pirates wherever possible as well as raiding onshore pirate hideaways (with some prosecutions in Kenya’s courts). International vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden are pursuing a mixed strategy: using fire hoses to repel pirates, paying bribes and ransoms when necessary, and even arming themselves. Blackwater, the notorious private military contractor, has deployed a small flotilla to escort oil and cargo vessels, while other companies are offering electric fencing and stun guns to shipping companies. Even though the gloves have come off, deploying expensive military convoys to float in the Gulf of Aden is hardly cost-effective. To avoid both an asymmetric arms race between Western navies and impoverished pirates, as well as potential friendly fire incidents among the dozen or more countries now patrolling the Arabian Sea, a more multidimensional strategy is required.

Even under the nominal reign of Emperor Charlemagne in the late eighth century, bishops recruited their own vassals and knights, monasteries built up fortresses and ramparts, duchies and castellanies were run by military commanders, and barons had sovereignty over their manors. Today the similar fragmentation of societies from within is clear: from Miami to Bogotá to London to Bangalore, gated communities with private security are on the rise. Private military companies have sprouted in America, Russia, Germany, and South Africa not only to support U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to protect banks, ships, mines, and posh neighborhoods wherever people can afford them. The other essential question in a neo-medieval world is “Who?” The state has been the form of polity that served the industrial age best, but now we are moving into a postindustrial age.

Blackwater answered that it could “clear and hold,” no problem. Farrow didn’t pursue the idea any further. Perhaps she wasn’t sure which was more disturbing: that the West had in its power the ability to protect those who remained of Darfur’s beleaguered population but wouldn’t, or that it was the most notorious private military company that was willing to do the job. If you could send in the troops—whether they wore green or black—would you? In many places, the lofty term “international community” means no more and no less than the number of UN peacekeepers present. Soon after the United Nations’ founding, peacekeeping was quickly invented on the fly to monitor cease-fires in the Mideast and Kashmir.

pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

addicted to oil, airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, disinformation, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

The network of global cities through which neoliberal capitalism is primarily orchestrated – London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, and so on – thus helps to produce new logics of aggressive colonial acquisition and dispossession by multinational capital, which works closely with state militaries and private military contractors. With the easing of state monopolies on violence and the proliferation of acquisitive private military and mercenary corporations, the brutal ‘urbicidal’ violence and dispossession that so often helps bolster the parasitic aspects of Western city economies, as well as feeding contemporary corporate capitalism, is more apparent than ever.20 In a world increasingly haunted by the spectre of imminent resource exhaustion, the new military urbanism is thus linked intimately with the neocolonial exploitation of distant resources in an effort sustain the richer cities and wealthy urban lifestyles.

In its attempt to reposition US forces as little more than innocent bystanders amidst the carnage on Baghdad’s streets, it obfuscates and sanitizes the imperial violence and radical insecurity generated by the very presence of those forces,147 and instead blames such conditions entirely on the pathologies created by intra-Iraq ethnic and sectarian divides. It obscures the provocative presence and murderous actions of US military personnel, along with their proxy forces and mercenary legions. It fails to take account of the complex ways in which myriad deals between the US military, their proxy regimes and militia, and a wide spectrum of private military contractors have massively amplified, and indeed exploited, sectarian tensions in Iraq and thereby fostered programmes of ethnic cleansing. This failure is symptomatic of a much broader problem that pervades the urban and cultural turn in US military doctrine. It underpins a highly technocratic and technophilic discussion centred on what Ashley Dawson refers to as ‘the increasing prominence of urban combat zones’ combined with a complete inability ‘to acknowledge the underlying economic and political forces that are driving urbanization in the megacities of the global South.’148 In failing to address the root causes of the extreme polarization and violence generated by neoliberalization and the massive growth of informal settlements, urban military discourse simply echoes the catastrophic failure of the world’s political and economic élites to ‘question how to integrate the surplus humanity of the global South into the global economy’.

Such trends would mean that security will become a function of where you live and whom you work for’ – rather like US health care. As nation-state security provision is replaced by uneven and highly localized security markets, organized through booming military corporations, ‘healthy individuals and multinational corporations will be the first to hire private military companies … to protect their homes and establish a protective perimeter around daily life’, Robb suggests. ‘Parallel transportation networks –evolving out of time-share aircraft… will cater for this group, leapfrogging its members from one secure, well-appointed lily pad to the next’. Members of the middle class, he imagines, ‘will follow, taking matters into their own hands by forming suburban collectives to share the costs of security … These “armored suburbs” will deploy and maintain back-up generators and communications links; they will be patrolled by civil police auxiliaries that have received corporate training and boast their own state-of-the-art emergency response systems’.193 And everyone else?

pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

back-to-the-land, Bear Stearns, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War, you are the product

Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker, “Obama Puts His Stamp on Strategy for a Leaner Military,” New York Times, January 5, 2012. 6. Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008), 135. 7. Progress in Action, “Legislation Introduced to Remove Private Military Contractors from Wars,” January 23, 2010, 8. Nick True, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008), 87. 9. Greg Jaffe, “A Decade after the 9/11 Attacks, Americans Live in an Era of Endless War,” Washington Post, September 4, 2011. 10.

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map,, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Forget the war crimes or the refugees, he argued, if only the United States and United Nations would wise up and give him money, the package tourists would be there in a matter of weeks. This paradox between the “good” wars that I had fought in my youth and the seamy underside of war in the twenty-first century has since been the thread running through my writing. During that same trip, I met my first private military contractors, a set of former U.S. Army officers, who were working in Sarajevo for a private company. Their firm wasn’t selling widgets or even weapons, but rather the very military skills of the soldiers themselves. This contradiction between our ideal of military service and the reality of a booming new industry of private companies leasing out soldiers for hire became the subject of my first book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry.

A senior professor thereupon informed me that I would do well to quit graduate school and instead “go become a screenwriter in Hollywood,” for thinking to waste his time on such a fiction as companies providing soldiers for hire. I still wonder how he squares this worldview with the 180,000 private military contractors now deployed in Iraq. A similar thing happened when I first presented my early research on the problem of child soldiers. A professor at Harvard University told me that she didn’t believe child soldiers existed and that I was “making it up.” Today there are some 300,000 children at war around the globe, fighting in three out of every four wars.

Substitute in unmanned systems and the calculus might be changed. Indeed, imagine all the horrible genocides and crimes against humanity that could be ended, if only the barriers to war were lowered. Getting tired of some dictator massacring his people? Send in the bots and sit back and watch his troops get taken down. One private military company executive even slickly pitched a quick and easy technologic solution to the genocide in Darfur as a simple matter of “Janjaweed be gone!,” as if an intervention into an African civil war was just a problem of scrubbing away the bad guys. Yet wars never turn out to be that way. It’s in their very nature to be complex, messy, and unpredictable.

pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Dogecoin, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, Herbert Marcuse, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kim Stanley Robinson, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

In Tropic of Chaos, Christian Parenti shows how this order is created in the world’s crisis regions, as climate change brings about what he calls the “catastrophic convergence” of ecological change, economic inequality, and state failure.10 In the wake of colonialism and neoliberalism, the rich countries, along with the elites of the poorer ones, have facilitated a disintegration into anarchic violence, as various tribal and political factions fight over the diminishing bounty of damaged ecosystems. Faced with this bleak reality, many of the rich—which, in global terms, includes many workers in the rich countries as well—have resigned themselves to barricading themselves into their fortresses, to be protected by unmanned drones and private military contractors. Guard labor, a feature of the rentist society, reappears in an even more malevolent form, as a lucky few are employed as enforcers and protectors for the rich. But the construction of enclaves is not limited to the poorest places. Across the world, the rich are demonstrating their desire to escape from the rest of us.

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, disinformation, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, independent contractor, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

The military love irregulars during conflicts because they can move rapidly, without waiting for approval, and operate with "plausible deniability," a term invented by the CIA. Further, they can infiltrate other groups, work behind enemy lines, and so on. It is only logical that military planners stock up on their paramilitary investments over long periods. Official budgets can be used for private military contractors when there is an active conflict. In other cases, the money has to be untraceable, otherwise it would leave a chain of evidence. One source of black or "ghost" money is presumably drug trafficking. The secret armies, armed and bored, are natural partners for drug cartels. Still speculating, I'd guess much of the drug-related violence in Latin America originates with paramilitary secret armies originally built by the US.

And what happens when some upstart politician discovers a program of secret armies and talks about shutting it down or worse, revealing it to the world? Well, he dies, and the program shifts to another agency, under another name. Battlefield Earth Since 2001, the mercenaries have their own formal businesses and are called "private military contractors," or PMCs. One of the most infamous in the second Iraq war was Blackwater, which renamed itself "Academi" after much bad publicity. Andrew Marshall reports that: The CIA hired Blackwater to aid in a secret assassination program which was hidden from Congress for seven years. These operations would be overseen by the CIA or Special Forces personnel.

pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Hacker Conference 1984, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Sandra Jontz, “Data Analytics Programs Help Predict Global Unrest,” Signal, December 1, 2015, 20. James Risen and Laura Poitras, “N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens,” New York Times, September 28, 2013. Actually, the NSA mostly sticks to planning and funding, while much of the actual building is done by private military contractors and Silicon Valley itself. Tim Shorrock, “How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA,” The Nation, May 27, 2015. 21. David Burnham, “The Silent Power of the N.S.A.,” New York Times, March 27, 1983. 22. Transcripts of Ford Rowan’s June 1975 NBC broadcasts were read into the Congressional Record.

Shepard was not just a random developer attending the conference but an employee of a contractor backed by powerful military and intelligence interests—an organization that I had spent the past year investigating. So I took these threats seriously. I also saw them as a cynical attempt by a Pentagon contractor to escape scrutiny by framing critical investigative journalism as if it was nothing but personal harassment and stalking. Imagine if other powerful private military contractors like Blackwater or Booz Allen made similar claims against reporters? The situation worried Paul Carr, my editor at Pando, who grew concerned for my safety and reached out by email to Tor’s executive director Shari Steele. “To be clear, Yasha’s trip to 32C3 has nothing to do with Ms Shepard (except in so far that she is an employee of Tor) and is part of our continuing coverage on Tor, hacking and surveillance,” he wrote on December 19, 2015.

pages: 491 words: 141,690

The Controlled Demolition of the American Empire by Jeff Berwick, Charlie Robinson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Corrections Corporation of America, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, epigenetics, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial independence, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mandatory minimum, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, private military company, Project for a New American Century, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, security theater, self-driving car, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, South China Sea, surveillance capitalism, too big to fail, unpaid internship, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working poor

The people do not feel protected by those government agents that are currently in power because their foreign policy has actually made America a much bigger target than it has ever been. Even though 9/11 was a false flag operation, Americans feel like the country squandered the goodwill that it had throughout the world by starting indiscriminate wars, illegally detaining people without trials, bombing villages, bringing in private military contractors that murdered civilians without just cause, torturing suspected terrorists in offshore penal colonies, using depleted uranium and white phosphorus, and acting like maniacs all over the Middle East. One thing that is becoming clear to many people after almost two straight decades of war in the region is that the United States and its allies are not there to spread democracy and liberate the Middle East from terrorists.

It looked like the break up of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Manhattan with intimidation through the use of unmarked black helicopters and aggressive riot police, jamming the internet so that protestors could not live stream the event, the restriction of the press, the arresting of the press, cell phone confiscation, the use of Stingray devices to intercept phone calls, and the importation of private military contractors paid for by the banks. It looked like the aftermath of the Boston non-Bombing event where cops in black military-style gear, black masks, and helmets, rode in Armored Personnel Carriers going door-to-door with search teams and police dogs, confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens while ordering people to stay in their houses or face arrest.

pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

But contractors were not just in the business of logistics support and equipment maintenance, Prince argued: He pointed to the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, a wing of the Chinese nationalist air force that fought the Japanese prior to the entry of the United States into World War II. The Flying Tigers were technically employees of the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company, an American company that was an antecedent of sorts of modern private military contractors. (After Pearl Harbor the group was disbanded and was succeeded by a regular military outfit.) Companies like KBR had capitalized on a push to outsource “nonmilitary” tasks such as laundry, logistics, and recreational facilities to private firms in the 1990s. Prince was making a more ambitious argument, that private companies like Blackwater could perform many of the core functions of the military, and they could do it more cheaply.

” * The Inman report’s formal title is “Report of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Panel on Overseas Security.” * Peter Singer, the author of the authoritative study Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, reckoned in 2004 that the size of the global market for private military companies was around $100 billion. But that figure included logistics and construction firms like KBR, consulting and training companies like MPRI, and major defense contractors like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, which maintained complex military equipment. ArmorGroup’s survey was limited to companies that provided armed protective services in high-threat areas

pages: 188 words: 54,942

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin

airport security, autonomous vehicles, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Clive Stafford Smith, crowdsourcing, drone strike, friendly fire, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, megacity, nuremberg principles, performance metric, private military company, Ralph Nader, WikiLeaks

“I’ll have a phone in one ear, talking to a pilot on the headset in the other ear, typing in chat at the same time and watching screens,” a twenty-five-year-old first lieutenant told the New York Times. “It’s intense.”158 At the nearby CIA headquarters, meanwhile, civilians working for the spy agency work closely with agents in the field, as well as private military contractors, everywhere from Somalia to Pakistan to target both high-profile terror suspects, such as US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as those who merely fit the “pattern of life” profile of a militant.159 Along with the new breed of killing technology has also come a new breed of pilot, one schooled in the 21st century ways of gaming and multi-tasking.

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande, clean water, discovery of penicillin, facts on the ground, medical malpractice, moral hazard, private military company, randomized controlled trial, stem cell

His abdominal injuries prevented him from being able to lift himself out of bed or into a wheelchair. With only one hand, he could not manage his colostomy. We have never faced having to rehabilitate people with such extensive wounds. We are only beginning to learn what to do to make a life worth living possible for them. ON APRIL 4, 2004, after four private military contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated in Fallujah, just to the west of Baghdad, three marine battalions launched an attack to take control of the city from the fifteen to twenty thousand insurgents operating there. Five days later, after intense fighting and protests from Iraqi authorities, the White House ordered the troops to retreat.

pages: 1,117 words: 305,620

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

active measures, air freight, Andy Carvin, anti-communist, blood diamonds, business climate, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, Google Hangouts, independent contractor, indoor plumbing, Islamic Golden Age, Kickstarter, land reform, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seymour Hersh, WikiLeaks

“A Lot of It Was of Questionable Legality” SOURCE: “HUNTER” —Despite the fact that I began covering US wars in the 1990s, spending extensive time in Yugoslavia and Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, JSOC was not on my radar until well after the US occupation of Iraq was under way. I had no sense of the scope of JSOC’s operations or how it interacted (or didn’t) with conventional military units or the CIA. My personal gateway into JSOC was through sources I had developed while working on my investigation into the private military contractor Blackwater, which employed an abundance of former Special Ops men, including many who had worked with JSOC and the CIA. In several of the Blackwater stories I was chasing, JSOC’s name was popping up regularly. As I began investigating what was becoming an increasingly global covert war, I received an electronic communication from a man who could help make sense of this highly secretive world.

See Copper Green Mattis, James, 427, 464 Mayer, Jane, 146 Mazzetti, Mark, 282 McArthur (Blackwater antipiracy ship), 483 McCain, John, 107, 161, 237–238, 459, 469, 503, 515, 516 and Awlaki, Anwar, targeted killing of, 503 and McRaven, 469 and Obama, 245–246, 256 McCaul, Michael, 502 McChrystal, Herbert, 109 McChrystal, Stanley, 101–110, 237, 284 and Afghanistan, house raids in, 330 and Afghanistan, surge in, 328–329 and Balad Air Base, Iraq, interrogation and torture at, 161, 162 and bin Laden, hunt for, 166 and Camp NAMA, 148, 151, 156 and CFR fellowship paper, 104 and CFR military fellowship, 103–104 and CJTF, interrogation and torture, 104–105 and CJTF 180, and al Qaeda, fight against, in Afghanistan, 104–105, 106 as commander of International Security Assistance Force, 329 as commander of 3rd Battalion 75th Regiment and Rangers, 102–103, 108 as commander of US Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan, 329, 342 and congressional briefings, 106–107 and conventional military in Iraq, relationship with, 142 and Counterinsurgency doctrine, and JSOC, undermining of, 329–331 and counterterrorism policy, expansion of, 261 and detainee operations, and JSOC, role in, 151 as director of the Joint Staff, 328 education and military career of, 102–107, 109–110 and F3EA: Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, and Analyze, 145 and Gardez raid/massacre, 343 and Gulf War, 102 and insurgents, targeting of, 145–146 and Iraq insurgency, 113, 166 and Iraq insurgency, and AQI, 143–144 and JSOC, and kill/capture operations, 113–114 and JSOC, in Iraq, 105–107, 113–115 and JSOC, reorganization of, 108, 110 and JSOC, transformation of, 259 as JSOC commander, in Iraq, 113 and JSOC night raids, in Afghanistan, 331 and night raids, in Afghanistan, 347–348 and Obama administration, 258 and Pakistan, 168, 216 and Pakistan, HVTs in, 176 and Ranger training regime, revolutionizing and modernizing technology of, 102 resignation and retirement of, 348–349 and Saddam Hussein, capture of, 141 in Somalia, 201 and Special Operations Forces, in Iraq War, 107 and Taliban, support for, 331 and unified task force in Afghanistan and Iraq, 138 as vice director of operations for the Joint Staff, 106 and war against Islam, 110 and warrior scholar myth, 107–109 and Zarqawi, hunt for, 113, 166 and Zawahiri, hunt for, 175 McConnell, Mike, 250, 251, 256 McCormack, Sean, 193–194 McDonough, Dennis, 440 McGovern, Ray, 9 McKeeby, David, 409 McMahon, Colleen, 517–518 McRaven, Nan, 115 McRaven, William, 330 and Afghanistan, surge in, 328–329 and al Qaeda HVTs, strikes against, 236 and assassination policy, 352 and bin Laden, hunt for, 166 and bin Laden at Abbottabad compound, 420, 436–437, 439–441, 442, 443, 445–446, 449, 452 as commander of JSOC, 250, 344 as commander of SOCOM, 513 and counterterrorism policy, expansion of, 261 education and military career of, 115–117 and Gardez raid/massacre, apology for, 344–346 as head of SOCOM, 469 and Maersk Alabama, hijacking of, 276 and Obama, 276, 297 and Pakistan, 217 and Petraeus, 498 and Saddam Hussein, capture of, 140–141 and Saddam Hussein, hunt for, 140 and Saleh, Ali Abdullah, meeting between, 284 and targeted killings/drone strikes, 303, 307–308 (see also Majalah massacre) and unified task force in Afghanistan and Iraq, 138 Meet the Press, 20 Mehsud, Baitullah, assassination of, 251 Meleagrou-Hitchens, Alexander, 134, 137 Menkhaus, Ken, 123, 476 Mercenary companies, 177–178. See also Blackwater; Private military contractors Mesopotamia, al Qaeda in, 113 Meyers, Seth, 441 Mihdhar, Khalid al-, 37, 40 Militant organizations. See Al Qaeda; Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Al Shabab; Islamic Courts Union Military, US, reorganization of, 12–13 Military and intelligence law, and gray areas, 91–94 Military bureaucracy circumvention of, 93 privatization of, 12 Military commanders, circumvention of, 93 Military dominance, 8 Military Liaison Elements (MLE), as cover for JSOC, 170–171 Miller, Geoffrey, 148, 155 “Mission Accomplished” speech (Bush, George W.), 111 Mladic, Ratko, 52 MLE.

See Project for the New American Century Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program, CIA, 15 Political Security Organization (PSO), 185, 359 Pope Air Force Base, 51 Porter, Gareth, 114, 348 Posse Comitatus Act, 52 Powell, Colin and Cheney, conflict between, 57 and Cheney, defense plan of, 8 diplomatic agenda of, 57–58 and Iraq and 9/11–Saddam and al Qaeda connection, 14–15 and Iraq war, case for, 29 and Rumsfeld, conflict between, 57 and SOFs, 99 and Somalia, 122 and Zarqawi, 113 Presidential authority, 9, 11, 24–25 Presidential power and Cheney, assumption of, 59 and war, 3–4 and war, right to declare, 19–20 Priest, Dana, 105, 217, 351 Prince, Erik, 177, 408 and privatized counterpiracy company in Somalia, 481–485 and Saracen International, 484, 485 Prine, Carl, 109 Prisoners abuse of, 104, 158–160 protection and treatment of, 29–30 See also Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal Private military contractors, 23. See also Mercenary companies Project for the New American Century (PNAC), 7, 8, 19 Project Icon, 95 Prosper, Pierre-Richard, 484 PSO. See Political Security Organization Puntland region, 483–484, 485 Qaddafi, Muammar el-, 5, 431 Qamish, Galib al-, 187, 266 Qanyare, Mohamed Afrah, 191, 192, 193, 194 and CIA-backed alliance, 118–121, 124, 127 defeat of, 201 and Fazul, 199 and ICU, and US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, 208 and kill and capture campaign, 127–129 Qaradawi, Sheikh Yusuf al-, 39 Qasaylah, Ali Mahmud al-, assassination of, 230 Qirbi, Abu Bakr al-, 313, 363, 465 QRF.

pages: 288 words: 83,690

How to Kill a City: The Real Story of Gentrification by Peter Moskowitz

affirmative action, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, drive until you qualify, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

“The grass was still gray, there were no birds, no insects,” he said. Glapion would work at gutting the house every day, sleep in his van most nights, and every Wednesday and Sunday drive three and a half hours to Lake Charles, where his cousin lived, to shower. Nearly every day in New Orleans he’d be approached by National Guard troops or private military contractors who told him he couldn’t be there. He often feared for his life as he gutted his house, and for good reason: racist violence was rampant in New Orleans after Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, one black New Orleanian named Henry Glover was found shot and burned nearly beyond recognition in the back of a police car.

pages: 286 words: 87,870

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World by Jay Bahadur

collective bargaining, failed state, independent contractor, private military company, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning

When a helicopter from the Spanish warship Navarra caught up with them, the two skiffs were riddled with bullet holes and a pirate was shot dead in the bottom of one. It marked the first time that a pirate had been killed by private security guards. Within the international shipping community, the Almezaan shooting stirred up an already ongoing debate over the use of armed guards on commercial vessels. The standard concerns surrounding private military contractors—their accountability and the rules of engagement under which they operate—are considerably magnified when they are engaged on the high seas. Complicated questions arise over which country has jurisdiction over the contractors: the flag state (in the case of the Almezaan, Panama), the owners (United Arab Emirates), or the nationality of the contractors themselves (undisclosed).

pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impact investing, income inequality, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

When I listen to Trump speak, with his obvious relish in creating an atmosphere of chaos and destabilization, I often think: I’ve seen this before, I’ve seen it in those strange moments when portals seemed to open up into our collective future. One of those moments arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive. I watched another such dystopian window open in 2003 in Baghdad, shortly after the invasion.

pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bear Stearns, Bretton Woods, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave,, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, Money creation, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, as Keynes advised, governments also borrow and spend to create infrastructure and jobs, becoming the borrowers and spenders of last resort during recessions. A non-trivial example: In the US since World War II, military spending has supported a substantial segment of the national economy — the weapons industries and various private military contractors — while directly providing hundreds of thousands of jobs, at any given moment, for soldiers and support personnel. Critics describe the system as a military-industrial “welfare state for corporations.”15 The upsides and downsides of the business cycle are reflected in higher or lower levels of inflation.

pages: 357 words: 110,017

Money: The Unauthorized Biography by Felix Martin

bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Graeber,, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invention of writing, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Savings and loan crisis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, South Sea Bubble, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail

And if a person cannot afford these desirables, he can sell advertising space on his forehead, put his health at risk as a human guinea pig in a new drug trial, or—a much more traditional way out of economic straits, though one no less alarming to the modern sensibility—hire himself out as a mercenary to one of the private military contractors at the sharp end of modern Western warfare. As the American philosopher Michael Sandel, who assembled this ghoulish litany, concluded: “There are some things that money can’t buy—but these days, not many.”20 It is easy to believe that the invasion of this way of thinking and the uneasiness it causes in us are modern phenomena.

pages: 756 words: 120,818

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, bond market vigilante , Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disinformation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, impact investing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, Steve Bannon, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus

A significant element of the thinking that reflects the new doctrine of warfare in Russia is that wars do not follow the same boundaries and time lines as they did historically.21 This means that they are not officially declared—in the way cyberattacks happen—and that they can rely on many different types of force (e.g., information, humanitarian, and media) and can rely on the subversion of states on a continual basis using mercenaries and special operatives. The United States has the capability to take this to a higher level, adding a financial arsenal, space-based warfare, private military contractors, massive cyberwarfare, and robotic military capabilities to its already formidable set of capabilities.22 What is not so clear, and where Hamilton might be curious, is how the rise of new military or strategic capabilities and the way in which these are deployed together change the rules of war, the realities of trade, and the international flow of information.

pages: 475 words: 149,310

Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, David Graeber, Defenestration of Prague, deskilling, disinformation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global village, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, late capitalism, liberation theology, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Paul Samuelson, Pier Paolo Pasolini, post-work, private military company, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Richard Stallman, Slavoj Žižek, The Chicago School, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

Many claim that Bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders escaped from the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001 because Afghan and Pakistani ground troops, not U.S. soldiers, were given the task of searching for them. The reluctance to put U.S. ground troops in danger, they claim, compromises the success of military missions.64 Furthermore, the U.S. military makes increasing use of “private military contractors,” that is, businesses, often run by former military officers, that provide recruiting, training, and a variety of support and operational functions on and off the battlefield. Such private military professionals hired on contract substitute for active soldiers but are not subject to the public accountability of military service.

pages: 1,028 words: 267,392

Wanderers: A Novel by Chuck Wendig

Black Swan, centre right, citizen journalism, clean water, Columbine, coronavirus, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disinformation, game design, global pandemic, hiring and firing, hive mind, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Maui Hawaii, microaggression, oil shale / tar sands, private military company, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, supervolcano, uber lyft, white picket fence

We stopped a bridge collapse in Philadelphia. An Iranian computer virus that would’ve ransomed bank records. We caught a domestic terror cell operating out of Oregon, and Islamic hackers trying to attack the power grid, and a Russian spy who had long integrated himself into Blackheart, the private military contractor.” Benji sipped at his coffee, and pondered aloud: “Six months ago, the CDC caught a potential listeria outbreak originating at a dairy in Colorado.” He’d read about it, of course, and wondered exactly where they got the tip—generally, in this country, you didn’t catch an outbreak like that until it was, well, already broken out.

pages: 872 words: 135,196

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security by Deborah D. Avant

barriers to entry, continuation of politics by other means, corporate social responsibility, failed state, hiring and firing, independent contractor, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rolodex, Seymour Hersh, The Nature of the Firm, trade route, transaction costs

The Green Paper was scheduled to be released in the fall of 2000, but was delayed for a variety of reasons and only released 12 February 2002. “FT Investigation of the Private Military Business: Foreign Office Faces Opposition to Regulation Green Paper, Downing Street Blocks Publication until after Election,” Financial Times, 18 April 2001. See Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation (London: Stationary Office, 12 February 2002, HC 577). Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation, p. 21. Ibid., pp. 20–26. Ibid. This is my reading of the report. Several others share this reading. See, for instance, Richard Norton-Taylor, “Let Mercenaries be Licensed, says Foreign Office,” Dilemmas in state regulation of private security exports 173 A heated debate about the report and its options ensued, with Labour backbenchers calling the proposals “repugnant”153 while members of the industry hoped for more government support.154 As of 2005, though, the British government had taken no action to regulate, ban, or otherwise clarify the British government’s control of security service exports.

Mockler, Anthony, Mercenaries (London: Macdonald, 1969). The New Mercenaries (London: Garden City Press, 1985). Moller, Bjorn “Raising Armies in a Rough Neighborhood: Soldiers, Guerillas and Mercenaries in Southern Africa,” CIAO Working Paper, August 2001. “Private Military Companies and Peace Operation in Africa,” paper presented at the seminar on Private Military Companies in Africa: to Ban or Regulate, Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, 8 February 2002. Moskos, Charles, John Allen Williams, and David Segal, The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces after the Cold War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Wright Mills, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), pp. 77–78. Margaret Levi, “The State of the Study of the State,” in Ira Katznelson and Helen Milner, Political Science: the State of the Discipline (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002), p. 40. There is a debate over how to identify companies that provide violent services. David Shearer coined the term private military company and the acronym, PMC, which has become a common descriptor of these firms. Some argue that there is a clear distinction between PMCs and private security companies (PSCs) – PMCs do military tasks, PSCs do policing tasks. The distinction between PMCs and PSCs is hard to maintain, though, given the variety of services that any given company may provide and the increasing blur between traditional military and other security tasks in today’s wars.

pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

He told me that he had fought as a British soldier in some of the toughest wars of the last few decades, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Central America, but said he made far more money in his current job. “Western militaries should pay their soldiers more money, otherwise they’ll continue moving to PMCs,” said Jack, referring to private military companies. (“We don’t call ourselves mercenaries,” he later told me. His company thought the word had a bad connotation.) Jack lead me into his office, a small, dimly lit room with a window, a desk, and a black leather couch, and on the walls, a map of Kabul outlining where his company operated, a map of Afghanistan, and a photo of the Hindu Kush mountain range.

As tea was brought in, followed by a large bowl of meat and a plate of bread, tomato, onion, and cucumber, Fahim and Habib-Ur-Rahman continued to speak lucidly about their country’s situation, without resorting to hyperbole. Fahim reiterated his view that PMCs had “only brought misery and violence.” It was also clear that the fact that men in the Afghan army were getting paid much less than private military company men had increased the resentment. Neither man had ever believed Karzai when he pledged to completely disband the companies, asserting that they were controlled by “powerful” people close to the government. “They have too much to lose if the companies shut down,” Habib-Ur-Rahman told me.

Index Abbott, Tony 279, 286 Abdul (asylum seeker) 286 Abu Ghraib prison 15 abuse 258–62 aid 123 child 102 drug 37–9 human rights 110 labor 29 outsourced 260–1 in prisons 216–17, 218 sexual 252–8, 280–1 accountability 16, 30–1, 180, 277, 291, 310 Adam, Harry 118 AECOM 53–4 Aegis Defence Services 33 Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies 44 Afghanistan 12, 19–56, 59–63, 117, 175 arrival of PMCs 20 asylum seekers from 69–70 Australian contractors 60 casualties 32, 326n27 Chinese support for 37 contractors 28–31 corruption 22, 24, 27, 42, 45, 328n48, 329–30n58 counterinsurgency 43, 52–3 departure of foreign troops 62–3 dependence on America 45 development support 62–3, 324n2, 324n3 drug economy 37–9 election, 2004 31–2 election, 2009 32 election, 2014 32 entrepreneurs 56 fear of resurgent Taliban 44–5 financial situation 62–3 future of PMCs in 23 GDP 330n61 human rights 42 inequality 56 insurgency 12, 32 intelligence gathering 51–6 intelligence-sharing nations 21 invasion of 20, 31 labor abuses 29 laws against PMCs 21 locals’ view of 48 mineral rights 24, 330n65 mining industry 24, 49–50, 330n65 Ministry of Interior 21, 40–2 Ministry of Mines 50 natural resources 49 night raids 43, 46, 52, 54, 55, 328–9n50 occupation of 22, 31–5, 36, 43, 44, 52–3, 63, 325n10 official line 40–3 past conflicts 36–7 PMC numbers 20 population surveys 330–1n66 private military companies 16, 19–25, 33–5, 41–3, 44, 46–8, 48, 50, 59–62, 331n69 propaganda 26 reconstruction 325n11 resource exploitation 49–50 security forces 27, 330n61 Soviet invasion 37 suicide attacks 41 suicide rates 332n83 Taliban rule 25 translators 55, 325n19 USAID 327–28n46 US military bases 28 violence 20 war economy 25–31, 38, 63 warlords 32–3, 44, 326n28, 326–7n30 women in 44, 47–8, 48–9, 50–1, 330n59 Afghanistan Analysts Network 54–6, 328–9n50 Afghanistan Reconstruction Group 26 Afghan police force 27 Afghan Public Protection Force 21 Africa 23 African-Americans, incarceration rates 195, 196 Agility Logistics 124 aid Afghanistan 62–3 Australia 50 contracts 123–5 corruption 126, 171 criticism of process 144–7 food 145–6 fraud 123–4 Haiti 12, 108, 120, 144–7, 340n56, 342n89 human rights abuses 123 NGO-ization of 137–41 Papua New Guinea 13, 158–9, 167, 171–5, 179 profiteering 139 waste 146 aid dependency 121, 126 AIDS 89 Alexander, Michelle 195–6 Alex, Commander 156–7 Al-Hussein, Zeid Ra’ad 277 Al Jazeera America 29 American Correctional Association (ACA) conference, 2014 202–11 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 201 American University of Afghanistan 43–4 Amnesty International 259 Anastasiou, Vassilis 102 Anti-Defamation League 93 anti-fascist activism 93–4 anti-Semitism 90–1, 93 Arab Spring 97, 127–8 Arawa, Papua New Guinea 158, 167, 180–4 Aristide, Jean-Bertrand 26, 112–13, 151 Arizona 200–2 AshBritt 108 Ashton, Paul 201 assassinations 323n33, 331n69 Assessing Progress in Haiti Act (US) 124 Asylum Help 234 asylum seekers abuse 258–62 austerity 69 Australia 269–305 children 249–50 closed hospitality centers 67–8 costs 304 demonization of 77, 288 deportations 258–63 destinations 68 detention centers 13, 64–71, 76, 77–80, 230–5, 245–51, 271 detention costs 281–3 detention network privatization 77 Greece 64–71, 75–7, 77–80, 89 indefinite detention 68 lack of sympathy for 287–8 medical care 77–80, 256–8 mental health 254–5, 285, 286, 295, 302 motivation 68, 302–3 numbers reaching Europe 96 privatized housing 230–5 processing times 300–1 public sympathy 271 racist violence 71 reception centers 67 refugee crisis 95–8 self-harm 295–6 sexual abuse 280–1 Syntagma Square protest, 2014 70 United Kingdom 230–5, 244, 245–51, 252–8, 258–63 women 253–4 Athens 67, 102–3 Metropolitan Community Clinic 80–4 AusAID 158–9, 161, 171–5, 182, 189–91, 331–2n77 austerity, opposition to 72–5 Austin American-Statesman 108 Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility 190 Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) 282 Australia 8, 104 and Afghanistan 50 aid 50 asylum policy development 275–85, 286, 357n4, 357n9 asylum seeker network 269–305 asylum seekers 13 Community Assistance Program 304 complicity with BCL 160 Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) 271, 274, 279, 281–2, 284,286, 289–93, 295, 297–8, 300–1, 303 detention centers 13, 271, 274, 276, 278–9, 280–5, 285–305, 356n2, 357n11 detention costs 281–3 economic reforms 322n16 exploitation of Papua New Guinea 169–75 foreign policy 173–4 goals in PNG 172 immigration policy 278 “Mining for Development” initiative 190 the Pacific Solution 276–81 and Papua New Guinea 154, 160, 163, 167, 169–75, 176–7, 179, 188–91 PMC contractors 60 privatization 361n51 and Rio Tinto 162 state-ownership approach to resources 177 tender process 289–90 turnback policy 280, 286 Australian Mercy 285 Australian Navy 276 Australian Strategic Policy Institute 190 Autonomous Bougainville Government 161, 167, 178–80, 184, 346n33 Avera eCare 205 Avon Protection 203 Bagram prison 31 Bainimarama, Frank 346–7n41 Baker, Charles 117 Baldry, Eileen 285 Balkonis, Thomas 78–80 Bamazon (TV program) 306–7 Bangladesh 341n65 bank bailouts 3 bankers bonuses 4 Ban Ki-moon 113 Bank of America 3 Barnardo’s 249–50, 266 Barrick Gold 174 Batay Ouvriye 126 Bauer, Shane 204, 207–8, 210 bearing witness 9–10 Becket House, London 263 Bedford, Yarl’s Wood detention centre 252–8, 265 Behavioral International 227 Berati, Reza, murder of 283 Berghorn, George H. 204 Berman, Steve 187 BHP Billiton 172–3, 187, 189 Bigio, Gilbert 108 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 114 Bishop, Julie 176, 182 black sites 16 Blackwater 16, 35, 59, 323–4n40, 331n69 Blair, Tony 60, 236 Blanchard, Olivier 99 bloggers 308 Bloom, Devin D. 307 Blue Mountain Group 30 Boeing 15–16 Bolivia 26, 125 Booz Allen Hamilton 15 border controls, privatization 241 Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) 159, 159–61, 162, 163, 184–6, 188, 190, 343n6 Bougainville, Papua New Guinea 154–64, 167–9, 176, 178–80, 184–5 Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) 154–5, 163–4, 176, 343n6 Bougainville Women in Mining 183–4 Bozorg (asylum seeker) 232–3 Brand, Russell 267–8 bribery 22, 38, 41, 329–30n58 Brown, Bob 174 Brown, Michael, killing 203 Buckles, Nick 283 Burma 14 Bush, George W. 7, 25, 43, 118, 149 Cable, Vince 236 CACI 15–16 California 5, 196–7, 208 Callick, Rowan 176 Call Sense 210 Cambodia 276 Cameron, David 50, 62, 243, 244, 252, 263 Campbell, Chad 201 Campbell, David 284, 359n30 Campsfield detention facility 246–9, 266–7 Canada 120, 304 Capita 241–2 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty) 6 capitalism 1–2 critiques 361n5 disaster 6–9 Klein’s critique of 7–8 predatory 11, 13–14, 162, 310–11 unregulated 135–6 Caracol industrial park, Haiti 116, 128–33, 133–6, 148 Carol (senior analyst) 54–6 Carr, Bob 188–9 Cash, Linda 279 Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) 124–5 Centre for Public Integrity 34 Chalmers, Camille 151–2 Chaman (Afghan refugee) 64–71 Channel 4 News 253, 267 Chaparro, Enrique Mari 137–9 cheap labor 117, 127, 132, 133, 144 Chemonics 123 Cheney, Dick 28, 30 CHF International 138–9 child abuse 102 children detention 249–50, 272 immigrants 212, 225 malnourished 82 in prisons 208 child slaves 145 China 14, 16, 24, 37, 49, 170 China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) 24 cholera 113–16 Chomsky, Noam 238, 310 Christmas Island 269–75, 356n1 Christmas Island Community Reference Group 356–7n3 Christmas Island detention facility 271, 272–3, 274, 276, 278–9, 285–9, 299–305, 356n2 Chrysohoidis, Michalis 67–8 CIA 15, 59, 110, 331n69, 331n73 Citizens for a Free Kuwait 25 City AM (newspaper) 236–7 civilian casualties, Afghanistan 32 Clarke, Victoria 26 Clayton Homes 118 climate change 1–2, 8 Clinton, Bill 116, 118–19, 122, 123, 135 Clinton Foundation 118, 126, 136 Clinton, Hillary 8, 30, 118, 125, 131, 135, 171 Clive (information management consultant) 51–2 Clive (Serco contractor) 289–92 Coffey International 162 Colas, Landry 131 Cold War 33, 111 Collective Against Mining 121 colonialism 109, 160 Comcast 5 Commission on Wartime Contracting (US) 34 Community Assistance Program, Australia 304 community mapping 58 Conflict Mapping in Afghanistan since 1978 (Independent Human Rights Commission) 32 Congo, Democratic Republic of 120 contractors, Afghanistan 28–31 Conway, Jim 208–9 copper mining, ecological damage of 173 Corcoran, Thomas J. 110–11 Corinth detention centre 64, 78–80 Corizon 209 corporate ideology 14 corporate power 7 Corporate Responsibility Coalition 187–8 Corporate Watch 255, 263 CorrectHealth 199 Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) 13, 197–8, 199, 201–2, 211–22, 227, 228, 284–5 corruption Afghanistan 24, 27, 42, 45, 328n48, 329–30n58 aid 126, 171 Greece 64, 72 Haiti 141 overcharging 240–1 Papua New Guinea 170, 171, 188 price-gouging 292 counternarcotics information campaign 26 Crocker, Ryan C. 43 Crockett, Greg 204–5 Crossbar 204–5 Cuba 122 cultural sensitivity 21 Daily Mail 235 Daily Telegraph (Sydney newspaper) 172 Damana, Chris 184–5 Das, Satyajit 309 Daveona, Lawrence 177–8 David (Serco source) 292 Davis, Raymond 57, 331n73 Davis, Troy 199 Davos conference, 2015 2–3 debtocracies 99 Defence Logistics Agency 29 democracy 16, 311 Democracy Now!

pages: 459 words: 109,490

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Stephen Braun, Douglas Farah

air freight, airport security, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Donald Trump,, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company

He had ties to the U.S. intelligence community and provided intelligence reporting for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a United Nations-backed court set up to try Taylor and others for crimes against humanity.10 And Bah’s relationship with Bout, which would later turn into a partnership, would pay off handsomely. Bout also worked with Sanjivan Ruprah, another of Africa’s well-connected fixers. The two men met in Burkina Faso, where Ruprah, a Kenyan British citizen, was an operator with ties to a variety of mercenary groups politely known as private military companies (PMCs). Ruprah also had a host of mining interests, particularly in the DRC, and dabbled in civil aviation. He was married to the sister of one of the leaders of a Rwandan-backed rebel group in the DRC, a relationship that gave him, and later Bout, access to that market. Ruprah was also an acquaintance of both Bah and Taylor, and an accomplished tennis player who loved to read John Grisham novels and Deepak Chopra self-help books.11 Described as an “arms broker” in a UN report, Ruprah managed to work several sides of African conflicts for profit.

Ruprah was also an acquaintance of both Bah and Taylor, and an accomplished tennis player who loved to read John Grisham novels and Deepak Chopra self-help books.11 Described as an “arms broker” in a UN report, Ruprah managed to work several sides of African conflicts for profit. He directed the Kenyan office of Branch Energy, a company that had, in the early 1990s, negotiated to obtain control of diamond mining rights in Sierra Leone. According to a UN investigation, the company also introduced a private military company, Executive Outcomes (EO), to the Sierra Leone government in 1995.12 EO was largely made up of white, former Special Forces troops from South Africa and Zimbabwe, and was a pioneer in offering soldiers for hire in African conflicts. The group often operated in mineral-rich areas and used subsidiary companies to take over the concessions that were used to pay for their services.13 Ruprah, like Bah, operated in the shadows of different networks that pumped diamonds and other commodities to Europe and the United States in exchange for weapons.

on Bout and Liberia on Bout and Taliban on FARC Pietersburg Aviation Services and Systems Pty. Pietersburg (South Africa) Airport pilots. See airline personnel Piret, Olivier “Plan Colombia,” “plane spotters,” Planet Air Plaque, Lawson Poly Technologies Popov, Dimitri Popov, Pavel Potgeiter, Jakkie private military companies (PMCs) Putin, Vladimir. See also Russia “Putin’s Plutocrat Problem” (Wolosky) Qassimi, Sultan bin Mohammed al Qatar Rabbani, Burhanuddin Rabbani, Mullah Muhammed Radio Echo Moskvy Rahman, Omar Abdel Ras al-Khaymah Ray, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reeves, Cindor Regional Air Movement Control Center (RAMCC) Renan rendition Republic Air Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Revolutionary United Front (RUF) Bout’s plans for rutile UN intelligence on Rice, Condoleeza Rice, Susan Riggs Bank Roberts International Airport (Liberia) Rockman EOOD Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot (RPG) Ruprah, Sanjivan Belgian arrest of Bout plan for rutile and Italian arrest Ruprah, Simi Russia Afghanistan and Bout arrest warrant and Bout living in Cold War planes Cold War weapons FSB (intelligence agency) organized crime in post-Cold War conflicts and “transnational threats” from UAE business growth and on UN intelligence on Taliban See also USSR Russian Today (television network) rutile Rwanda coltan Institute of Policy Studies on Ruprah and UN Security Council arms embargo Sachs, Jeffrey SaferAfrica San Air General Trading Sankoh, Foday Santa Cruz Imperial Saudi Arabia Savimbi, Jonas Scheuer, Michael Schneidman, Witney Sellers, Cameron Sellers, Mason Semenchenko, Andrei Semenchenko Group September 11 attacks.

pages: 474 words: 120,801

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disinformation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

On the side of the national armies of Western democracies is a growing array of private military companies that carry out military and security jobs once reserved for armies and police. This, too, is not completely new. In the medieval and Renaissance periods, war-making and policing often took place through hire. But today’s private military services market, which has been estimated at $100 billion a year, was virtually nonexistent a generation ago. And it has grown beyond supplies and logistics—important functions for any military campaign, but well behind the front lines. Private military companies have taken on some of the most sensitive tasks, including prisoner interrogation.

.), 73–74, 75, 85, 110, 111, 134, 173, 187, 196, 200, 203, 217, 220, 222, 228, 236, 238 Merck company, 181 Mergers/acquisitions, 36, 46, 146, 187, 212, 213, 231 Merkel, Angela, 92 Merrill Lynch, 165 Mexico, 32, 59, 60, 110, 115, 146, 148, 155, 165, 175, 186 elections in, 252 Zetas in, 125–126, 222 Meyerson, Harold, 200 Micklethwait, John, 37 Microsoft, 174–175, 179, 180, 213 Middle class, 56, 57–58, 64, 65, 70, 84, 185, 218 Middle East, 57, 63, 66, 109, 220, 242, 249, 251, 254 Migration, 4, 10, 54, 59, 64, 138, 174, 199, 235 internal migration, 61 See also Immigrants Milan, 6 Militaries, 10, 13, 18, 29, 33, 44, 51, 54, 70, 97, 98, 100, 111, 157, 227, 228 military hypercompetition, 122–123 and money, 125–127 private military companies, 117–118 size of, 112–115, 123, 124, 128 technologically advanced, 108–109 See also Power: military power; Spending: military spending Military-industrial complex, 47 Militias, 5, 226 Miller Brewing Company, 187 Mills, C. Wright, 47 Milner, Helen, 136 Miniaturization, 173 Minilateralism, 156 Minorities, 67, 69, 78, 241 Missiles, 107, 117, 118 Mittal Steel, 7–8, 159, 187 Mobility revolution, 11, 54, 58–64, 65, 66, 71, 72(fig.), 73–74, 75, 82, 110, 134, 173, 187, 196, 200, 203, 217, 220, 222, 228, 236, 238 Moldova, 100 Mommsen, Wolfgang, 39 Mondale, Walter, 88 Monopolies, 29, 32, 101, 115, 178, 183, 221, 226 Monsanto, 193 Morais, Richard C., 211 Montenegro, 81 Moral authority, 15 Moral consensus, 138 Morales, Oscar, 100 Morals/moral code, 15, 24, 25, 27, 73 More revolution, 11, 54–58, 65, 66, 71, 72(fig.), 73–74, 75, 80–82, 85, 110, 134, 173, 187, 196, 200, 203, 217, 220, 222, 228, 236, 238 Moro Islamic Liberation Front, 113 Morozov, Evgeny, 53, 230 Moscow, 82, 85 Moyo, Dambisa, 210 MTN, 146, 186 Mubarak, Hosni, 14 Multinationals, 7, 146, 184–186, 220 Mumbai 110, 115 Mumford, Lewis, 46 Munajjed, Mona al-, 65 Munnecke, Tom, 211 Murdoch, Rupert, 7, 50, 174, 212 Murphy, Cullen, 132 Music, 18, 193, 212 Muscle 23, 25, 26, 27, 33, 72, 73 Muslims, 59, 65–66.

pages: 407

Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy by Rory Cormac

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disinformation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, illegal immigration, land reform, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, private military company, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, Stuxnet, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Saddam Hussein’s security forces were more impressive than many realized and had penetrated the rebel group. This allowed Saddam to intercept the communications gear and execute the conspirators.104 Eighteen months later, SIS came under pressure for involvement in another coup, this time in Sierra Leone on the West African coast. In 1998, Sandline International, a private military company, provided logistical ­support, including arms, to the ousted president Tejan Kabbah, allowing him OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 06/02/18, SPi 248 Age of I llusions to launch a counter-coup. Kabbah, a former United Nations official, had won free and fair elections in 1996 but spent much of his time in office dealing with a bitter civil war which led to a coup against him the following year.

This left SIS ­facing accusations that it was at the very least complicit in illegal arms sales to support a coup.105 David Spedding, the chief of SIS, confirmed that his organization had had contacts with Sandline in the latter half of 1997 but insisted that SIS was not in any way involved in the coup.106 This may well be true, although Robin Cook, the foreign secretary, refused to allow SIS to give evidence to the subsequent parliamentary inquiry.107 Accordingly, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee refused to clear SIS and strongly rebuked diplomats for failing to pass intelligence offering ‘very strong evidence’ of illegality to their superiors.108 Either way, the Sierra Leone affair raised important questions about covert action in the era of private military companies, with thin lines existing between state intelligence and mercenaries. Many of the private contractors involved in Sierra Leone had previously worked for special forces or intelligence and maintained contact with their old colleagues. Spedding recognized the ­difficulties that arose from interaction between SIS and private contractors, and urged his staff not to instigate contact.

pages: 335 words: 82,528

A Theory of the Drone by Gregoire Chamayou

drone strike, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, moral hazard, Necker cube, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, private military company, RAND corporation, Seymour Hersh, telepresence, Yom Kippur War

Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, Third Series, 1867–1868 (London: Buck, 1868), 1:406. Today this practice has by no means disappeared but continues in different forms, those of contracting and subcontracting. At the present time, the United States recruits a considerable proportion of its dispensable military in sub-Saharan Africa, by way of private military companies under contract to the Pentagon. On this subject, see the edifying report by Alain Vicky, “Mercenaires africains pour guerres américaines,” Le monde diplomatique, May 2012. 6. See Jonathan D. Caverley, “Death and Taxes: Sources of Democratic Military Aggression,” thesis, University of Chicago, 2008, 297. 7.

pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-globalists, banks create money, Bear Stearns, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Herbert Marcuse, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, peer-to-peer, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional, zero-sum game

A management consultant named John Robb, a former Delta Force commander for the U.S. military, wrote a highly circulated manifesto for Fast Company, in which he argued, optimistically, that the end result of the war on terror will be a “new, more resilient approach to national security, one built not around the state but around private citizens and companies…. Wealthy individuals and multinational corporations will be the first to bail out of our collective system, opting instead to hire private military companies … to protect their homes and facilities and establish a protective perimeter around daily life.” He predicted that the middle class would eventually develop its own version of “armored suburbs” to defray the costs of security. The more we contemplate Robb’s vision of suburban apartheid, the less hopeful we are about developing alternatives.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, young professional, zero day

Supply chains, then, are where Western demands for good governance and Asia’s demand for resources come together. Chinese connectivity makes Western political goals possible. After beginning to smooth African supply chains, China is now searching for ways to protect them. Already China funds and contributes to major African peacekeeping operations, and dozens of private military companies protect China’s resource installations across the continent as well. But in recent years, there has been an uptick in the kidnapping and murder of Chinese workers from Nigeria to Sudan. In Angola, home to an estimated 300,000 Chinese workers, low oil prices combined with almost nonexistent job creation for locals could lead to wanton violence against those perceived as being a self-serving foreign horde.

pages: 562 words: 153,825

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, active measures, Anton Chekhov, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, financial independence, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Hangouts, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, job automation, Julian Assange, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, planetary scale, private military company, ransomware, Robert Gordon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, standardized shipping container, Steven Levy, telepresence, undersea cable, web of trust, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

Maybe I asked too many follow-up questions. Maybe a review of the video would judge me rude, insufficiently deferential to rank. The Aspen Security Forum relied on the goodwill of speakers and funding from contractors who sought government business. Academi, the latest rebranding of the Blackwater private military company, was a principal sponsor of the forum that year. (In an off-the-record lunch, the company introduced Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA operations chief who had ordered the burning of video evidence of waterboarding. Rodriguez was advising Academi on compliance with its corporate code of conduct.)

pages: 516 words: 1,220

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks

business process, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, Seymour Hersh, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

The discussion of contractors in this chapter additionally was influenced by Deborah Avant, "The Role of Contractors in the US Force" (paper prepared for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, undated) and Army Reserve Capt. Brian Hayes, "Breach of Contract," Proceedings (October 2004), as well as Herfried Muenkler, The New Wars (Polity Press, 2004.). Some of the information on Vinnell's contract and performance is in David Isenberg, "A Fistful of Contractors: The Case for a Pragmatic Assessment of Private Military Companies in Iraq" (British American Security Information Council, September 2004). CHAPTER 17: THE CORRECTIONS 377 "A year has passed": Riggs's article, "Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?" appeared in the March 2004 issue of Proceedings. Hersh's article, "Torture at Abu Ghraib," was in the May 10,2004, issue of the New Yorker, but was posted on the magazine's Web site on April 30. 378 "Between October and December 2003": The Taguba report was cited in Chapter 12. 379 "To stop abuses": Laird's criticism of Rumsfeld was in his article "Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam?"

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GCHQ by Richard Aldrich

belly landing, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, lateral thinking, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, social intelligence, South China Sea, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

The opportunity to marry up sigint with human agent material was electrifying: SIS officers enthused, ‘We’ve hit the jackpot.’46 With the end of the Cold War, the world was positively crawling with redundant intelligence officers of every hue, offering their services for a fee. In Russia, many former KGB officers drifted off into private security work or organised crime – the two spheres often overlapped to an alarming degree. Other parts of the world saw intelligence officers setting up private military companies that were active in Africa, and would become prominent in the Middle East after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In Britain too, the long years of the Cold War, together with an extended struggle against organisations like the IRA, meant that many had been trained in the dark arts of telephone interception and bugging.