Army 'must rely on private firms'

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AlMiles, Oct 16, 2011.

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  1. Army 'must rely on private firms' - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

    Defence cuts mean British military commanders will have to rely on private security firms to carry out future operations, a retired general has said.

    Major General Graham Binns said the UK's Ministry of Defence appeared more "reticent" about using armed contractors to support missions than other countries and other Whitehall departments.

    He called on the Government to introduce a system for selecting and vetting a number of approved private security companies, which would be required to train regularly with troops.

    Maj Gen Binns, who commanded coalition forces in southern Iraq from mid-2007 to early 2008, is chief executive of British private security company Aegis Defence Services.

    Writing in a book of essays published by the Army about how it should adapt for the future, he suggested that private security contractors (PSCs) would become an integral part of the forces deployed on operations.

    "Given the current economic climate and future force structures, it is likely that commanders of future military operations of whatever type will encounter PSCs," he said.

    "Given the current size and structure of UK forces, it is inevitable that any future expeditionary deployment will require contractor support in many areas.

    "PSCs may well come to feature as part of the force structure as there are many combat-support functions that can be fulfilled by PSCs, thus releasing troops for other duties."

    The former general's comments come as the MoD is implementing a programme which could see 11,000 redundancies across the Royal Navy, Army and RAF by April 2015 in an effort to tackle the deficit and bring the defence budget under control.

    Maj Gen Binns said British security firms had provided services for the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan ranging from gathering local intelligence to guarding senior officers.

    He wrote: "The MoD could certainly afford to rely more on PSCs ... yet there appears to be a reticence in defence to the use of armed contractors in support of operations.

    "This reticence is not replicated by the other Government departments and certain other nations."

    He added: "Given the likely shape of future operations, there will be an ever greater requirement to support both regular and reserve forces on operations with contractors, including PSCs.

    "It would be prudent to recognise this and prepare for it at an early stage."

    But the retired general also warned that private security firms not working directly with the military could be "more problematic", noting that they could include "rogue" companies hiding behind the veil of a legitimate contractor or "thinly disguised local militias".

    Source: PA
  2. McSquaddie!

    How may I help?
  3. You can cost four times the price and the profit will go to the shareholders who may well be rich Tories.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Would you like rounds with that?????
    • Like Like x 4
  5. And get paid four times as little!
  6. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Does he have a private military company axe to grind?

    Only asking like.....
  7. i think i can see history repeating itself

    Sounds a lot like the PFI's for the new refuelers for the RAF,

    'Yeah so the private company owns and maintains the aircraft with a smaller upfront cost than buying the RAF new planes but 10 years from now were going to be hit by more costs than the aircraft are worth but i'll be retired / moved on by then. and i know the planes aren't exactly to spec and their are massive charges for work outside the contract but its better than nothing.'

    'Yeah so a private company employs and equips the men with a smaller upfront cost than retaining more soldiers but 10 years from now were going to be hit by more costs than the contracters are worth but i'll be retired / moved on by then. and i know the contracters can't fulfill as many roles as a squaddie and their are massive charges for work outside the contract but its better than nothing.'

    Do these bad ideas never get thrown out with a stamp saying doesn't work in big red letters because they seem to hibernate for a while then remerge with a new name and powerpoint.
  8. But the company won't.
  9. PFI makes my blood boil. It does work though but only for the people at the top of the tree.
  10. So lets declare a state of emergency and requisition them all for free!
  11. Well, it works for the Vatican. Mind you, it's been a few years since they were involved in the Middle East.
  12. Just a small question, who's going to go help the PSC if they have any issue's in their area of operations?

    Not too sure if its pertanant to the discussion though.
  13. Ah, Corporations, with their own Armies. What could possibly go wrong?


    They'll be taking over the water supplies around teh world next...

    And when the civvie contractors taken on to handle a AOR 'go rogue', 'do the fcukin' village' or some other nasty will it be the contractors fault/bag or UKs? Will we even be able to prosecute/deal or will these mercs just jump in the back of a plane and p1ss off somewhere exotic?

    Other departments use contractors because building a bridge or something isn't defence. Contracted cleaners in hospitals aren't exactly a run away success 'sorry, not contracted to clean up bodily fluids' either. Other countries may use contractors... but then Blackwater/Xi wasn't exactly with outs its whitewater either.

    HM Armed Forces swear aligence to Her Majesty, and listen to her government. PFI Army will be looking after their company board of directors interests, it will be interesting how many countries these companies will reside/operate/manage from.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I must admit that, a short time after I left the Army, I wrote a couple of papers about how civvie Rechy Mechs should be helping out the regular bods in REME.

    Those documents probably went straight onto the bin.

    There again, I'm not a retired General in charge of the AA.
  15. So Maj Gen (Retd) Binns is a Chief Executive of Aegis, and he writes that the UK should pay PMCs. Not much of a story.