PMCs - London Seminar on Force Protection?

Is there a role for mercenaries in 21st C war ?

  • Yes - don't be so wet.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Maybe - depends on the circumstances

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - they cause more problems than they solve

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Are you trying to put me out of a job ?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only if they are truly standalone - including medicare for life

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Psycho scum cowboys - they should all be jailed

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Is my subscription to SOF through yet ?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Ahem...been a few discussions on ARRSE re the use of PMCs in Iraq and elsewhere. Those with an interest might want to consider asking your T&S holder if she'll spring for this:

http://www.janes.com/ads/externalAds/NewsBriefsPDFs/IQPC-ForceProtectionNL.pdf
extract:

14.20 PROTECTING A DEPLOYED FORCE: THE NEED FOR PRIVATE AND
THIRD PARTY SECURITY PROVISION
• How the role of private security has changed to meet the requirements
of the current security environment
• Instilling skills and intelligence capability within a private security force:
measures being taken to ensure accurate, effective response in any
given situation
• What are the major difficulties for private security in integrating into
current FP doctrine and policy (safety, military procedures, Rules of
Engagement, legal constraints)?
Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer (Ret’d) OBE, Chief Executive, Aegis
Whale
Oil
Beef
Hooked,

Lee Shaver
 
#2
Yes why not? Allowing them to engage in infrastructure security tasks, for example, will free up valuable professional soldiers to get on with more kinetic pursuits.

And I'm not sure 'mercenaries' is exactly right...
 
#3
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Yes why not? Allowing them to engage in infrastructure security tasks, for example, will free up valuable professional soldiers to get on with more kinetic pursuits.
:) Think of it as an extension of the MPGS :)
 
#4
Tried "blackwaterusa" or "globalsecurity.org" & "sandline" if anyone wanted any more information on these types of companies I might have some other links for you,
but google is your friend :)

*Sandline is closing so I don't think many people will be offering their services to them for too much longer :)
*They also get paid a tonne of money, but no real backup when the stuff hits the fan..
 
#5
Digital said:
but google is your friend :)

*Sandline is closing so I don't think many people will be offering their services to them for too much longer :)
But clearly not your friend. Sandline closed a while back.

Digital your facts are rubbish.

They also get paid a tonne of money, but no real backup when the stuff hits the fan..
Do you know this, or can you prove it. I'm led to believe that the respectible companies have pretty impresive backup if, and when, it is required (Whether that is legal or ethical is to be decided and has been drawn out on other threads).

F
 
#6
Maybe - depends on the circumstances

and as long as the company involved is heavly 'vetted' and under constant scrutiny of the Gov and MOD,
especialy if they are opperating 'in theatre' along side deployed forces.
 
#7
Sandline closed a while back.
years ago there were some antipodean lads singing a tune called 'toeing the sandline in bouganville'

i cant remember the whole song now, but the last verse went something like 'unpaid, pi*sed off and stuck in port moresby'
 
#8
They provide a service I suppose, certainly frees up SF from BG'ing in some cirumstances. Gives the old boys a job after their 22 years is up as well.

As with any business though, if there wasn't a need for them, they wouldn't make money, and if people like AEGIS arn't making money, they wouldn't have people like Lt Col Tim Spicer or Field Marshal Lord Inge as their Chief Executives. In the current climate there is definitely a gap in the market for them to provide their "service".

Rab
 
#9
frankie said:
I'm led to believe that the respectible companies have pretty impresive backup if, and when, it is required (Whether that is legal or ethical is to be decided and has been drawn out on other threads).
Yes, some have very impressive back-up (if required).

Getting back on thread, it would be interesting to attend this lecture to hear what will be said regarding ROE, etc; the industry has come a long way in a short time since 2003.
 
#10
Its important fellas to note the difference between PMC's and PSC's

Private security company's are purely a defensive and protective entitty. Also there job can't be covered by the military, it is not what the military is trained for and the military of any country are not oblieged in any way to carry out PSD tasks for the type of clients many PSC 's have.

For example: Why should the British army provide a three car convoy and specially train, equip and task 12 blokes just to move a shell oil exectutive around??? Or why should the US military provide troops to stand by a bank branch in Baghdad? the bank is a private instuition, its just not in the US militarys remit.

Why should any army or government, it is a prviate company and has no right/justification to demand personel protection from a security force for the day to day running of tasks. If the individual is propared to take the risk of traveling to a conflict zone his own security falls with him, thats where the 'market gap' of hiring of private SECURITY teams comes in.

I think this debate would be better aimed at some of the PMC's (private military companies). The PMC's are basically performing military type offensive operations and projects.
I personally dont have a problem with that, if a government wants to employ a company to run an offensive project they can, rather than having to setup a new, and specially train, a task force to do it.

Another example which I find perfectly understandable is the police/security training teams. What you gona do, try to double recruiting for the MP's, retask enginners and infantry so than can run a country wide police training program with a network and organisational infrastructure of regional bases and training centres having to be built and protected while a military policeman trys to teach and iraqi how to walk the beat with his klash? Its just not feasilble for the military to undertake, not what they are there for, and the skills the army has are not that applicable anyway.

Be interested to hear some more opinions on this......
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#11
Digital said:
Tried "blackwaterusa" or "globalsecurity.org" & "sandline" if anyone wanted any more information on these types of companies I might have some other links for you,
but google is your friend :)

*Sandline is closing so I don't think many people will be offering their services to them for too much longer :)
*They also get paid a tonne of money, but no real backup when the stuff hits the fan..
Ummm...and if you'd bothered to follow the link in the original post, you would see that both Blackwater and the successor to Sandline (Aegis) are invited as speakers at this gig........which some people might conclude to indicate that HMG condone the use PMCs as a way ahead......but given what this Government has already proved itself capable of should barely cause an eyebrow to lift.....
 
#12
Wasnt it Sandline that during its involvement in Sierra Leone gave a quote to the UN on how much it would cost for them to stop all the wars/strife/etc. in Africa.

Turned out the quote was 1/10 of the cost fo the UNs involvement in SL, where they were wholly ineffective and it was the mercs who did the job (until the governments forced them out, eventually leading to us having to go in).
 
#13
Goatman, as Tabber points out, PSCs not PMCs.

Right now, the point is not the role of PSCs in 'war' but the degree to which contemporary war involves statebuilding - a task which involves extensive private sector and civvi personnel and hence additional non-military security assets.

Kofi Annan though, has gone on record as saying he could forsee a day when peacekeeping was contracted out to PMCs.
 
#14
It is very normal for these events to pay for themselves by getting commercial companies to sponsor them, one part of which may be a speaking slot. I can't confirm that this event does this, but a very similar event is run annually in Brussels by one of the larger conference companies and I seem to remember that the 2005 basic "sponsorship" package was around US$5k. It is notable that the companies who make an effort to get involved and speak are the ones who are most recognised, raise their profile and, potentially, their reputation and, hopefully, their customer base; otherwise known as Marketing.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
Mercenary or PMC?

Extracts from Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence http://www.publications.parliament.uk
CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION


1.3.2 MODERN HISTORY




1.4 DEFINITIONS

In his 1997 report the UN Special Rapporteur on mercenaries showed his concern about the growth market in mercenary activity:

"In what appears to be a new international trend, legally registered companies are providing security, advisory and military training to the armed forces and police of legitimate Governments. There have been complaints that some of these companies recruit mercenaries and go beyond advisory and instruction work to become involved in military combat and taking over political, economic and financial matters in the country served".3

These firms have become known as Private Military Companies but there continues to be a debate as to whether they provide any form of mercenary activity under any existing national or international legislation. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a mercenary as "a professional soldier serving a foreign power". This is a wide definition, which would include many people engaged in legitimate activities, for example the Gurkhas in the British and Indian Armies and members of the French Foreign Legion. The Green Paper calls them 'soldiers of fortune, sometimes misguided adventurers and often disreputable thugs'. Article 47 of the 1977 First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions has six criteria that must all be met before a person can be considered a mercenary. This definition has generally been found to be impractical due to the difficulty in proving the motivation of those accused of being mercenaries. They were clearly written to target the small number of Europeans involved in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 1989 Additional Protocol Convention moved this legislation forward by making the use of mercenaries illegal. Article 2 makes it an offence to recruit, use, and finance or train mercenaries, Article 5 binds signatories not to do the above and Article 9 obligates them to punish violations. So far only 19 countries have ratified the convention and a further 9 have signed but not ratified. Moreover it should be noted that at least 3 of the signatories, the governments of Angola, Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have engaged or used mercenaries or PMCs since they signed. The Organisation for African Unity (OAU) has made political declarations against mercenaries and has growing support from idealists on the African continent and a lot of support in the UN from developing countries. The 1989 Convention Ratifiers and Signatories are shown below

Somalia is a a case in point. In a Radio 4 programme this week, the Somali government called specifically for external military aid. The Somalian government has requested the UN to send peace-keeping troops to enforce the rule of law in Mogadishu the capital. It is apparent that none of the usual troop-contributing countries would be prepared to send personnel - least of all the US following their last encounter.

Will PMCs take this burden on ? Unlikely, while fortunes are to be made in Iraq.

Le Chevre
 
#16
The money is excellent,medical care is as good and sometimes quicker than what lads serving in Brit/US in Iraq/Afgan can expect, insurance cover if you get injured/killed is a lot higher than the military will fork out.All flights to and from supplied,accom/food free and some companies pay you a bonus after 9/10 months,jesus I feel like a recruiting sgt.
 
#17
Goatman said:
Mercenary or PMC?

Somalia is a a case in point. In a Radio 4 programme this week, the Somali government called specifically for external military aid. The Somalian government has requested the UN to send peace-keeping troops to enforce the rule of law in Mogadishu the capital. It is apparent that none of the usual troop-contributing countries would be prepared to send personnel - least of all the US following their last encounter.

Will PMCs take this burden on ? Unlikely, while fortunes are to be made in Iraq.

Le Chevre
I'd say its distinctly possible. Africa is rife with PMCs, they just happen to be made up of black africans and so don't get Tim Spicer-type publicity in the west.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
Mister_Angry said:
Africa is rife with PMCs, they just happen to be made up of black africans and so don't get Tim Spicer-type publicity in the west.
Yeah...my understanding is that in Africa they are called either "Clans" or "Shifta" rather than PMCs.....and most have a handy sideline in poaching....until oil or gas is PRODUCING in Somalia nobody is going to either assist or finance security ops there.....considering that the rains have failed for a fourth year there the Aid agencies are predicting a lot of civpop deaths around the corner...
 
#19
I know nothing about the situations existing in Africa but I have noticed a few high profile contracts both confirmed and on the horizon. Noticably Erinys have picked up the Oil and Gas for Nigeria. Can anyone with country knowledge expand on the future of this.....is it going to be lucrative with room for expansion or is it just a couple of one off's for those companies involved....?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
well Tabs if you slip along to that seminar I can guarantee one of the companies displaying in the foyer will be able to tell you....truly, a moral arms policy is a contradiction in terms...Huzza for the Celestial Navigator..... :x
 

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