‘Bush would send troops inside Pakistan…’

Did you catch the CNN headline story that Bush would sendtroops into Pakistan to hunt for OBL (or UBL depending on which side you drive
on)? This headline from CNN just now sounds like news, but according to Robert Young Pelton in his new book Licensed to Kill, hired guns (private security contractors) are already there and have been there…using private security contractors.

President Bush said Wednesday he would order U.S. forces
to go after Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan if he received good intelligence on
the fugitive al Qaeda leader’s location. 

"Absolutely," Bush told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in
an interview scheduled for air Wednesday afternoon.

Although Pakistan has said it won’t allow U.S. troops to
operate within its territory, "we would take the action necessary to bring
him to justice." 

But Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, told
reporters Wednesday at the United Nations that his government would oppose any
U.S. action in its territory.

The key word is "troops"…
contractors provide a shield of deniability for both sides.

5 thoughts on “‘Bush would send troops inside Pakistan…’

  1. MR, are you sure these aren’t contractors doing security for road transport on the Karachi-Quetta-Kandahar MSR? Seems more likely than looking for Al-Qa’ida.

  2. Given the problems we experienced with contractors in Iraq, from using unnecesary force and generally destroying through their actions any good will American troops engendered, is this really a good idea?Is there any info on whether these are mostly US, or Western nationals or whether like most contractors they have also locals and others from less reputable militaries?

  3. According to RYP, they are providing more than security.”Our job is to shake the apple tree… We aren’t hunting bin Laden from the top… Put the heat on the runners and little guys… we intercept their calls and the hunt begins. We are just hired killers. Guns with legs. We were there to provide security to the case officer, roll guys up, or do hits… Mullah Omar is not an issue. We are looking for al-Qaeda… We hunt al-Qaeda.”
    These aren’t just ex-mil, ex-SF, but ex-CIA / OGA working for CIA/OGA.

  4. TCN’s and HCN’s (Third country and Host Country Nationals, respectively) are included in the count. The actual is possibly upwards of 140k. The PSCAI (the Private Security Company Association in Iraq) estimates 50-70k and figures for each one they know of there is one they don’t. The 50k figure is estimated to be 3k+ Americans, 7k+ ex-Pats (UK, South African, etc), 15k+ TCNs (Columbian, etc), and 25k+ Iraqis. Many are working for American PSCs, but neither the nationality of the contractor nor the nationality of the firm is the core issue. Their role in the providing of security, supplementing if you will, is the key issue. Some of them are surely providing ‘basic’ security that we have in the US at malls, etc, but many are not, as we know from the security situation. The 20k figure thrown around last year and the year before had a much higher percentage of US & UK personnel, but many firms have gone the way of lower cost human resources (i.e. Latin Americans and Iraqis).While the PSCs (or the overall PMC industry for that matter) have had their bad apples, so too has the regular military. Further, the regular (public) military has been of two minds in some respects. One is the blow-in-the-door and the other is knock-on-the-door. The latter has proven more successful and doesn’t destroy good will (see previous posts on counter-insurgency). The contractors are, too frequently, simply mimicking the US public military (see recent post on the Afghan Road Rage memo also).
    As far as ‘reputable’ militaries is concerned. Consider that some US PSC personnel are rejects or never-beens in US mil, let alone SF. Would a bigger factor be when the market drive is stronger than the professional drive? A possible anecdote it when Triple Canopy won the Green Zone security contract a while back. I haven’t confirmed this story or followed up to learn what happened over time (in other words, a CYA if details are wrong), but TC replaced Control Risks Group’s (English-speaking) Ghurkas with Peruvian & Uruguain troops that a) couldn’t speak English (at least not well) and b) apparently didn’t get along too well. A problem?

  5. American Mercenaries of Public Diplomacy
    The United States increasingly relies private military companies to carry out its foreign policy. This is a statement of fact and yet it is a bit dodgy to say. In contested spaces such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (inside Pakistan actually),

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