• Peacekeeping,  Private Military Companies

    Beyond Government Accountability: a challenging look at Peacekeepers

    My article in Serviam, the magazine dedicated to “Stability Solutions in a Dangerous World,” is out.  I mentioned it before, but now you can read the whole thing.  It’s intended to be thought provoking, which it is.  By the way, it was vetted and approved by an international lawyer and a consultant to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.  There will be more on the subject of the lack of accountability of peacekeepers by others.  In the immediate future, it sounds like you can catch more in the upcoming HBO movie The Greatest Silence (and/or listen to this NPR interview with the filmmaker).  From Beyond Government Accountability: …If holding nonstate soldiers…

  • Private Military Companies

    Is TopCat really in “mobilization”?

    From Karthryn Cramer comes a tasty bit of news that the BBC wasn’t actually wrong when it said Top Cat Marine Security was in a “mobilisation phase” (UK spelling). From Ms Kathryn Cramer: [a] company that builds boats identical to Top Cat’s seems to have set up shop in Panama Panama is nice place to hide. A commentator on Kathryn’s site says Casini, if it is Top Cat, can’t hide in Panama because ITAR can still reach Pete, he being a US citizen and all. I don’t think that is why he’s hidingout. The US State Department’s "cease & desist" is still a fuzzy red herring to me until I…

  • Private Military Companies

    Kathryn Cramer: Top Cat Marine Security Has an Executive Level

    In an effort to keep information fresh, from Kathryn Cramer’s blog on TopCat Marine Security: We had our differences and I’m no longer associated with Peter Casini, TCMS, Cobra Boats, Topcat Design or any other Casini enterprise. It seems that "Bacehlor #3" in an earlier post by Kathryn is a man who now is making it clear he has nothing to do with TopCat. TCMS is an interesting org, but still more interesting: Did they hope to get in front of the coming action?

  • Uncategorized

    The Cheetah Cubs

    The Cheetah Cubs According to the Department of State, "U.S. counterterrorism troops, carrying out humanitarian water improvement projects in the Horn of Africa region" found these two cubs and rescued them in Dec 05. It is good and expected our forces are in the region and there are no negatives to that from my perspective. The issue complicates when considering the "armed camps" protecting Chinese oil workers in the region.

  • Africa,  Public Diplomacy

    America’s “quiet diplomacy” in Somalia

    Interesting addition to the Somalia & USG story and at AllAfrica.com: Somalia is a priority for the U.S. State Department, which is engaged in "quiet diplomacy" to help buttress its fragile transitional government, a key state department leader said Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota. Also, Horn of Africa "security briefing" from a regional news source.

  • Private Military Companies

    Update: Has TopCat Marine Security Been Ordered to Cease & Desist? & Other Regional News

    Possibly so, according to Kathryn Cramer’s blog, Top Cat Marine Security Ordered to Cease & Desist. …the US Department of States Bureau of Arms Control has issued a Cease and Desist order to Top Cat Marine Security on their pirate-fighting contract with Somalia…. But so what? From the region are BBC reports of Eritrea ejecting UN peacekeepers monitoring the border with Ethiopia. This comes as a possible reaction to threatened UN sanctions resulting from a lack of compliance with a five year old peace agreement. Kofi Annan and the UN Security Council gave an unusually strong rebuke in response: "The Security Council unequivocally demands that Eritrea immediately reverse its decision…

  • Uncategorized

    Somalia & Uranium?

    Came across this tidbit on Somalia from a 1993 National Review Online article: In 1984, Brazilian mining company Construtora Andrade Gutierrez announced a $300 million investment in a uranium mine in northern Somalia. The deal was to be financed by Banco do Brasil, and the host government agent was the Somali Arab Mining Company (Soarmico). Soarmico was itself a joint venture founded in 1978 between the Somali government, the Arab Mining Company based in Jordan, and Iraq. But according to a dated World Energy Council report, Somalia has only a small reserve that would be (relatively) expensive to extract. :: See the Somalia category for all preceding and future items…

  • Private Military Companies

    More on TopCat associations

    Without getting into details here, but Kathryn Cramer has done some interesting investigative work on those associated with TopCat Marine Security, which makes for an interesting read. Her information paints TopCat more like an Executive Outcomes / Sandline mercenary outfit than a respectable private military firm providing security services, of which there are many. Her research indicates a Fox News link to TopCat. Definitely worth the read.

  • Africa,  Private Military Companies

    TopCat, Somalia, Ethiopia: Ogaden, Gedi, EPRDF/TPLF

    Some excellent questions and conflicts in wording were raised by a reader (see Marathon, PETRONAS, and PexCo Oil and Somalia) that deserve their own post. The additional research was insightful and makes me more confident in my Boots on the Ground post earlier today. To start, Hale pointed out a contradiction found on the Global Exploration and Product News website (aka "Oil and Gas Investor" in my previous post, or E & P) regarding the validity of Range Resource’s agreement with the Transitional Government, of which Prime Minister Gedi (Geedi) is the (nominal?) head. The exact wording of the text I posted contains the contradiction Hale points out: Mixed messages…