• Peacekeeping,  Private Military Companies

    Blackwater & Peacekeeping Operations

    Recently, Blackwater announced that it was willing, and could, provide a brigade size force for humanitarian interventions (HI), such as is needed in Darfur. The Blackwater pronouncement (I think it goes beyond ‘announcement’) is largely based on Tim Spicer’s observation, as quoted in the Green Paper: "too often the major powers won’t intervene or delay until it’s too late." What might the Blackwater deployment look like and how might it work?

  • Counterinsurgency,  War

    Phase IV, 4GW, and Comprehensive Solutions

    To continue my previous post, the myth of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) is distracting from the reality of present andfuture threats. I previously focused primarily on legitimacy issues of the State and of the use of force. This post has lingered in various draft forms for a week or so, even getting posted briefly (and thus picked up by a number of RSS readers) before I took it down.

  • Private Military Companies

    Shadow Company movie review

    Later this month in Texas, the movie Shadow Company will make its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Self-described as a “ground breaking investigative” documentary, Shadow Company explores the origins and “destinations” of private security contractors (PSCs). Back in January, Onnesha Roychoudhuri interviewed Nick Bicanic, Shadow Company’s director and co-founder of the production company putting the movie out. If you haven’t read the interview, you should. Not to be redundent with Roychoudhuri, I asked Nick why he made Shadow Company. "I decided to make this film because I could see that the Rules of War have changed. There was a relevant message about modern warfare that did not…

  • Private Military Companies

    Update: PSC Snipers in Iraq

    If you have not seen this yet, I had posted a link in an earlier post to a video clip of a PSC sniper in Iraq. The video has impact. The video is of private security troops interdicting hostile enemy targets (i.e. insurgents / terrorists) from a rooftop in Iraq may be taken place in April 2004 (Sadr’s Rebellion). The firing position may be CPA headquarters. Two other stories on snipers in Iraq… The first one is on a successful SAS operation, Marlborough. The second is a record sniper shot in Iraq by a US soldier in theatre. More details are available on both ops, but I have decided not…

  • Civil-Military Relations,  Private Military Companies

    L. Paul Bremer joins the band wagon: We needed more troops

    The WashingtonPost has a story on L. Paul Bremer's new book and how his request for more troops was denied (either explicitly or implicitly). According to the article (I have ordered but not read the book yet), "Bremer recounted how Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq, reinforced this view, telling Bremer that with two more divisions, Baghdad could be controlled."