• Private Military Companies

    Review of the Blackwater Lawsuit

    The Nation has a good article on the Blackwater lawsuit that is slowly working its way through the court system. In Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater, Jeremy Scahill describes actions by a company that is the worst fear by many opposing privatization (did someone mention CusterBattles?). When firms act like this, as Blackwater is alleged to have done, it not only taints the industry but also the United States. As an interview in the movie Shadow Company demonstrates, Stephen "Scott" Helvenston, Mike Teague, Jerko Zovko and Wesley Batalona were attacked not because they were contractors or because they might have been military, but because they were thought to be CIA…

  • 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?

  • 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…