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Private Military Security Contractors

Murder for Hire

Christopher Brauchli | Posted 10.31.2014 | Politics
Christopher Brauchli

A congressional report found Blackwater personnel were involved in almost 200 shootings in Iraq between 2005 and 2007. In addition to having been accused of shooting many Iraqi civilians while in Iraq, the company earned more than $1 billion.

Time to Put Private Security Contractors Under the Gun

Amol Mehra | Posted 04.30.2013 | World
Amol Mehra

Using private security contractors has the potential to jeopardize the status of U.S. operations abroad, can put American lives at risk, and may cut against the very foreign policy goals our missions and embassies are seeking to achieve. They must be subject to oversight.

So Tell Us What You Really Think

David Isenberg | Posted 03.17.2013 | Politics
David Isenberg

If policymakers were to spend time listening to contractors on the ground they would learn that some of the operating procedures that onlookers assume are standard are, in fact, the source of great debate and controversy.

A Third Way for PMSC Legal Accountability

David Isenberg | Posted 02.26.2013 | Business
David Isenberg

When it comes to legal accountability for private military and security contractors there are two categories to choose from, and they both have proble...

The Ghost of Contracting Past

David Isenberg | Posted 02.20.2013 | Business
David Isenberg

There are numerous ways to consider private military and security contractors (PMSC): as a tool in a toolkit, policy option, force multiplier, and eve...

Recommendations for a Prosperous Post-2014 Afghanistan

Anne Stevenson | Posted 02.12.2013 | World
Anne Stevenson

This week, Mustafa Yasa, director of foreign relations for the Municipality of Kabul, has joined me in writing this column. We plan to share with read...

Putting the Principle in PMSC Use

David Isenberg | Posted 12.10.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

One longstanding argument for the use of private military and security companies is that they can facilitate undertaking interventions for human right...

PMC = Protean Military Contractor

David Isenberg | Posted 12.03.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

There are many ways to think about private military and security contractor (PMSC) issues. They include, of course, military, but also business, law, ...

The Many PMC Faces of NATO

David Isenberg | Posted 01.28.2013 | Business
David Isenberg

Well now, let's see, the U.S. does it, the U.K. does it. France and Russia plan on doing more of it and China is planning to do a lot of it. Even the ...

The Latest Skinny From SIGIR

David Isenberg | Posted 12.31.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

Yesterday the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction released its latest quarterly report. Here are some of the important takeaways regard...

Why Fighting Pirates Is Both Good and Bad for PSC

David Isenberg | Posted 12.30.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

If you have been paying any attention at all this year to the piracy situation off Somalia you may remember that the number of pirate attacks against ...

The Changing State of International Relations: The PMSC Impact

David Isenberg | Posted 10.22.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

It has long been understood that today's private military and security companies are seen by governments that contract with them as a third option, be...

Strong on Defense

D. Robert Worley | Posted 12.15.2012 | Politics
D. Robert Worley

National security strategy, or grand strategy, governs both the use of force and the production of force. When you vote for an elected official, you are choosing a strategy.

Getting Data for the Debate: All Hail DTM

David Isenberg | Posted 12.05.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

Let's suppose U.S. diplomats are serving in a dangerous, violent, conflict-ridden country. He or she obviously need to be protected in the course of performing the country's business.

Deconstructing the PMSC Frame

David Isenberg | Posted 12.02.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

Sometimes, as the saying goes, it is not what you say, but how you say it. Or to put it contemporary terms, how you spin it. And for the past couple o...

The Perils of the Punctilious PMSC Prosecution

David Isenberg | Posted 11.27.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

In all the oceans of ink that has been spilled over the years about the legal accountability of private military and security contractors (PMSC) I hav...

Zero Tolerance Should Not Mean Zero Action

David Isenberg | Posted 11.18.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

I ask for your indulgence as I return once again to the issue of human trafficking a topic which, unfortunately, seems to intersect with private milit...

The PMSC Silver Lining in the Indian Ocean Cloud

David Isenberg | Posted 11.14.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

As the saying goes, there is a silver lining in every cloud. So, if you happen to be in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa that lining means that the ...

What Would Al Say? Putting the Federalist Back in Federal Contracting

David Isenberg | Posted 11.12.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

In a previous post I discussed an article dealing with how the country's founders felt about the use of mercenaries, certainly a precursor, if not dir...

Joe Biden's Uncounted Angels

David Isenberg | Posted 11.11.2012 | Politics
David Isenberg

All these deaths and casualties should be remembered. But as long as we are going to do body counts let us not low ball. What about all the PMSC personnel who have also made the ultimate sacrifice?

Disrespecting the U.S. Constitution the PMF Way

David Isenberg | Posted 11.06.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

If you are a PMF advocate, your response to the above is that there is a bright shining line between regular soldiers and private contractors. But is there?

The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: PMSC and the Arab Spring

David Isenberg | Posted 10.27.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

If you ever watched the science fiction television show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine you may recall the "Ferengi Rules of Acquisition" which state (#34...

How May We Service You?

David Isenberg | Posted 10.22.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

One question that is often asked, but rarely answered with any accuracy is just how much money there is in the private military contracting sector. T...

Contractors and the US Military Empire

David Isenberg | Posted 10.14.2012 | Business
David Isenberg

Outsourcing has become an integral part of modern DoD operations. For the Pentagon to better compete it must increasingly operate like a transnational corporation. To do so it has adopted the corporate strategies of rightsizing, outsourcing, and offshoring.

Servicing the State Department

David Isenberg | Posted 10.02.2012 | Politics
David Isenberg

Sometimes, in all that is said and written about the use of private contractors in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, people forget that it is not just the Defense Department that uses them.