Saturday, January 20, 2007


Private security contractors with experience in the War on Terror are bidding to provide services in the Sudan to support UN humanitarian missions with extremely robust capabilities. Global Guerrillas notes that "Blackwater USA, the private military company that advertises itself as a 'a turnkey solution provider for 4th generation warfare' and ... may be making headway in its quest to deploy to the Sudan. Last year, the $600 m a year company formed Greystone Limited in order to put a better marketing spin on its efforts to private the security of UN humanitarian missions -- given that this new company can draw on Blackwater for capabilities, it would be able battalion-sized unit and even its own home-brewed aircraft gunship in support of any contract it lands. So far, the effort by Greystone to land a contract to provide security to one of the world's worst humanitarian disaster zones, hasn't made any headway."

Whether or not Blackwater type security companies will ever be used to supplement humanitarian missions, it remains true that the private sector is a repository of field experience in the War on Terror. Not just in providing physical security but also in the provision of services, such as logistics and even intelligence analysis. The role played by nongovernment institutions in fighting against terrorism has gone largely unstudied. Security contractors, technology startups, translation services, consulting companies and even bloggers and privately funded Internet sites contribute substantially to the effort. They represent a capacity which will eventually be employed, if not by the UN, then by other customers who cannot ignore their utility.


Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

While I'm way too young to remember, Oak Leaf has up a tribute to Denny Doherty of the Mamas and Papas.
California Dreamin

There are links in the comments section. Have your hanky at the ready.

1/20/2007 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The United Nations will do everything in its power to keep groups like Greystone Limited from participating in peacekeeping/rescue situations like the Sudan.

The success of these groups in places like Sierra Leone show the world how ineffective, morally bankrupt and prohibitively expensive the UN is in comparison.

1/20/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private contractors don't concern themselves too much with ROE and PC. What they care about, essentially, is the money.

To them, a hospital that is seized by terrorists ceases to become a hospital. Get the job done and take home the cash.

It will be definitely tricky to persuade the UN to outsource its sovereignty and defended monopoly on humanitarian missions, but the horrific crisis of Sudan and the botched supervision of Lebanon serve as powerful reminders that responsibility can become a huge burden even for an international organisation.

Sadly, where will this chorus of persuasion come from? The international community - which is already represented by the UN itself? This probably represents a crucial juncture for the UN: internally reform to accommodate these private contractors, or risk being marginalised even further even by those who still have faith in the UN to accomplish objectives.

And it is not as if the UN itself has taken sufficient care in ensuring that its missions are successful - look at the child prostitution, oil-for-food scandals. Perhaps private contractors will have the monetary incentives necessary to guarantee that they won't cause unnecessary trouble for themselves for anyone else. They might be more sensitive to risking their reputations should they be tainted.

1/21/2007 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Darkstar said...

Bring it on. The CIA can use these guys to outsource things.

1/22/2007 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger _Jon said...

If I had a global corporation and needed protection for my installations and personnel, I wouldn't be too concerned with PC, just safety and cost. Other than BW, there aren't too many quality choices.

1/22/2007 06:14:00 AM  

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