Blackwater’s Loss May Be Other Mercs’ Gain

America’s use of corporate mercenaries in Iraq is under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad on Sept. 16. Employees of Blackwater USA stand accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians. There is reason to believe that commercial and bureaucratic rivalries played a part in bringing the episode to public attention, … Continue reading “Blackwater’s Loss May Be Other Mercs’ Gain”

From Bengal to Baghdad: Three Centuries of Corporate Warriors

Picture the scene: The head of a private military company is appearing before the legislature. For years, his firm has prospered from the occupation of a resource-rich Asian country, protected by its shareholders’ powerful political connections. Only now are years of long-ignored abuses coming to light. The setting is not Washington 2007, but London 1787. … Continue reading “From Bengal to Baghdad: Three Centuries of Corporate Warriors”

Iraq Contractors in
Beltway Battle

Private military companies have been engaged in an intense struggle in recent months – over a $475 million deal billed, perhaps optimistically, as the last major security contract in Iraq. The contract, originally due to be awarded on April 10, involves a wide range of services, from the provision of personal security details to the … Continue reading “Iraq Contractors in
Beltway Battle”

Mercenaries Look Beyond Iraq

As the position of the Coalition forces in Iraq looks increasingly untenable, it is not just the fate of the national military contingents that is in question. Private military contractors, which make up the second largest Coalition contingent, are also considering their future following the end of the "Baghdad bubble," the boom in the industry … Continue reading “Mercenaries Look Beyond Iraq”

US Ambassador Pledges Full Investigation of Mercenary Videos

The mother of a murdered Belfast teenager has met U.S. diplomats to express her concerns about a Pentagon security contract in Iraq. Jean McBride’s son Peter was shot dead in 1992 by two soldiers from the Scots Guards. Their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Tim Spicer, is now the head of Aegis Specialist Risk Management, one … Continue reading “US Ambassador Pledges Full Investigation of Mercenary Videos”

Trophy Video Could Prove Costly for Aegis

A new spotlight has been thrown on the army of private military operators in Iraq, following the emergence of footage that appears to show security guards shooting up civilian cars on "Route Irish," the notorious Baghdad Airport road. The so-called trophy video now circulating widely on the Internet shows a series of clips of shots … Continue reading “Trophy Video Could Prove Costly for Aegis”

US Consul in Belfast Hears Iraq Contract Protest

The massive Iraq security contract awarded to British firm Aegis Defense Services came in for renewed criticism earlier this month, when the family of murdered Belfast man Peter McBride met with the U.S. consul-general in Belfast Howard Dean Pitman. Aegis chief executive Tim Spicer was commanding officer of the Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992, … Continue reading “US Consul in Belfast Hears Iraq Contract Protest”

Mother Pleads to Pentagon Over Spicer Contract

The mother of a man murdered by two British soldiers in Belfast has asked the U.S. Department of Defense to cancel a $293 million Iraq security contract awarded to their commanding officer. Irish human rights group the Pat Finucane Center has filed a detailed submission on behalf of Jean McBride challenging the Pentagon’s deal with … Continue reading “Mother Pleads to Pentagon Over Spicer Contract”

Kerry Joins Campaign Against Iraq Contract

The conviction of British mercenary Simon Mann by a Zimbabwean court could not have come at a worse time for Tim Spicer, Mann’s fellow former Scots Guards officer and erstwhile colleague in security firm Sandline International. Mann’s alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea drew unprecedented scrutiny to the international mercenary trade, in the same week … Continue reading “Kerry Joins Campaign Against Iraq Contract”

Iraq: Lessons of an Old Guerrilla Fighter

“For me it began in far-off Mesopotamia now called Irak, that land of Biblical names and history, of vast deserts and date groves, scorching suns and hot winds, the land of Babylon, Baghdad and the Garden of Eden, where the rushing Euphrates and the mighty Tigris converge and flow down to the Persian Gulf.” “It … Continue reading “Iraq: Lessons of an Old Guerrilla Fighter”