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last updated 13-May-2021
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This is our news archive. Find here news articles and special reports focusing on Private Military and/or Security Contractors (companies, firms) and the privatization of security, broadly. This page covers the period of 2010 to today. We generally list free-access articles. If any item interests you, save it or print it before you have to pay for it. URLs change frequently, though the citation given was accurate at the time the item was added to the archive. Please use the menu options below to search for other news media outlets and/or articles published before 2010.
2011-2020: A - B
S - Z
1999-2010: A - B
- More themes soon! - - - - >>NEWS AGENCIES

Ship Technology

Did the Maersk cyber attack reveal an industry dangerously unprepared? A recent survey by Futurenautics found that shipping companies are still largely unprotected from potential cyber attacks, even after the recent ransomware attack that left Maersk reeling. By Joe Baker, November 8, 2017: TEXT | PICTURE


Space News

Satellite operators working to attract military business. The industry has invested billions of dollars in so-called high-throughput satellites that cover 99 percent of world and feed the world’s growing appetite for the “internet of things.” The military is a major target customer. By Sandra Erwin, November 7, 2017: TEXT


Sputnik (RIA Novosti: Russia)

Private military companies are participating in events in Ukraine, the head of the Russian military's General Staff said Friday.. Private military companies are participating in events in Ukraine, the head of the Russian military's General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Friday: “There are facts of the participation of private military companies in the Ukrainian events,” May 23, 2014: TEXT


• Stars and Stripes

‘Stealth privatization’ increases risk of torture. As American Legion President Charles Schmidt said in August, "stealth privatization" has been and remains underway. President Donald Trump has been in a middle ground on this issue. By Robert Weiner and Ben Lasky, Stars and Stripes, October 11, 2017: TEXT

US aided anti-terror raids in Yemen. An unidentified Yemeni official did not say whether the U.S. personnel were special forces, CIA or private contractors. By Michael Winter (USA Today), April 23, 2014: TEXT | MAP

Report: Replacement force for private security contractors in Afghanistan ineffective. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the Afghan Public Protection Force hasn't been able to effectively replace private security contractors as mandated by a 2010 decree from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. By Josh Smith, July 30, 2013: TEXT | PHOTO


• The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Israel blamed for assassination of Iranian general attacked on road from Damascus. A senior commander of the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards was assassinated, authorities said on Thursday, in an attack that highlighted Iran's role in Syria's civil war. By Ruth Sherlock, February 16, 2013: TEXT | PICTURE

Mercenaries 'loot, rape, kill' in Ivory Coast. They loot, they rape, they kill," said Franquin, of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Abidjan. By Christophe Parayre, AFP, March 26, 2011: TEXT | PICTURE



• The Telegraph (UK)

G4S shares plunge to seven-year low as company confirms Orlando shooter was an employee, Omar Mateen had been employed by G4S since September 2007 and worked at a gated retirement community in South Florida. By Rhiannon Bury, The Telegraph, June 13, 2016: MULTIMEDIA

Boeing is the big winner from David Cameron's defence review. Boeing lands multi-billion contract for P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol jets but worries as Type 26 frigate programme could be reduced. By Alan Tovey, November 23, 2015: TEXT | PICTURES

G4S could run 999 controls of three major British police forces. Police chiefs from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire have commissioned the private security firm to produce a 'feasibility study'. By Lucy Clarke-Billings, November 4, 2015: TEXT | PICTURE

British security firm Olive plans expansion after US merger. Deal with Constellis Group will create security group with revenues of around $1bn. By Andrew Critchlow, May 7, 2015: TEXT | PICTURES

CIA paid psychologists $80m to devise and use torture techniques. U.S. Senate Report shines light on role of outside contractors in developing brutal interrogation skills, including water boarding, sleep deprivation and use of insects. By Rob Crilly, December 9, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

Iraq: Basra invites British firm Aegis Defence Services back for security role. Basra's governor has hired a private military company run Maj Gen Graham Binns, who commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003. By Colin Freeman, January 3, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

G4S pulls out of race for new electronic tagging contract amid fraud inquiry. An initial review of G4S and its rival company Serco found both had potentially over-billed the government by tens of millions of pounds.The Telegraph, August 8, 2013: TEXT

UK Helicopter rescue poised for privatisation. Britain's privatisation programme is stepping up a gear with the imminent award of a £3bn helicopter outsourcing contract and further progress on the sale of the Government’s £3bn stake in nuclear fuels group Urenco. By Helia Ebrahimi, March 17, 2013: TEXT | PICTURE

Simon Mann accused of insulting senior officer and clan chief in his book on failed coup in Equatorial Guinea. By Auslan Cramb, December 3, 2011: TEXT | PICTURE


• The Times of India

Finmeccanica out, US’s Sikorsky joins Indian Navy copter acquisition race. The defence ministry has ejected the European NH-90 chopper, linked to Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, out of the race to supply 16 multirole helicopters to the Navy. By Rajat Pandit, November 5, 2014: TEXT

VVIP chopper deal case: Gautam Khaitan's custody extended till November 3. Gautam Khaitan was arrested in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal. TNN, October 22, 2014: TEXT


Toronto Star (Canada)

Canada spent $10 million for security at Afghan dam project. Canada spent about $10 million on security in Afghanistan at its $50-million Dahla dam project, where private security contractors were linked to allegations of corruption and involved in an armed standoff with Canadian security officials. By: Jessica McDiarmid, March 13, 2013: TEXT | PICTURE


TVNZ (New Zealand)

New Zealand Security Association head says they’ve become ‘scapegoat’ to MIQ issues as Govt announces NZDF personnel boost. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government intended “to stop using private security contractors, particularly in the riskiest places such as entry and exit points and public areas, and replace them with Defence Force staff”. 1 News, August 19, 2020: TEXT | PICTURE




• United Nations News Service

Somalia: UN experts on use of mercenaries urge greater oversight for private security contractors. “As Somalia rebuilds its security institutions, the Government should ensure that private security forces are properly regulated and do not become a substitute for competent and accountable police,” said Faiza Patel, who currently heads the UN’s Working Group on the use of mercenaries. December 18, 2012: TEXT | PICTURE

Why We Need an International Treaty on Private Military Contractors. By Lauren Jenkin, July 26, 2011: click here

Legally binding controls needed for private security contractors, say UN experts. UN Dispatch, July 8, 2011: click here


UPI (United Press International)

ICRC frets over rules for private security contractors. "Unfortunately, such training and instructions [on the rules of engagement] are not systematically provided, and there are continued reports depicting excessive uses of force by private contractors in contexts such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia," vice president of the ICRC Christine Beerli said. December 12, 2013: TEXT

Suicide bomber kills 4 security contractors at Afghan police compound. A Taliban suicide bomber targeting an Afghan police compound in Kabul killed four foreign security contractors guarding a facility used by American-based military contractor DynCorp International. By JC Finley, July 22, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

Mexico requests Black Hawk helicopters. “The sale of these UH-60M helicopters to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces engaged in counter-drug operations,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said. By Richard Tomkins, April 23, 2014: TEXT

ICRC frets over rules for private security contractors. "Individuals working for private companies outside military chains of command were increasingly armed and engaged in activities typically associated with state armed forces," Christine Beerli, ICRC's vice president said. December 12, 2013: TEXT

Offices of German defense contractors raided in Greece bribe probe. The offices of Rheinmetall Defense Electronics and Atlas Elektronik were searched by police seeking evidence in connection with bribery and tax evasion allegations. August 28, 2013: TEXT

Colombia worries as troops join Arab mercenary force (United Arab Emirates). Colombian officials estimate 500 soldiers, including pilots of Black Hawk helicopters, have gone to join Erik Prince's private force, where they earn $3,000 a month against $600 back home. June 7, 2013 : TEXT

Australia struggles with bloated defense contracts. The Defense Material Organization (DMO) is soliciting private sector's help as it lacks the "general business acumen" to negotiate billion-dollar contracts with U.S. defense firms. March 8, 2013: TEXT



• The Wall Street Journal

Contract losses sink Apollo’s defence bet. Competitive setbacks and reduced diplomatic security spending push Constellis to brink of bankruptcy. By Alexander Gladstone, January 19, 2020: TEXT | Reproduced by Private Equity News: TEXT

Orlando Nightclub Shooting Puts G4S in Spotlight Again. G4S said company screening and background checks during the recruitment of Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen in 2007 “revealed nothing of concern,” and that “his screening was repeated in 2013 with no findings.” By Stu Woo, June 13, 2016: TEXT | GRAPH | PICTURE

Finmeccanica Bets On Helicopters, Electronics. The group’s AgustaWestland helicopter business, the world’s second largest helicopter maker Airbus Group after NV’s rotorcraft arm, will be an area where activities should increase. By Robert Wall, November 6, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

DynCorp Dismisses Recently Appointed CEO Gordon Walsh. Walsh came from L-3 Communications, which last week disclosed accounting irregularities. By Doug Cameron, August 8, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

DynCorp Targets U.K. as Afghan Work Unwinds. DynCorp CEO Steven Gaffney said the U.K. is dealing with defense-budget pressures “more aggressively” than other nations through outsourcing work to the private sector. By Doug Cameron, May 12, 2014: TEXT

Foreign Firms in Algeria Boost (Private) Security. Wednesday's attack on the In Amenas field, which led to the deaths of several expatriate hostages, prompted the companies that run the operation alongside Algeria's state energy company Sonatrach of Britain and Statoil of Norway to reassess their security operations. By Selina Williams and Geraldine Amiel, January 17, 2013: TEXT

EADS Orders Compliance Review. Independent study ordered amid allegations that some of the Franco-German company's units had engaged in corruption and bribery to win defense business. By David Pearson and David Crawford. November 15, 2012: click here

U.S. Boosts Security For Contractors in Afghanistan. The previously undisclosed security measures have been adopted amid a wave of insider attacks by Afghan soldiers and police and the continuing withdrawal of coalition troops. By Nathan Hodge, August 21, 2012: click here


• Washington Examiner

The obvious problem American embassies overlooked in security. An internal investigation done in the wake of the fatal 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has found that six government contractors who hire local guards at overseas embassies failed to fully vet the job candidates. By Kelly Cohen, June 17, 2014: TEXT | DOCUMENTS


• The Washington Post

'Fat Leonard', the man who seduced the 7th U.S. Navy Fleet. For years, Singapore-based Leonard Glenn Francis had showered Navy officers with gifts, epicurean dinners, prostitutes and, cash bribes. By Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post, May 27, 2016: TEXT | PICTURES

‘Fat Leonard’ scandal swells; three more Navy figures charged. Three defendants were accused of acting as paid moles for the contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia by leaking intelligence about criminal investigations into the company. By Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post, May 27, 2016: TEXT | PICTURES

Shutdown of security clearance system could cause dramatic delays and disruptions, industry says. A whistleblower lawsuit filed by Blake Percival alleged that a contractor was rushing investigations in order to hit revenue targets. By Christian Davenport, July 1, 2015: TEXT | PICTURE

Even after Snowden, quota system on background checks may be imperiling U.S. secrets. A similar quota system used by USIS to drive its investigators continues at the companies that now perform the bulk of the investigations. By Christian Davenport, June 14, 2015: TEXT I PICTURE

DynCorp names S. Gordon Walsh new chief executive. S. Gordon Walsh, who has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for more than two decades, will take over from current leader Steven Gaffney beginning July 21, the company said in a statement. By Amrita Jayakumar, July 14, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

U.S. companies pulling contractors from Iraqi bases as security crumbles [as conflict with ISIS explodes]. The individuals are being “temporarily relocated by their companies due to security concerns in the area,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday evening. By Dan Lamothe, June 12, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

Companies can spend millions on security measures to keep executives safe. As some perks have gone away under shareholder scrutiny, security has remained a benefit for many executives of large corporations — especially in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, analysts say. By Christian Davenport, June 6, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

'Civilian Warriors: Blackwater and the War on Terror' by Erik Prince. The book, co-authored with David Coburn, presents a credible defense of Blackwater and Prince's role in building it. But it does not answer the important questions surrounding the company's performance in Iraq and Afghanista. By Phillip Carter, December 27, 2013: TEXT

More news items focusing on the Blackwater family of companies available at our BLACKWATER NEWS page

DynCorp, which has had employees killed overseas, puts support into the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Steven F. Gaffney, DynCorp's chief executive, said about 69 of the company's employees have died over the past decade or so. By Marjorie Censer, December 20, 2013: TEXT | PICTURE

How contractors like Aaron Alexis obtain security clearances. More than 4.9 million U.S. federal government workers and contractors held security clearances in 2012. Washington Post, September 19, 2013: TEXT

Afghan government’s monopoly on private security raises cost concerns, watchdog says. Meanwhile, The Afghan Public Protection Force, a state-run enterprise formed to phase out Western security companies from the country, is far from meeting its target strength of 25,000. By Ernesto Londoño, July 30, 2013: TEXT | PHOTO

Excess-profits tax on defense contractors during wartime is long overdue. In World Wars I and II and the Korean War, Congress approved new taxes, including one directed at defense contractors. By Walter Pincus , December 31, 2012: click here

Dick Cheney offers the GOP familiar advice on spending. Cheney said that “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter,” By Dana Milbank, July 17, 2012: TEXT

U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa. The surveillance is overseen by U.S. Special Operations forces but relies heavily on private military contractors and support from African troops. By Craig Whitlock, June 14, 2012: click here

Defense procurement problems won’t go away. A Defense Business Board task force established by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. reported that "acquisition system continues to take longer, cost more, get less and oftentimes not what is needed." By Walter Pincus, May 3, 2012: click here

Armored SUV could not protect U.S. agents in Mexico. They were driving a $160,000 armored vehilce designed to defeat high-velocity gunfire, fragmentation grenades and land mines. But the vehicle had a basic, fatal flaw. By Nick Miroff and William Booth, February 15, 2012: click here

Rise of the drone: From California garage to multibillion-dollar defense industry. The emergence of hunter-killer and surveillance drones as revolutionary new weapons in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in counterterrorism operations in places such as Pakistan and Yemen, has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry. By By Peter Finn, December 23, 2011 : click here

Security firms are accused of breaking Afghan laws. A list compiled by Afghan officials cites 16 companies, including several American and British firms, for unspecified serious violations and seven others for having links to high-ranking Afghan officials. By Joshua Partlow and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, 22 January 22, 2011: click here


• The Washington Times

KBR contractor probed by Senate, House over documents silencing whistleblowers. New documents lawmakers said show the company has tried to silence whistleblowers who wanted to report on bad practices at the contractor. By Jim McElhatton, November 20, 2014: TEXT | PICTURE

Drug tests ordered for State Department contractors in Israel, Afghanistan. On a “semiannual basis” of some 1,625 career employees and contractors based in Afghanistan and 55 based in Israel. By Guy Taylor, May 26, 2013: TEXT

Looking for organisations taking a stand in favour and against the privatization of peace? Visit the NGOs page



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