Military, Security & Surveillance
Ted Koppel says "There is something terribly seductive about the notion of a mercenary army. Perhaps it is the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems."
An Alabama company controlled by a billionaire Kuwaiti family is the biggest supplier of guns to Iraq. These weapons were paid for by the Pentagon which has lost track of them. A new Amnesty international report says that such unrestrained global arms trading schemes may have catastrophic human rights consequences.
On the first floor of a tan building inside Baghdad's Green Zone, the full scope of Iraq's daily carnage is condensed into a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation. The intelligence was compiled not by the U.S. military, but by a British security firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd. The Reconstruction Operations Center is the most visible example of how intelligence collection is now among the responsibilities handled by a network of private security companies that work in the shadows of the U.S. military.
The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity funds, may soon buy out the $2 billion dollar intelligence division of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest advisors to the U.S. spy community.
The U.S. government is investigating whether private military contractor Blackwater USA, blamed for the deaths of 11 Iraqis in Baghdad on Sunday, has been shipping unlicensed automatic weapons and military goods to Iraq.
Blackwater USA, an American contractor that provides security to some of the top American officials in Iraq, has been banned from working in the country by the Iraqi government after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead and involved an American diplomatic convoy.