Already as of today it is quite obvious (from the experience of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq) that the existence of PMCs influences the course of events, and sometimes they assume most of the functions of the police and the army.
It should be noted that the US government has always considered the Middle East as a region of mandatory military presence of its army, because there are not only energy resources, and the ability to control vast territories under the guise of the spread of democracy. Over the past decades, armed conflicts have constantly occurred in the Middle East. Therefore, we can safely say that, in addition to American private military companies, corporations of other countries will appear on the continent. Already there are a lot of them.
One of the most well-known private military companies is the American security company Blackwater (Black Water). It was founded in 1997 by former Special Forces Eric Prince, along with shooting coach Al Clark. A few years later, another company was created, which in essence was its new branch, Blackwater Security Consulting, whose fighters took part in military operations in Afghanistan. However, there is practically no information about its activities during this period, since the US government is clearly not interested in disclosing information of this kind.
In 2003, the fighters of the corporation designated their presence in Iraq. Officially, Blackwater fighters trained local police and army units. The company suffered the first documented losses in the 2004 year (the death of 4 employees). At that time, when the fighters of this organization were being withdrawn from Iraq, there were 987 fighters, 775 of whom had US citizenship.
In 2009, the structure was renamed Xe Services LLC, but this did not change the essence of its activities. In 2010, the company was renamed Academi.
The company has a lot of training bases not only in the United States, but also in other countries where more than 40 thousands of people annually train. And she herself consists of a large number of subsidiaries and divisions. Currently Blackwater (Xe Services LLC, Academi) is the largest organization of its kind in the world.
The company has a headquarters, which is located in North Carolina.
The main income fighters Academi receive from participating in all sorts of armed conflicts, about 90 percent of the profit the company receives from contracts with the US government. Statistically, the picture is as follows: if in 2001, a company received from the US budget about 735 thousand dollars, in 2005, this amount increased to 25 million, and a year later reached 600 million dollars.
Every day, one mercenary from Academi costs the US state 1200 dollars (for comparison, a regular army soldier is only 150-190 dollars).
The company gained scandalous fame after the massacres during its participation in the war in Iraq. Academi fighters were involved in operations that resulted in the death of a large number of civilians in Baghdad. In addition, there are rumors that the company is smuggling weapons. So, in particular, a scandal occurred in March 2010, when more than five hundred Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons disappeared from American warehouses in Afghanistan. In September, several employees of the company were charged with illegal arms trafficking.
On the other hand, Blackwater participated in rescue operations to eliminate the effects of the most devastating hurricane in stories USA "Katrina", where about two hundred employees were sent. Over the entire period of this operation, the company received 240 thousands of dollars in revenue daily.
As mentioned above, at the moment the company Academi is a huge military company that specializes in orders in conducting military operations and escorting cargo. In addition, each unit that is part of a corporation performs a particular activity. In particular, Blackwater Maritime Solutions is preparing special forces of naval forces of many countries, for example, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Greece. In addition, this unit trained US sailors for the USS Cole destroyer, and also provides security to diplomats in Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, and Bosnia.
In 2003, the corporation bought Aviation Worldwide Services, which has three subsidiaries involved in the repair and maintenance of aircraft. This company is also very actively cooperating with the US military, has at its disposal several MD-530 helicopters and CASA 212 and Boeing 767 airplanes, which were used during the war in Iraq. The same company was engaged in freight traffic in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Academi also includes Blackwater Airships, which designs UAVs, Blackwater Armored Vehicle, which builds light armored vehicles, Raven Development Group, which deals with construction activities, K-9, which trains service dogs. The brain of the corporation is Xe Watch, which monitors all the activities of the corporation’s divisions, collects information about military conflicts, arms smuggling and other data related to the military sphere.
The official press release of the company states that it also provides security and transportation services, air transportation, logistics of the army and humanitarian support. In addition, Academi staff assist in establishing law and order in disaster areas.
Note that this firm is among the five companies that were chosen by the US government to supply equipment and provide services to combat drug trafficking.
The company Academi has great opportunities and resources and enjoys the frank patronage of the American government, so even after the bloody reprisals against the civilian population during armed conflicts, not a single mercenary was brought to justice or even dismissed.
The second largest private security company in the world is G4S. The number of its employees reaches 657 thousand people. This is a multinational company that provides services in the field of security, its headquarters is located in the UK, in the city of Crawley.
Representative offices exist in 125 countries of the world. G4S was founded in 2004 year after the merger of the Danish company "Group 4 Falck" and the British "Securicor PLC". From 2006 to 2008, the company was targeted by trade unions whose leaders claimed that subsidiaries did not respect human rights and labor protection standards. In 2008, G4S began providing security at major music and sporting events. And the reason for this expansion of services was the acquisition of the company Rock Steady Group, which specializes in such areas of security. In addition, in the 2008 year, the company RONCO Consulting Corporation, which is one of the leading firms specializing in commercial and humanitarian mine clearance and ammunition disposal, was purchased. In the same year, G4S bought Armor Group International and completed the acquisition of Global Solutions Limited.
In 2009, the company continued to buy security companies. In particular, the leaders of the British commercial and technical consulting market were bought, as well as the leader in providing support for basic operations and controls, a US provider of integrated security systems and communication systems.
The company G4S also was not without scandals. In 2009, a prisoner from Western Australia died, who was being transported by employees in a car that was not equipped with an air-conditioning system and did not have access to water. But then they preferred not to start a criminal case. In the same year, the notorious helicopter robbery of Westeborg happened. After analyzing the robbery, both police officers and employees of the company were subjected to sharp criticism.
In the same year, employees of the Australian representative office of G4S declared a strike due to the fact that the company did not care about the working conditions of the staff and did not pay a decent salary. This led to the fact that the entire judicial system of the Australian state of Victoria was put at risk.
In 2011, G4S bought Guidance Monitoring, a company specializing in the design and manufacture of electronic monitoring technologies, including software and hardware, which is used to track offenders. At the end of the same year, the company bought the assets of Chubb, a company that specializes in emergency response in the UK.
The main activity of the company is focused on the provision of security services, the provision of money security services (transportation of valuables and money), and a set of security services. In addition, employees of the company provide detention of offenders on behalf of the police, provide security services at airports. The company is working on the introduction of security systems, provides logistics services to banks and provides cash management, is involved in the processes of consulting, risk management and security support in areas with limited security infrastructure. In addition, G4S employees are engaged in ground demining of ammunition, train personnel, and also provide income protection services for British railway companies.
Among the clients of the corporation there are governments of many sovereign states, corporations, financial institutions and utilities, as well as airports and seaports, logistics and transport providers and private individuals.
In 2011, the company signed the UN Global Compact, which is the international standard for promoting business behavior, including occupational safety, human rights, anti-corruption, and environmental protection.
Another American military private company - the so-called "R Group" (Fort Defense Group Corporation, FDG Corp.) - was founded in March of 1996 by the marines A. Rodriguez. A few years later, his partner was a Russian officer D. Smirnov. Its headquarters is in Jacksonville. The company has concentrated its main activities in almost all the hot spots of the world - Somalia, the Gulf of Aden, Iraq, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Palestine, the Gaza Strip and Afghanistan. The company provides services such as ship and cargo security, military logistics, sea and land transportation, training of special units and security groups for operations in high-risk areas, military counseling. A special role in the organization is assigned to the FDG SEAL division, which includes guards swimmers who can resist terrorism at a high professional level both on and under water.
The company worked in the Gulf of Aden, assisting the Somali government in Guinea-Bissau, and its staff assisted in the clearance and disposal of military waste and the organization of the coast guard service.
The company’s fame brought operations to transport humanitarian and military cargo to Africa, guarding Anpostra’s checkpoints in Iraq’s Anbar region in 2006-2007, ensuring the safety of a delegation of veterans in Afghanistan during the opening of the 9 Company memorial in 2011, accompanying American missions in the Gaza Strip in 2007 year In addition, the fighters of the company noted the participation in operations in Iraq "Desert Fox" and "Desert Storm", as well as escorting oil tankers from the port of Umm Qasr to the Indochina countries.
In 2010, the company underwent significant legal and organizational changes to streamline operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
DynCorp is one of the largest private military companies in the United States. The company originates from two firms that were founded in 1946: Land-AirInc, which was engaged in aircraft maintenance, and California Eastern Airways, which specialized in aviation business transportation. The latter was founded by military pilots. They established the air cargo market and were awarded a contract to serve American troops during the Korean War. In addition, a contract was signed with the White Sands missile range. Some experts believe that this company was associated with the CIA.
Land-AirInc in the year 1951 was acquired by California Eastern Airways. A year later, another merger took place - with AIRCAR, which specialized in the sale of commercial aircraft and spare parts for foreign governments and airlines.
In 1961, the company was re-branded, which was called “Dynalectron Corporation”. After the expansion of the company, several major groups were singled out: energy, contract, aviation, and government services. Over the three decades of its existence, the company absorbed 19 from other companies, the number of personnel reached 7 thousand people, and the annual income reached 300 million dollars.
During the 1976-1981 period, the company absorbed more 14 firms and by the year 1986 became the leader in the defense order market in North America. A year later, the company changed its name to "DynCorp". The company's revenues for the 1994 year were more than 1 billion dollars, and after three years they exceeded 2,4 billion dollars. The company bought four dozen companies and increased the number of employees to 24 thousands of people.
DynCorp was engaged in testing missile technology for the US military, vaccine development, and installation of security systems in US embassies. Then, after another business diversification, the company bought 19 companies that were engaged in the production of digital services, with the result that DynCorp received government contracts in the field of information technology. In 2003, about 50 percent of the company's business was IT services for the FBI, the CIA.
Currently, DynCorp earns an annual income in excess of 3,4 billion dollars a year, has more than 10 thousand staff and works in such areas as air operations, rehabilitation and development, maintenance and operation, intelligence training, security services.
In particular, the company's employees provide air support in the course of conducting operations to curb drug trafficking and the fight against terrorism. In addition, training for pilots of the Afghan Air Force is being conducted. During the war in Iraq, DynCorp was engaged in search and rescue operations, the deployment of rapid reaction forces, and medical evacuation.
Currently, the corporation employees serve American military aircraft and helicopters, provide air support in the fight against forest fires.
In 2010, a special department was created in the company to provide humanitarian assistance in post-conflict and conflict zones and to carry out reforms. Thus, the company's specialists assisted in strengthening state financial management in Ghana, restoring peaceful life in Uganda, and organizing anti-corruption programs in Malawi, Madagascar and Nigeria.
Since 2010, the corporation has started conducting training courses for intelligence services. At the moment, the company has about 300 professionals who are ready to provide services for the training of counterintelligence and intelligence officers, to teach the basics of special operations, as well as training translators for the American army.
The company "DynCorp" also was not without scandals. So, at the end of 90, its employees were accused of pedophilia and trafficking in children. During the investigation, evidence of these crimes was obtained. In addition, employees of the company who worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina were accused of sex trafficking in 2000. Despite the fact that all participants in the crimes were dismissed, none of them was brought to justice. And soon the company's management acknowledged that even before this, several employees had been dismissed for such crimes.
And in 2001, Ecuadorian farmers accused DynCorp staff of daily spraying of herbicides, which negatively affected the health of the local population and the yield.
Then another scandal arose: employees of the company who trained police officers in Afghanistan used child prostitution and took drugs.
No less well known is another American private military company MPRI. It was founded in 1987 by a retired general V. Lewis. There are about 350 former US generals in her staff. This company is on a commercial basis engaged in consulting in the management and reform of the army (in Iraq), the selection and procurement of weapons (in Georgia), the development of doctrines and concepts (in Georgia), solves situational and operational problems, conducting humanitarian operations and military exercises. The firm provides services to the US government and the authorities of other states, acting in conjunction with the Pentagon and the CIA. At the moment, the company is headed by Generals Soister, Vuono and Kresen.
MPRI has the largest database of US military specialists, and its employees have repeatedly participated in local conflicts and wars, in particular, assisted the government of Colombia, Liberia and Albanian militants in Macedonia, trained and planned the operations of the Croatian army in 1995. For example, in Croatia, in August 95, a successful operation “Storm” was carried out, which was organized by this company. However, later the leadership of MPRI denied any involvement in the operation, since the Croats during the course of it carried out ethnic cleansing. In turn, the Bosnian militants said they were ready to sign the Dayton Accords, but only if the MPRI were engaged in preparing their army. Thus, the company continued to cooperate with the Kosovo Liberation Army in Albania in 1998-1999 and in Macedonia in 2000-2001.
It is reliably known that in Bosnia and Afghanistan, the company's employees fought as part of the “Islamic Brigades”. On the one hand, it will say little to an ignorant person, but in fact they fought under the direct guidance of the CIA.
The American government, therefore, without formally interfering in political processes, achieved its intended goals.
In 2012, Serbian public organizations were accused by the company of the involvement of MPRI in the Serbian genocide in Croatia’s 1995 year, since before the start of the special operation the company’s specialists trained the soldiers and officers of the Croatian armed forces. The organizations demanded 10 billions in compensation, that is, 25 thousands of dollars for every Serb expelled from the territory of Croatia.
At the same time, representatives of MPRI stated that they disagreed with the claims of the lawsuit and the fact that employees of the company worked with Croatia in 1990's cannot be considered a violation of UN sanctions imposed on Zagreb.
Currently, MPRI is the main conductor of American policy in Africa. At the moment, she is participating in several programs to create a collective rapid reaction force that can carry out humanitarian and peacekeeping operations on the continent. The company is conducting active military reform in Nigeria. On the territory of Central Africa, the company has chosen Equatorial Guinea as the base after unsuccessful attempts to offer its services to the Congo government.
Aegis Defense Services
There are private military companies in the UK. One of the most famous is Aegis Defense Services, which was founded in 2002 by a former British army officer, T. Spicer. The company has offices in Kenya, Iraq, Nepal, Bahrain, Afghanistan and the United States. Headquarters is located in the city of Basel.
The number of personnel of the company reaches 20 thousands of mercenaries. The main customer is the US government. Employees of this company are engaged in security activities in the aerospace, diplomatic and government sectors, as well as in the mining and oil and gas industries. Currently, the firm has a contract with the US government, which provides security in Iraq, and is estimated at 293 million dollars. In addition, in 2011, she received a contract worth 497 million dollars to guard the US government in Kabul.
Although it is officially a security company, it also provides armed personnel services for the US government and UN missions. Geographically, its activities extend to Iraq, China, Greece, Congo, Kosovo, Nigeria, Sudan, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland, Tunik, UK, USA, Greece, Holland, Afghanistan, Nepal, Kenya and Bahrain, where assessment work is underway risks and protecting oil companies. The number of companies reaches about 5 thousand people.
In 2005, Aegis Defense Services seemed implicated in a scandal, a video appeared on the Internet in which company employees shot at a peaceful Iraqi population. The company’s management did not recognize the blame, but the Pentagon refused to cooperate further.
Another British military company that was founded by former British officer J. Garrat and South African apartheid official S. Cleary in 2002 and registered in the British Virgin Islands - Erinys International. In 2003, Cleary left, and his place was taken by the officer of the British intelligence services A. Morrison, but a year later he moved to the Kroll Inc company, which is the world's largest financial intelligence company.
Erinys subsidiaries are located in Britain, the Republic of the Congo, Cyprus and South Africa.
The firm’s activities are mainly focused on the provision of security services, in particular, in areas of Central Africa with very difficult environmental conditions. In addition, the training activities of military personnel and consultations in the military sphere, participation in operational military activities, work in intelligence services and the police can be singled out as activities. Employees of the company are former employees of British intelligence departments and special units.
Erinys International accompanies US government contracts in Iraq. The largest mission was 16, with thousands of fighters in more than 280 locations throughout the country who participated in ensuring the security of energy assets, in particular, pipelines.
Company employees performed well during the wars in Iraq, when about 6,5 thousands of fighters were sent to guard important sites.
The company also found itself at the center of a scandal when, in 2004, there was information in the press about the cruel treatment of prisoners. The materials of the journalists testified that the employees of the company violated the convention on human rights, using cruel torture against the 16-year-old Iraqi citizen during a military investigation.
Currently, this company is working closely with oil and gas corporations, mining industries, non-governmental organizations and public services. And in each of the contracts it helps clients to assess possible risks regardless of the remoteness of the region of work and the level of complexity. In addition, the services of the company are used by the US and British governments, as well as the UN.
Northbridge services group
There is also a joint US-British private military company Northbridge Services Group, the base of which is located in the Dominican Republic, and branches in the UK and Ukraine. According to some estimates, the company has about three thousand former British military personnel, as well as several thousand former soldiers of the armies of France, South Africa and the United States.
The Northbridge Services Group provides services for the needs of transnational corporations, governments and non-governmental organizations, individuals and the corporate sector.
Northbridge Services Group assists law enforcement agencies in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, unauthorized search for information and organized crime, as well as helps in the protection of natural resources and maritime security. In 2012, the company's financial revenues reached 50 and a half million dollars.
In 2003, the post of head of the company was taken by a retired American Army Colonel Robert Kovacic. The company gained fame in the same 2003 year, when it successfully conducted an operation to rescue 25 oilmen, who for two weeks were held hostage on an oil rig. In addition, company employees played an important role in the civil conflict in Liberia in 2003, taking the side of the rebels. The result of their actions was the overthrow of the official government and the introduction of a UN peacekeeping mission.
The company, which specializes in providing security, even prepared a special operation to kidnap disgraced President of Liberia C. Taylor for an additional fee (about 4 million dollars) with a view to transferring it to a special UN court for war crimes. However, this initiative was rejected as provocative and ridiculous.
At the same time, employees of the US FBI and the British Customs Service were conducting an investigation to clarify all the circumstances of the failed kidnapping, during which it was found that the company had negotiated the conditions for the seizure and transfer of the African leader. It was also found that the UN court did not refuse the services of the company, but refused to pay the money for the kidnapping, citing the lack of money.
Separately, it is necessary to note the so-called “White Legion”, which owes its name to operations on the African continent. According to various sources (and information that would have been extremely trustworthy), the Legion consisted of several volunteer battalions of volunteers from Europe who fought in 1997 on the side of dictator General Mobutu, who came to power in Zaire in 1960 after the military coup.
At the time of participation in the operation in Zaire, the legion numbered about three hundred people. It consisted of one unit and two corps (Slavonic Corps, Colonel Tavernier’s Corps and Captain Dragan’s Division).
Due to the fact that the soldiers of the Legion belonged to different nationalities (and here, according to some sources, there were also French, Ukrainians and Russians, Belarusians and even Serbs), it was not always the men who understood the commands given in a foreign language, which affected coherence work and the conduct of hostilities.
The Legion was armed with a lot of equipment and weapons: about 5-7 aircraft, mainly Soviet Mi-24, 10 attack helicopters, and also good Soviet-made small arms: 60-mm mortars, RPG-7 launchers, Igla MANPADS, Yugoslav Republic of Belarus M57, machine guns M53.
The most distinguished corps of Russian legionnaires. When the retreat began, they struck from the air, using the IL-76 as a bomber. In general, the Slavic legionaries were on the continent until May 1997, and then disappeared as suddenly as they appeared. We flew on airplanes, with all the special equipment and in full uniform. The destination was either Tiraspol in Transnistria, or Serbia. To date, it is not clear how the plane, full of armed men and military equipment, was able to land without difficulty in almost the center of Europe. According to rumors, it was a special operation, which was helped by the then head of the Transnistrian Security Committee, Major General V. Antyufeev.
In addition to these private military companies, there are a great many of them similar, large and not very solid, credible, and dubious. Every year they expand the scope of their activities, so we can say that soon such companies will become the main instrument for implementing the policy of a state in the field of military security abroad.