Monday, May 07, 2012

Glitz is for Glamour


Triple Canopy is one of those professional military forces that is not a media darling due to its lack of attention gathering behavior. This is not to say that they aren’t effective, but they are more of a quiet professional force.  Triple Canopy understands that credibility, ethics, and results go hand in hand in order to maintain a moral compass and remain a viable force.

Triple Canopy has been aggressive it its support for a legal, moral and ethical framework since its inception, due to services it provides of integrated security and mission support, in effect, setting the industry standard.  It, too, was founded by Special Forces personnel in May 2003, but they decided to incorporate a code of conduct and “Canon of ethics” into their corporate philosophy. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), who reviewed Triple Canopy’s operation in the Iraqi Theater released a statement that the personnel were a "well-trained, professional work force with signi´Čücant prior experience" in military and law enforcement.

In 2008, one year after 17 innocent civilians were killed on the streets of Baghdad by Blackwater contractors, the Montreux Document was signed into being by 17 states and is a non-binding document that references international law and human rights laws in regard to the actions of PMFs in international armed conflict.  The actual name (and of course, in good French philosophical form) of the document is “Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict”. It is derived from the 2006 “Swiss Initiative” that Switzerland and the ICRC collaborated on and arose out of concern for respect for international legal obligations.  The kicker – Triple Canopy provided its Code of ethics to the Swiss Government as a source document.

So how come it took so long for Blackwater, or as it is known now, Academi, to institute a corporate governance and ethics program (February 2009)? Maybe the State Department should forget flashy and contract with the professional guys who are helping create or define international law with a nod towards protecting civilians.

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